Date   

Pismo Gulls

Brad Schram
 

Yesterday afternoon, Feb. 17, had 2000+ gulls on the beach at the mouth of
Pismo Creek. 98% at least were California Gulls. The flock did have quite
a few 1st year Herrings and a few Thayer's gulls however.

Brad


Re: Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Tom Edell
 

Cal,

I must have missed your first post as your post below seems to answer
someone's response. I keep status and distributional data for birds in San
Luis Obispo County. There are only five records of Yellow-billed Cuckoo in
SLOCo since the 1960's.

8 Aug 1980, an individual was in a yard in Los Osos.
7 Nov 1989, one hit a window in Morro Bay.
30 Jul-1 Aug 1991, one was seen at a stock pond on the Carrizo Plain.
18-26 Jun 1999, an individual was found and later banded at Oso Flaco Lake.
15 Jul 1999, one was banded on San Simeon Creek.

Regards.......Tom

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA
tedell@aol.com

In a message dated 02/17/2000 9:38:02 AM Pacific Standard Time,
ccfrench@tcsn.net writes:

<< No, I have not seen one, but I am wondering when and where they have been
seen in SLO county last. Recently the Department of Interior proposed
listing them as endangered. >>


Feb 17, 2000

Mike Stiles
 

Today at Cal Poly I found a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in a flock of
crowned sparrows around the Engineering building #13, just west of the
library.

Mike Stiles
mstiles@calpoly.edu


Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Cal French <ccfrench@...>
 

No, I have not seen one, but I am wondering when and where they have been
seen in SLO county last. Recently the Department of Interior proposed
listing them as endangered.
The Federal Register announcement (90-day notice) follows:


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 90-Day
Finding for a Petition To List the Yellow-billed Cuckoo as Endangered
and Commencement of a Status Review
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of 90-day petition finding.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a
90-day finding on a petition to list the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus
americanus) as endangered, with critical habitat, pursuant to the
Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended. We find that the
petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information to
indicate that the listing of the yellow-billed cuckoo may be warranted.
Therefore, we are initiating a status review to determine if the
petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the review is
comprehensive, we are soliciting information and data regarding this
species.
DATES: The finding in this document was made on February 7, 2000. To be
considered in the status review and subsequent 12-month finding for the
petition, your information and comments must be received by April 17,
2000.
ADDRESSES: You may submit data, information, comments, or questions
concerning this finding to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-
2605, Sacramento, California 95825. The petition finding, supporting
data, and comments are available for public inspection, by appointment,
during normal business hours at the above address.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Miller at the Sacramento Fish
and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section above), or at 916/414-6600.


Rufous H.

Karen Clarke <seachest@...>
 

This morning I saw an adult male Rufous Hummingbird in my backyard feeding at the Pride of Madeira blossoms.  This is my first sighting this year.
 
I was also awakened at 7 AM by the raucous cawing of 5-6 crows.  Thinking that they were probably mobbing a hawk in the Cypress tree, I got up and took a look.  sure enough, an immature Cooper's Hawk was feeding on one of the branches of the tree.  The hapless prey turned out to be either a Brewer's or Red-winged Blackbird.  Too bad it didn't catch one of the two Brown-headed Cowbirds stuffing themselves at the feeder.
 
Karen C.


SLOCo Birding 2/15

bbouton <bbouton@...>
 

Hi All,

I checked the shores off of Shell Beach and Avila to Port San Luis this
morning. I saw NO shorebirds of ANY species -- not on rocks, not on sand.

Off the Port San Luis Pier, where at least 550 scoters, not counting any
that were under water during my scanning. I saw only Surfs, though many
were far out and viewed against the glare of the sun. Near the end of the
pier, among one group of scoters was one OLDSQUAW.

Cheers,

Bill Bouton
bbouton@fix.net
San Luis Obispo, CA


Morro Bay birds

Marlin Harms
 

Hi all,
Sunday (2-13) in the rain I saw 2 alternate plumage ad. Heermann's Gull & one
immature at Morro Rock, seemingly late to see adult birds. Also two Common
Goldeneye near the south end of the Embarcadero in Morro Bay. I went back
today (2-14) late afternoon & saw three, an ad. male, female, & immature
male. Also, in the bay across from about Harbor St., a group of 13 Common
Loons, not usually so close together.
Cheers,
Marlin Harms


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

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA
tedell@aol.com


Greater White-fronted Goose

Karen Clarke <seachest@...>
 

I decided to check the creek mouths, Sat 2/12, in Cambria after the rain.  Maybe there would be something new and unusual.  Santa Rosa Ck, flowing swiftly to the ocean, had 200 gulls, most of which were California Gulls.  Mew Gulls numbered 20?  Two Glaucous-winged Gulls were present.  Two days ago there were 5---4 1st year birds and 1 2nd year bird.  One has also shown up at my house on Moonstone Beach Dr., Cambria.
 
