Karen Clarke <seachest@...>
Friday I went to the Morro Bay Marina (is this type large? I can't seem to
make it smaller) during the plus 6.6 tide at 9:40 AM. I watched the known
area where the Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow has been for over an hour. I
didn't see the sparrow until the very end of my watch, and then only for an
instant. The warm color as it flashed by was unmistakeable.
I also saw the Greater Yellowlegs associating with probably 100 American
Avocets and Willets. I counted 17 Greater Yellowlegs in one spot. At Sweet
Springs I saw 8 more. In addition, I counted 18 Great Blue Heron, 14 Great,
and 10 Snowy Egrets. Looking out from the marina, I saw 4 Snow Geese ( 2 of
which appeared to be juveniles with grayish heads). One female or immature
Northern Harrier flew close to deck over the water of the back bay. A flock
of about 60 Long-billed Curlews flew overhead as I waited the arrival of the
When I arrived at Sweet Springs, I saw two aerial battling Red-shouldered
Hawks. One of the birds had a smaller bird (dead I assume) in its talons.
They must have been fighting over possession of the prey. I could see that
the caught bird had a long tail with obvious brown & dark brown or black
barring. It brought to mind a Sharp-shinned or Cooper's Hawk, but, of
course, the bird was much smaller. I'm guessing it was a wren---Bewick's
Wren? I didn't know that Red-shouldered Hawks hunted birds. Maybe the prey
was already dead.
I still didn't find the Ruff at Sweet Springs.