Eureka and the Winter Season North American Birds Report (long)


Tom Edell
 

SLOCo Birders (and others),

It now the end of the winter reporting period for North American Birds and as
the SLO County coordinator I solicit your reports of unusual and rare bird
sightings for the period of December 1999 through February 2000. Sightings
are compiled and submitted to Guy McCaskie for his Southern Pacific Coast
Regional Report. I received the following from Guy yesterday (I apologize to
those that subscribe to Calbird):

"The WINTER SEASON PERIOD for NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS (1 December through 29
February) has ended and I solicit observations for the SOUTHERN PACIFIC COAST
REGIONAL REPORT. Observations should be arranged in ABA
Check-list order. Reports of rarities (Garrett and Dunn's BIRDS OF
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA and Small's CALIFORNIA BIRDS should be used as
guides for the Status and Distribution of Birds in Southern California)
should be accompanied by documentation (photo/written description/etc.).
Reports
should be sent to the appropriate County Coordinators.... ASAP."

I would like to stress that I need documentation of all rare or difficult to
identify species reported to be able to include them in my report (The Morro
Coast Audubon Society's pamphlet "The Birds of San Luis Obispo County
California is a good source for species status information). Please contact
me if you are unsure about whether a species needs documentation or the level
of documentation necessary. There is no way I can put together a complete
report without everyones help.

Below is a draft of my February Eureka Column for the Morro Coast Audubon
Flyway newsletter. Additions, comments, and corrections are appreciated. I
need to submit the Eureka column tomorrow and would be grateful for responses
ASAP.

Eureka!
THE BIRDS OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY - February 2000

Cattle Egret -- Seven continued to be seen on Cal Poly agricultural fields
through 2/11 (MS).

Greater White-fronted Goose -- One was in a flooded field between Cambria and
Hwy 46 on 2/12 (KC). On 2/21, a first year bird was at the mouth of Pismo
Creek (GS).

Snow Geese -- The two adults and two first winter birds found on the Morro
Bay Estuary in January continued through 2/13 (JRo). An adult and immature
were seen at Laguna Lake on 2/21 (GS).

Brant -- The Morro Bay population rose to a season high 3800 birds on 2/7
(JRo) due to an influx of northbound migrants.

Canada Goose -- The individual (small race) found at Ocean County Park in
January was present through 2/6 (MS). Fifty-one seen in the flooded fields
off Foothill Blvd (Los Osos Valley) on 2/11(JRo) were probably the birds
wintering at Laguna Lake.

Eurasian Wigeon -- Up to two males were reported on Morro Bay during February
(CK).

Redhead -- Three females were discovered at Whale Rock Reservoir on 2/26 (TE).

Harlequin Duck -- A female found along the north coast south of the elephant
seal rookery on 2/14 (GS), may have been the same bird present at that
location in November.

Oldsquaw -- An individual was seen from the Port San Luis Pier on 2/15 (BB).

Common Merganser -- A male and female were in a flooded field between Cambria
and Hwy 46 on 2/23 (TE).

Osprey -- One was seen over the Los Osos middle school on 2/11 (MS).

Bald Eagle -- The adult occasionally seen at Atascadero Lake in January was
present again on 2/21 (MH).

Black Skimmer -- Numbers increased in February with a high count of 17,
including 4-5 first year birds, observed on 2/19 (JRo).

Spotted Owl -- One was heard in upper See Canyon on the night of 2/5 (JR).

Northern Saw-whet Owl -- One was heard in upper Sea Canyon on the night of
2/5 (JR).

Barn Swallow -- One seen at Oso Flaco Lake on 2/6 (MS) was a little early for
a migrant and may have been the same bird reported there in January.

Sage Thrasher -- Uncommon on the Carrizo Plain in winter, one was seen along
Seven Mile Road on 2/6 (CK) and two, including one at the south end of the
air strip in California Valley, were observed on 2/12 (TE).

Nashville Warbler -- A male that hit a window in Los Osos on 2/6 probably
wintered locally (JRo).

White-throated Sparrow -- One at Cal Poly on 2/17 (MS) was well away from the
bird wintering near the feed mill.

OBSERVERS: Bill Bouton, Karen Clarke, Tom Edell, Marlin Harms, Clay Kempf,
John Roser (JRo), Jim Royer, Greg Smith, Mike Stiles, and mob = many
observers. For information about birds or locations mentioned in this
report, contact Tom Edell at (805) 995-1691 or tedell@aol.com.

Thanks........Tom

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA
tedell@aol.com
805-995-1691

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