San Simeon Ck was flowing strongly into the ocean.  No shorebirds.  There were 50? gulls in approximately the same species ratio.  The flooded "flats" south of the Day Use parking area had Mallards only, about 20.
 
The pastureland, located between the Ardath St. signal in Cambria and the Hwy 1 & 46 intersection is now flooded.  Ducks haven't found it yet.  However, I did see 1 Greater White-fronted Goose.
 
In my backyard I saw 6 Brown-headed Cowbirds (4 females, 2 males) feeding with a mixed flock of Red-winged and Brewer's Blackbirds.
 
Karen C.


sloco birds Feb 11

Mike Stiles
 

There are still seven Cattle Egrets at Cal Poly.

I watched a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks today hunting and catching
large grubs out of a compost bin on campus. I thought that was slightly
unusual.

Yesterday, over the Junior High in Los Osos, was an Osprey.

Mike Stiles
Los Osos, CA
mstiles@calpoly.edu


Correction on Merlin dates

Ron Ruppert <rruppert@...>
 

Date should have been 2/7/00 for the merlin sightings at MB Marina.
Ron Ruppert


Merlin at MB Marina

Ron Ruppert <rruppert@...>
 

Two merlin, in combat display were seen over the eucalyptus at the Morro Bay
marina across from the golf course at 3pm on 2/8/00. They flew off in
opposite directions.
Ron Ruppert
rruppert@bass.cuesta.cc.ca.us


Morro Bay Field Trip Results

Mike Stiles
 

I received this and thought I'd pass it along.
Mike Stiles

A group from Santa Cruz County led by Clay Kempf found the following
interesting (well interesting to me!) birds in and around Morro Bay
over the
last weekend

Morro Rock
Pelagic Cormorant - possibly nesting
Canyon Wren
Rock Wren
Peregrine Falcon

Morro Bay
2 Eurasian Wigeon - seen off Sweet Springs
Glaucous-winged Gull - seen at the Marina
Greater Scaup (4) - in Marina by campgrounds

We spent Saturday in and around Morro bay and then travelled up Highway
58
to Carrizo Plain

on Highway 58 we had
Greater Roadrunner
Golden Eagle
Red-Breasted Sapsucker (3)
Ferruginous Hawk
California Thrasher

At Carrizo Plains Nature Center
Mountain Bluebird (2) just prior to center
Vesper Sparrow (in saltbush by center)
California Thrasher
Burrowing Owl (in field on right hand side of driveway up to Nature
Center)

On dirt road (Seven Mile Road?) back over to Highway 58
Sage Thrasher
Sage Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow - by water tank c. halfway down raod
Barn Owl (in hole on side of canyon just on junction to Highway 58)

Finally approx halfway down BitterWater Rd (?) to Highway 46
Praire Falcon

Andy Stone


SLOCo birding 07 Feb 00

Mike Stiles
 

I received this from Jim Royer. Thought I'd pass it along to the group.
For you out-of-towners Perfumo/See Canyons can be reached either from
Los Osos Valley Road in San Luis Obispo, or from Avila Bay Dr between
Hwy 101 and Avila Beach.

The weather cleared at the last minute and four of us went owling on
the
rescheduled Saturday night Morro Coast Audubon Society Owling
Fieldtrip,
2/5/00. We started by driving to the windmill located just on the
Perfumo
Canyon side of the end of the pavement for See Canyon Road - if you
started
from See Canyon proceed about two-tenths of a mile past the end of the
pavement (and the cattle guard). This windmill is also located next to
some
willow riparian habitat and a gate for a side road which heads toward
the
coast. Here we had a N.SAW-WHET OWL calling at about 9:00 (responding
to my
whistles but not calling close to us). A single well spaced whistle
later
was replaced by a more agitated sounding series of notes. This owl, or
a
Screech Owl, flew right over our heads. There were also two SCREECH
OWLS and
a GREAT-HORNED OWL here.
We tried other spots along the road without success, except for a spot
one-tenth of a mile on the See Canyon side of the end of the Perfumo
Canyon
pavement (the first end of the pavement when driving from Los Osos
Valley
Road). This is also about one-tenth past a large sign which mentions
cattle
and no trespassing on either side of the road. At this spot we heard a
SPOTTED OWL (responding to the double whistle call at the end of the
National
Geo Spotted Owl tape). It called repeatedly over about a thirty minute
period and at one point was right over head, but we could never see it
in the
dense trees. It made a variety of noises, with many whistles (two to
five in
a series), clicking sounds, and a bark or two, as well as other
indescribable
noises. We had a LONG-EARED OWL call twice nearby from the riparian
habitat
downslope from the Spotted. A BARN OWL was seen here also. We stayed
at
this spot from about ten p.m. till just after 11 p.m.

