Oso Flaco

Brad Schram

Oso Flaco was lovely this morning. Not much of note bird-wise, but lovely. A few each Yellow and Wilson's warblers amongst the Bushtits and chickadees. One juv. Least Tern remains on the bridge railing, calling and being fed by an adult.

The bad news...the remains (feathers) of two Least Terns on the railings--one adult, one juv. My guess is that a Cooper's Hawk, or possibly an early Merlin going through, picked off a couple easy marks for breakfast.

Brad Schram
Arroyo Grande

Re: Sooty Shearwater Invasion

Michael Hanson

Would seem unlikely as I suspect there are several flocks. The migration of Sooty Shearwaters is one of those great biological wonders that gets no play. In some ways they may give competition to Arctic Terns which are touted as having the longest migration of any species, going from Arctic regions to Antarctic and back again. Sooties, after finishing their breeding in the Australian/New Zealand area, make a swing across the Pacific to South America, then up the west cost of the Americas up into our coast; then continue north into the north eastern Pacific along the North American west coast, across the Pacific to Asia, then returning south along the western Pacific back to their breeding grounds from whence they started. The distance they cover? I'll leave it to you to figure out.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Boyd" <>
To: "slocobirding" <>
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2012 4:31:50 PM
Subject: [slocobirding] Sooty Shearwater Invasion

Yesterday's Invasion of Sooty Shearwaters off of the Morro Bay
sandspit was Truly Awesome!. It was much better described as
a dense cLoud than a Flock. These eruptions seem to
come on a regular basis, involve huge distances (Global in scale)
and appear to occur in several species of Shearwaters. This the second
one that I have seen here.

There has been concern that this behavior could be counter productive
in that an untoward event such as a storm could destroy
a significant fraction of the specie's world population and cause it
to become endangered or even erased.

Time will tell

Dick Boyd

Turri and Pecho Rds. 8-26

Thomas Slater

Saw the Forster's Tern today off Pecho Rd. above the bay. Thanks Beedie.
Also saw dozens and dozens of Red-necked Phalaropes and two Baird Sandpipers at the Turri Pond today around 4pm.
Thanks for posting people!

Tom Slater
Slater Photography

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Sooty Shearwater Invasion

Richard Boyd

Yesterday's Invasion of Sooty Shearwaters off of the Morro Bay sandspit was Truly Awesome!. It was much better described as a dense cLoud than a Flock. These eruptions seem to come on a regular basis, involve huge distances (Global in scale) and appear to occur in several species of Shearwaters. This the second one that I have seen here.

There has been concern that this behavior could be counter productive in that an untoward event such as a storm could destroy
a significant fraction of the specie's world population and cause it to become endangered or even erased.

Time will tell

Dick Boyd

Los Osos-MDO 26 August

Mike Stiles

I hit a few places this morning. At Pecho Willows I had my first of fall YELLOW WARBLER.

At the mouth of Islay Creek in Montana de Oro, I had another Yellow Warbler, and two female LAZULI BUNTINGS.

In the campground near the ampitheatre I had my first TOWNSEND'S WARBLER of the fall.

While I was out, my wife had a female BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK at the feeder.

Mike Stiles
Los Osos

Ruff/Solitary Sandpiper/Arroyo Grande Creek Mouth 8/26

Maggie Smith

Curtis Marantz and Brian Daniels found the above birds early this morning.

Viewing is best from the beach looking back into the lagoon in the vicinity of the largest stand of reeds.

Tom Edell, Kaaren Perry and I saw the juvenile Ruff.  Tom and I saw the Solitary Sandpiper but it had  probably receded into the reeds when Kaaren arrived.
Maggie Smith
Arroyo Grande

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Pismo Creek and beach

Michelle LaMoustique

Teddy and I went out to Port San Luis, and sighted a whale at 12:15 pm, it made a slow circle of the bay and left, no bait balls, no spectacular behavior. Maybe it was checking to make sure no goodies were left behind. The hordes of pelicans and gulls had also left, except for those that usually hang out in the area.

From there we went to Pismo Creek. It was bath time and there were quite a few Royal Terns, Elegant Terns, Brown Pelicans, and Heerman's Gulls taking a bath in the creek, then going to dry off on the beach. In the creek we also saw three Red-necked Phalaropes, a number of Pied-billed Greebes, a Snowy Egret, at least three Mama Mallards with ducklings, Least Sandpipers, Four Killdeers, three American Crows, and three shorebirds I have tentatively identified as Short-billed Dowitchers:

Offshore we saw a huge flock of hundreds of Sooty Sheerwaters feeding.

Michelle Maani
Nipomo, California

No Avila Whales, 2 Baird's at Turri

Jim Royer

Celeste and I checked all the bird flocks on the ocean from the Harford
Pier to Dinosaur Caves in Shell Beach and saw no whales this morning. We
stopped at the Turri Road Ponds near South Bay Blvd. and saw 2 Baird's
Sandpipers and 37 Red-necked Phalaropes.

Jim Royer
Los Osos

Mon 9/17 MCAS Community Program and Fall Potluck

Joanna Iwanicha

Mark your calendars for the next MCAS Community Program and Fall Potluck:

Monday, September 17
Potluck at 6 pm, Program at 7pm

Location: SLO Botanical Garden Oak Glen Pavilion (across from Cuesta College) in El Chorro Park

How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World with author Jon Young

Morro Coast Audubon Society has joined with Outside Now to present Jon Young, a lifelong birder, tracker, naturalist and the author of, What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World. Young will speak about his exciting new book by sharing a doorway into the secret language of nature: "Deep bird language is an ancient discipline, perfected by Native peoples the world over. Finally, science is catching up. . ."

