Oceano beach Weds.10/28

Rubba Johanna

Took a next-to-last walk on Oceano Beach prior to return of vehicles. I saw 68 of what I took to be Black-bellied plovers, but I'm puzzled by their coloring. These birds' mottling on the back and wings was very dark, black, but looks grey in my field guide. Some birds' cap was very dark. The throat and chest on the birds had lighter-color mottling. I counted 68 between posts 1 & 3; beyond 3 I could see a flock of likely the same bird counting a hundred or more. 

Next I saw a small plover. Dark brown back; black shoulder band that did not meet across the chest; white forehead; black around the eye; dark cap. I thought at first Semipalmated Plover, but then began to doubt that and considered Snowy Plover. But the Snowies I see in my guide don't have brown backs. I would expect Snowies on that beach, since they nest there.

One I am sure of is three Buffleheads, 2 M 1 F, cruising and diving in the surf.

I hope many of you can join us tomorrow to "occupy" the beach from 4:30 through sunset to express our desire to keep the beach free of vehicles. Another gathering will take place Friday morning from 6:45-9 am (the beach will open to vehicles at 7 am). Enter the beach at either Grand Ave. or Pier Ave. Anticipate possible parking problems at both locations. Be careful of sand parking lots. Many get stuck on a regular basis.

Johanna Rubba
Grover Beach

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