Jim Royer


SLOCo Birds for January 00

Tom Edell
 

Below is a draft of my Eureka column for the Morro Coast Audubon Society
Flyway newsletter for the month of January 2000. I would appreciate any
comments, additions, or corrections. Thanks.

Tom

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA
tedell@aol.com
===============================================
Eureka!
THE BIRDS OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY - JANUARY 2000

January was a fairly quiet month in SLOCo until the advent of the Morro Bay
Winter Bird Festival. This year the festival's all day boat trip on 1/15
produced the most exciting birds of the weekend. The boat headed for the
Santa Lucia Bank, which is approximately 26 to 27 miles WSW of Point Buchon.
Within minutes of arriving at the bank, a juvenile SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS
(second record for Southern California in the last 100 years), adult LAYSAN
ALBATROSS, and adult BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS had flown over or around the boat
giving all aboard excellent looks. Other highlights of the trip were a
FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER, 6 PINKFOOTED SHEARWATERS, at least four SOOTY
SHEARWATERS, 10-12 POMARINE JAEGERS, 3-4 immature BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, a
COMMON MURRE, 10 CASSIN'S AUKLETS, and 450 RHINOCERUS AUKLETS. A rare SEI
WHALE topped off the day.

Cattle Egret -- Up to six near the Cal Poly Dairy Unit on 1/14 were the only
reported (TE).

Greater White-fronted Goose -- Up to two were present at Laguna Lake through
1/16+ (JC).

Snow Geese -- A group of two adults and two first winter birds were seen
around the Morro Bay Estuary from 1/8-30+ (JRo). A flock of 19 were feeding
in a field south of San Simeon Acres and West of Hwy 1 on 1/11 (GS) with
three there on 1/17 (TE). An adult was at Oceano County Park on 1/16 (CM).
Eight were in a field north of the Hearst Castle entrance off Hwy 1 on 1/17
(TE). Three were in a field along Oso Flaco Lake on 1/17 (JC).

Ross's Goose -- Unprecedented numbers continued to be seen in January. One
spending its time on the Morro Bay golf course fairway adjacent to the State
Park campground, later spent time trailing Camp Keep students near the State
Park Marina 1/9-25+ (JRo). Two wintering at Laguna Lake were reported from
1/11-16 (mob) and are probably still present. Three were in a field along Oso
Flaco Lake on 1/17 (JC). Eleven were in a field south of San Simeon Acres
and West of Hwy 1 on 1/28 (TE)

Brant -- The Morro Bay population rose to 3400 birds on 1/13 (JRo).
Canada Goose -- A small raced bird was seen at Oceano County Park on 1/16
(CM). Twenty-three were in a field north of the Hearst Castle entrance off
Hwy 1 on 1/17 (TE).

Eurasian Wigeon -- A high count of eight males were recorded on Morro Bay
during the month (KG,mob).

Black Scoter -- Two flew-by offshore of the bluffs north of Cayucos on 1/12
(BS). Two more were seen in Avila on 1/13 (BS).

Hooded Merganser -- Four, two males and two females, were present on Whale
Rock Reservoir on 1/14 (TE).

Bald Eagle -- An adult was seen off and on at Atascadero Lake between 1/13-27
(MH).

Ruff -- One found in the mudflat off Sweet Springs Nature Preserve on 1/13
(BB), may well be the same bird found there in October.

Glaucous Gull -- A first winter bird was seen at the north tip of the Morro
Bay Sandspit on 1/9 (JR).

Black Skimmer -- Two were present on Morro Bay through the month (mob).

Burrowing Owl -- A rain drenched bird was seen along the bluff at the
elephant seal parking area on 1/16-17 (TE).

Vaux's Swift -- Rare in winter, a dozen were seen flying over the Elfin
Forest on 1/30 (MS).

Rufous Hummingbird -- Early date, a young male was at a backyard feeder in
Arroyo Grande on 1/20 (BS).

Williamson's Sapsucker -- A female seen on 1/2-6 at the Saucito Ranch house
on the Carrizo Plain gave SLOCO its first County record (GB, TE,GS).

Pacific-slope Flycatcher -- One found near the feed bins at Cal Poly in
December, was refound on 1/11 (MS).

Cassin's Kingbird -- One found on the Cal Poly Campus in November was still
present on 1/4 (MS). Another was found in Arroyo Grande on 1/4 (BS).

Barn Swallow -- Rare in winter, one was seen at Oso Flaco Lake on 1/17 (JC).

Magnolia Warbler -- One present at the Oceano Campground lagoon since October
was still present as of 1/16 (CM).

