Date   

Varied Thrush at Lopez Lake

petra schaaf
 

We birded at Lopez Lake today. The lake is down from two weeks ago, but hosts quite a few species of water fowl, including Buffleheads, various grebes (Eared, Pied-billed, Western), Ruddy Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Lesser Scaups, Ring-necked Ducks, White Pelicans. There was an abundance of American Coots and Double-crested Cormorants. On shore only a few Spotted Sandpipers.

On land we saw  among others Purple Finches, Oak Titmouse, various sparrows (White-crowned, Golden-crowned, Lincoln's), towhees (Spotted, California), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Hermit Thrushes. The most abundant species seemed to be Acorn Woodpeckers. The highlight were two sightings of a male VARIED THRUSH, most likely two individuals, given the timing and the separate locations.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jack-petra-clayton/15513475820/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jack-petra-clayton/15513079167/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jack-petra-clayton/15513078557/

Jack and Petra Clayton
Los Osos, CA


Pismo Creek 11-02

Thomas Slater
 

Owen and I saw RING-NECKED, LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, and the regular assortment of other common waterfowl, and a Spotted Sandpiper. We also saw a late season YELLOW-WARBLER in the weeds along the western bank.

We briefly did a walk-through at Sweet Springs on our way to the Los Osos skateboard park but didn't see anything except many Ruby-crown Kinglets and some Townsend's Warblers.

Owen's #300 lifer was the Greater Scaup we saw on Halloween (his 3 year anniversary of birding) so now he's big time. His county list is currently #280. Not bad for a 10-year-old. Many of you can consider yourself a part of that due to your faithful posting. Thank you for a great 3  years of birding.

Tom and Owen Slater
Nipomo




Biddle Pk/AG--a Varied Thrush & Hermit Thrush Hoedown

Sue Girard
 

Decided to try Biddle Park about 20 min. before sundown. Parked near the entrance gate, where I'd flushed a suspect VT yesterday @ the same time.  Had the park to myself and aside from road noise, it was very quiet. Walked slowly toward the back of the park.


At the Tot Lot  had 3 Hermit Thrush and a Sooty Fox Sparrow in the open, plus a Varied Thrush in the open with an A. Robin just past the Tot Lot.  


The  VT flushed up to some weedy Sycamore growth at an old stump. It posed for about 2-3 minutes, then flew to a tall straight Syc at the brush line, about 40 ft up (excellent camo) for about 3 minutes,  before flying east. Also, 1 HT down the bank by the black walnuts, feeding on poison oak berries.  

 

Returning to the truck, a dozen more HT flitted at ground level("chup-chup"calls were everywhere) across ahead of me, pecking the asphalt or ground for goodies. They were not shy at all, I got within 10 -12 ft of them. At the entrance kiosk there were 6 dancing in and out of the roadway near the lg puddle chasing insects, about 15 ft away. By then light was failing but their light breasts made them easy to count.


So late day is also a good quiet time to catch plenty of HT, and perhaps even  a VT without risking poison oak.


Sue Girard

Nipomo


Arroyo Grande Creek, Oceano; Tennessee warbler!

mitchpefa
 

Greetings!

The birding gods are smiling at me these last couple of days.   After seeing nothing but the expected species this morning at Oceano Lagoon, I left and was on my way to try and see the White-throated sparrow at Oso Flaco. While in route, I changed my mind and decided instead to bird a new location and check out Arroyo Grande Creek in Oceano between Highway 1 and the Oceano airfield. I was rewarded with my first sighting of a TENNESSEE WARBLER (seen while walking the Flood Control road about a quarter mile west of the 22nd street bridge over the creek) ! At the same time, the CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continues in my backyard, feeding on the lawn as I type this message.

 

Mitch Siemens
Arroyo Grande


Wood Duck addendum

marlin harms
 

After looking at more photos, there were actually 17 Wood Ducks over Sweet Springs this AM.  Wonder where they went.

I did post two photos of smaller number of birds: www.flickr.com/photos/marlinharms

Marlin Harms
Morro Bay, CA


Tropical kingbird at oso flaco?

Mary Ann Ambrose <ambrose.m@...>
 

As we (Jerry and Mary Ann Ambrose) were leaving oso flaco just now we saw a good candidate for a tropical kingbird on the wires- olive breadth, nice yellow, good amount of whit throat, bigger bill, Buffy tail tips...