His groundbreaking book unites the indigenous knowledge, the latest research, and the author's own experience of four decades in the field to lead us toward a deeper connection to the animals and, in the end, a deeper connection to ourselves.

Outside Now is a local nonprofit educational organization dedicated to reconnecting people to the wonders of the natural world and has vibrant programs for people of all ages.

All MCAS Community Programs are free and open to the public. For the Potluck, bring a dish to share, a cup, and your own place setting. Refreshments will be provided. Copies of the book will be for sale. As always, all ages are welcome.

MCAS Program Chair

Turri Road update

Kevin Zimmer

After checking out the whale action at Avila this afternoon, I stopped by the pools at the west end of Turri Road. Not a lot there, but I did find 3 juvenal-plumaged Baird's Sandpipers, 1 juv Least Sandpiper, and ca. 35–40 Red-necked Phalaropes. These were in the two pools closest to South Bay Blvd.

Kevin Zimmer

Pismo Lagoon 8-24 beautiful evening

Thomas Slater

While half the county was out watching the whales in Avila (it was pretty cool), I got out to the lagoon in Pismo.
A banded Osprey scoped out the lagoon. I've never gotten that close to one. You might even  be able to read the leg band if  you  know what to look for?
3 Red-necked Phalaropes, a spotted sandpiper, and two short-billed dowitchers (short I think?) that also allowed me to get within 10' of them. Got two closeup shots of Osprey and Dowitcher on photostream.
Many elegant terns out there still with regular shore birds as well. Even saw a black phoebe at the very dead-end of the lagoon on the log.
Was hunting for a Forsters Tern but no dice. Any ideas on a good place to catch a view of one? Thanks!

Did anyone else sign up for Pelagic trip with Sac Audubon in Monterey? Can't wait!

Tom Slater, Nipomo

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North Coast birding 8/23

Kaaren Perry

Birding my way south from San Simeon this morning provided no big surprises. A pair of Peregrine Falcons were perched on snags at San Simeon creek mouth.

45 Elegant Terns and 1 Royal were roosting at Morro Strand State Beach.

A single Baird's Sandpiper was seen from Audubon Overlook, walking on the mud bank west of the deck. No Baird's were at Turri Rd. ponds when I passed by at 9:30. At least 30 Red-necked Phalaropes are now in the Turri ponds.

An estimated 100 Elegant Terns were roosting on and near Grassy Island in Morro Bay.

7 Spotted Sandpipers, 3 adult and 4 juveniles were on the mud flats at Windy Cove, just north of the State Park Natural History Museum. While not an unexpected species at that location, the number present was of interest to me.

Kaaren Perry
Morro Bay

Re: Help with Identification

Beedie <beedie@...>

Thank you to all for the wonderful feedback on the Forester's Tern on the
Back bay off 3rd Street in Baywood Park.

Baywood Park/Los Osos

Edit Message

Beedie <beedie@...>

I see no way to edit a message that I accidentally sent out but forgot
to sign?The Help with Identification of the bird on the back bay was
me:BeedieLos Osos/Baywood Park

Help with Identification

Beedie <beedie@...>

I'm a newbie at birding. I live off the back bay on 3rd Street in Baywood Park. I see the back bay each day out my living room window.

The past 2 days there has been a bird that I can't identify. I've take the best photo possible as it was moving swiftly around the back bay and making sharp dives into the water for it's catch (not deep dives) and then swiftly rising up again. White, Sharp pointed wings, black mask around eyes, black sharp pointed beak (sorry not more technical). It's a loner.

I've posted a photo here if anyone could assist me I'd appreciate it. I'm thinking Forster's Tern? Hope this link works

Baird's Sandpipers @ Turri Rd. 8/22

Kaaren Perry

4 juvenile Baird's Sandpipers, first reported yesterday, remain in the western most pond on Turri Rd. They were seen again today around noon.

Other species previously reported are present as well.

Kaaren Perry
Morro Bay

Black Hill Redstart

Mike Stiles

I walked from Morro Bay to Los Osos this evening and had an adult male AMERICAN REDSTART in the pines on the eastern edge of Black Hill. It was associating with a small flock of Bushtits and Hutton's Vireos.

On the first pond on Turri Road I had one of the BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS. Both Red-necked and Wilson's Phalaropes were spinning on the pond.

Mike Stiles
Los Osos

Baird's Sandpipers (4)--Tirri Road

David Lawrence


The western-most Turri Road pond awakened a bit to fall migration today, as 4 juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were joined by 13 Least Sandpipers, a Western Sandpiper, and about a dozen Red-necked Phalaropes, late morning. At one point all 4 were flying then feeding together near the close shore.

A few images are at:

Dave Lawrence
Arroyo Grande

Rails at San Simeon Creek


Yesterday I went up the coast to see what new migrants I might find. One of the first places I stopped was San Simeon Crk next to the state campground on Hy 1.

I heard a Virgina rail calling in the tules almost under the Hy 1 bridge. I went and sat down in the wet grass near the first clump of cattails and waited. I was there from 7:30 to 9AM in order to get pictures of the two Virgina Rails and one Sora. The Virgina Rails just didn't want to get out in the open at all so only got a few fleeting pics. The Sora was much more co-operative. A real kewtie pie.

Farther up the coast there were hundreds of Black Turnstones. Didn't see any Ruddy's. A few bull elephant seals are starting to come onshore at the breeding grounds. Oh, and it was very foggy all day along the northern coast.

Tom Bronstad
Arroyo Grande

Brandt's Cormorants on the Bay

Richard Boyd

This Morning there were literally hundreds (maybe more, difficult to count) of Brandt's Cormorants in a feeding frenzy at the exposed low- tide flats just South of Grassy Island.

A few Brown Pelicans were joining in (awkwardly)

Dick Boyd

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