Carrizo Plains Feb 12

Tom Edell

I led a field trip for Morro Coast Audubon to the Carrizo Plain on Saturday.
The rain kept the attendance low - myself and two others - but the weather
through threatening held throughout the day. The Plain got approximately
three-quarters of an inch of rain on Friday, enough to soak everything, but
not not enought to make all the roads trecherous to drive. We were able to
drive Seven Mile Road and Elkhorn Plain Road (both dirt). We also birded
along Soda Lake Road, Hwy 58, Belmont Trail (west of Soda Lake Road), and
Branch Mountain Road.

We managed to see many of the Plain specialities, though we missed the most
sought after including Sandhill Crane, Mountain Plover, Short-eared Owl and
Burrowing Owl. We did manage to find the following along with numerous Say's
Phoebes, Ravens, Horned Larks, Starlings, Loggerhead Shrikes, White-crowned
Sparrows, Red-winged and Brewer's blackbirds, and House Finches:

Northern Harrier - 1 female
Red-tailed Hawk - 6 (numerous on the drive to the plain along Hwy 58)
Ferrugionus Hawk - 4 adults
Rough-legged Hawk - 1 adult
Golden Eagle - 1 immature
Mountain Bluebird - 4 (3 Male, 1 female)
Sage Thrasher - 2
Sage Sparrow - 1

Nice trip considering the weather.


Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA

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