No least bittern:( Virginia and sora rails. Canvasbacks, avocets, a peregrine, fox sparrow, townsends and yellow warbler, several ruby crown kinglets and American pipit


more Wood Ducks, Los Osos

marlin harms
 

This morning, while standing at the end of the boardwalk at Sweet Springs I saw a group of ducks fly by that I didn't immediately recognize.  I took some photos and they turned out to be Wood Ducks--11 of them.  I thought they flew towards the ponds, but couldn't find any there.  Guess they kept flying.  While I was near the ponds the bald eagle flew right past where I had just been at the end of the boardwalk, harassed some coots briefly, then flew to a tree just back from the corner of the cove, landing at a spot not visible from the overlook.

Marlin Harms
Morro Bay, CA

photos of the ducks later today at www.flickr.com/photos/marlinharms


roadrunner

Steve Schubert
 

Hello all,
A friend told me there has been a GREATER ROADRUNNER frequenting his property at the end of the road cul-de-sac on Valle Vista Place in the lower Irish Hills. This is off Los Osos Valley Rd. near the intersection with Foothill Blvd, within section 22, and might be worth taking a look on Christmas count day.
Steve Schubert
Los Osos


Greater Roadrunner and puddles

David Lawrence
 

Greetings,

I tried for multiple Varied Thrushes at Santa Margarita Lake Saturday, and in my greed had none.

It was wonderful to drive in the rain.  There were huge puddles nearly blocking Shell Creek Road, and I drove through some of them twice.  I stood in one just to be sure my shoes remembered how to be waterproof, yet half hoping they'd forgotten.

My best bird was a Greater Roadrunner along the shore of the ailing Santa Margarita Lake, down from the swimming pool.  It was sunning to warm up, a behavior I always enjoy watching and the first time I've been able to try to photograph it.

A few photographs are at http://flickr.com/photos/dave_lawrence

Dave Lawrence
Arroyo Grande


Re: Morro Bay Brant Back

Dawn Beattie
 

I reported seeing one from the MB Marina boardwalk (on eBird) last Sunday, 10-26-14.


At 11:58 AM 11/1/2014, Jim Royer jrmotmot@... [slocobirding] wrote:
 

I'm looking at 14 Brant in the back bay, from N end of Pecho. Are they the first ones back this fall?
JimRoyer, Los Osos


Sandhill Crane - Point Piedras Blancas, 11/1

Tom Edell
 

I received an ebird report today of an adult Sandhill Crane on the east side of Hwy 1 north of the Elephant Seal Colony and south of the road to the lighthouse around 3:00 PM today.

 

Tom Edell

Cayucos, CA

 


Estero Bluffs: Harlequin Duck

petra schaaf
 

We birded Estero Bluffs today, between the access points at San Geronimo Creek and the Fig Tree.

Shorebirds included Black-bellied Plovers, Semi-palmated Plovers, Spotted Sandpipers, Western and/or Least Sandpipers, Killdeer, Whimbrels. Further out were Black and Ruddy Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Gulls, Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Elegant Terns, a Kingfisher. Highlight was a HARLEQUIN DUCK.

Tom Edell looked at my photos and commented:
"The Harlequin Duck maybe the same one Roger photographed [September 4], but it showed prominent white in the greater coverts and was a basic plumaged male.  The bird I had off Toro Creek [October 13] was a male in definitive (breeding) plumage.  So possibly the same bird Roger had, but definitely not the bird I reported. Then again the lack of white in the greater coverts may indicate your bird is a female."

ID photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jack-petra-clayton/15066350264/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jack-petra-clayton/15066349924/

Jack and Petra Clayton
Los Osos, CA


Rainy Day birding

Thomas Slater
 

After birding Biddle Park in the morning, we went out to Avila and Port SLO.
We saw the seals and Pelicans, and an odd BRANDT'S CORMORANT that needed to be rescued by Pacific Wildlife Care.  This is the 3rd bird we've had rescued in a month. My daughter is thinking about making it a career (she's 6). Those people do great work.

I looked for a Harlequin duck in the usual location by the Cal Polly pier rocks but instead found 30 Whimbrels hunkering down on the rock and one BLACK TURNSTONE that didn't seem to be too welcome.

We saw a flock of about 100+ House Finches and American Goldfinches on Melschau Rd. in Nipomo.

When the rain stops, the birds come out, that's for sure. Great day to bird. And love that we got over an inch of rain!

Pics of the VARIED THRUSH at Biddle Park in Arroyo Grande.
NUTMEG MANNIKIN in Nipomo.

Bird on,


Tom Slater

Nipomo


Varied Thrush Atascadero

Kara Nelson
 

I had a male Varied Thrush taking a bath in my pond under soft rain showers this morning at 11 am.  A Hermit Thrush was about two feet away from it, along with a large flock (30 +) White Crowned Sparrows. They all bathed for about 10 min until a Sharp-shinned hawk scattered them. 
This is the first Varied Thrush I've ever seen on my property!
Kara Hagedorn
Sunshine Ranch- 
Garden Farms-Atascadero 


Laguna Lake

calidridsp@...
 

Hi --


A check of Laguna Lake found 73 DOWITCHERS (heard LONG-BILLED but can't say for the whole flock), 60 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 2 BONAPARTE'S GULLS, 1 GLAUCOUS WINGED GULL (1st winter), 2 GADWALL, 2 EARED GREBES, NUMEROUS NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 1 AM. PIPIT and 1 AM. WHITE PELICAN.


Tom Maloney

SLO


Geese and jaeger, Cayucos

Kaaren Perry
 

Checked a few of my favorite places around Morro Bay and Cayucos after the rain this morning.  Beautiful skies and a brilliant double rainbow added to the fun.

23 Greater White-fronted Geese were grazing at the north end of Whale Rock Reservoir, visible from Cottontail Creek Rd.  I was scoping from quite a distance but it appeared that about half the group were immature.  There were also 2 Canada Geese grazing in the area.

A light morph Parasitic Jaeger chasing terns was seen from of Old Creek overlook.  

Kaaren Perry


Morro Bay Brant Back

Jim Royer
 

I'm looking at 14 Brant in the back bay, from N end of Pecho. Are they the first ones back this fall?
JimRoyer, Los Osos


Varied Thrush 11-1

Thomas Slater
 

Owen and I got our 1st county VARIED THRUSH at Biddle Park. We figured the habitat would be perfect. Like the greats say... Learning habitat is critical (and saves gas!) also saw 40 TOWNSENDS WARBLERS and both male and female BLK THROATED GRAYS. Osprey and stellars jays, many many HERMIT THRUSH. 1 AM ROBIN. 

On our street we had 4 NUTMEG MANIKIN! Odd for us. 

BIRD ON!
Tom and Owen Slater
Nipomo


On Oct 31, 2014, at 11:42 PM, "mitchpefa@... [slocobirding]" <slocobirding-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Greetings,

I sent a few photographs to and relied upon the expertise of Brad Shram to confirm the presence of a new yard bird in my backyard this afternoon. A few marginal but suitable for I.D. purpose photographs of the juvenile  CLAY-COLORED SPARROW can be found here:

 

 https://www.flickr.com/photos/mitchpefa/

 

Mitch Siemens
Arroyo Grande


Oceano and Montaña de Oro on Friday, October 31

Kevin Zimmer
 

I got out for a check of several spots in advance of this afternoon's much-needed storm.  Oceano Campground produced a female Black-and-white Warbler and 3 different Black-throated Gray Warblers, but little else of note.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet numbers have quadrupled from what they were 2 weeks ago, and there are at least several "Myrtle" Warblers mixed in with the hordes of "Audubon's" Warblers now.

A quick check of the riparian area bordering the north end of the Monarch Butterfly grove offered nice studies of a Pacific Wren, with a heard-only Golden-crowned Kinglet high overhead at the butterfly grove proper.  I also drove the beach at Oceano Dunes (both directions from my entrance point at the end of Pier Avenue in Oceano).  Saw at least 60-70 Snowy Plovers, but nothing else of note.

Montaña de Oro campground was nearly devoid of campers, but was also fairly quiet for birds.  I did find a pretty bright White-throated Sparrow, several fuliginosa-type Fox Sparrows, 1 male Merlin that made a quick pass over the campground, and at least 4 Red-breasted Nuthatches in the pines.  Ruby-crowned Kinglets were thick on the brushy slopes above the campground.

Kevin Zimmer
Atascadero


Arroyo Grande; Clay-colored sparrow

mitchpefa
 

Greetings,

I sent a few photographs to and relied upon the expertise of Brad Shram to confirm the presence of a new yard bird in my backyard this afternoon. A few marginal but suitable for I.D. purpose photographs of the juvenile  CLAY-COLORED SPARROW can be found here:

 

 https://www.flickr.com/photos/mitchpefa/

 

Mitch Siemens
Arroyo Grande

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