Hermit Warbler -- One was seen in the Monterey pine forest in Cambria on 1/27
(KC).

Black-throated Gray Warbler -- Two were found at Oso Flaco Lake on 1/17 (JC).

Black-and-white Warbler -- The bird wintering at the Oceano Campground lagoon
was reported between 1/7-16 (JC,JS,CM).

Wilson's Warbler -- two were found at Oso Flaco Lake on 1/17 (JC).

Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow -- The bird found on the Morro Bay State Park
marina spit in November, was refound during the high tides on 1/21-22 (TC,KC).

White-throated Sparrow -- The bird wintering at Cal Poly was seen again on
1/4 (MS).

OBSERVERS: Bill Bouton, George Butterworth, Ted Chandick, Jamie Chavez,
Karen Clarke, Tom Edell, Kimball Garrett, Marlin Harms, Curtis Marantz, John
Roser (JRo), Jim Royer, Brad Schram, Joe Seals, 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.

Tom Edell


Re: [sbcobirding] Lake trip

Joe Seals <gardenguru@...>
 

Before others start adding to the "strictly sbco or
sloco birds" in the listserves enforcement serial, let
me state that my intent was to offer a little humor to
the two groups. I certainly did not and do not wish
to rile the purists and I now promise this will never
happen again. I will found an "Odd Birding Trips"
listserve group and will send out invitations shortly.

Joe
utopiabirding@zgroups.com

--- Jim Greaves <greaves@mail.silcom.com> wrote:
Meaning no disrespect here, but when I mentioned
Stilt Sandpipers in
Ventura last week, someone quite bluntly said
(privately) I should use
Ventura County list. Might I suggest a German
birding list for these "odd"
sightings, or will this now become a
travelogue-list? :-)

At 6:36 AM -0800 1/31/00, Joe Seals wrote:
All:
I took a quick trip down to the lake last
Thursday and, even in the foggy, cloudy weather, I
had
some interesting sitings.
The usuals were there: lots of MALLARDS,
SCAUPS,
CORMORANTS, BLACKBIRDS, RING-NECKED DUCKS, and
BLACK-NECKED (EARED) GREBES. But there were plenty
of
TUFTED DUCKS, a few POCHARDS, and one winter female
LONG-TAILED DUCK among a small group of mallards.
Especially exciting was a LITTLE AUK (a lifer for
me)
near the breakwater to the marina.
Did I forget to say that this was a trip to
Lake
Constance (Die Bodansee) on the
German-Austrian-Swiss
border? Had you going for a moment, didn't I?
I was on a training visit to our German
partners
and was allowed one-afternoon "sight-seeing".
Other
lifers for me: MARSH TIT (at the bird feeders at
the
company) and a SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (no, I didn't
make this up) on the tree as I stood waiting for
the
hotel shuttle bus back to the airport.
The LITTLE AUK was special in that they are
strictly ocean and coast birds that only rarely
"crash
land" on inland waters after storms.
Joe Seals
Santa Maria
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Lake trip

Joe Seals <gardenguru@...>
 

All:

I took a quick trip down to the lake last
Thursday and, even in the foggy, cloudy weather, I had
some interesting sitings.

The usuals were there: lots of MALLARDS, SCAUPS,
CORMORANTS, BLACKBIRDS, RING-NECKED DUCKS, and
BLACK-NECKED (EARED) GREBES. But there were plenty of
TUFTED DUCKS, a few POCHARDS, and one winter female
LONG-TAILED DUCK among a small group of mallards.
Especially exciting was a LITTLE AUK (a lifer for me)
near the breakwater to the marina.

Did I forget to say that this was a trip to Lake
Constance (Die Bodansee) on the German-Austrian-Swiss
border? Had you going for a moment, didn't I?

I was on a training visit to our German partners
and was allowed one-afternoon "sight-seeing". Other
lifers for me: MARSH TIT (at the bird feeders at the
company) and a SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (no, I didn't
make this up) on the tree as I stood waiting for the
hotel shuttle bus back to the airport.

The LITTLE AUK was special in that they are
strictly ocean and coast birds that only rarely "crash
land" on inland waters after storms.

Joe Seals
Santa Maria
__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.
http://im.yahoo.com


SLOCo birds 30 Jan 2000

Mike Stiles
 

Today I saw a flock of about 12 Vaux's Swifts. They were flying over
the Elfin Forest in Los Osos. There are winter records for this bird,
but they are uncommon this time of year.

Mike Stiles
Los Osos,CA
mstiles@calpoly.edu


North Coast 1/28

Tom Edell
 

I took my daughter to school this morning (Cambria) and decided I might as
well look around a little while since I was up that way. It was nice to see
that the northern creek mouths had broken, thought what is left of the
lagoons won't interest as many birds. There was a good group of gulls on the
beach at the mouth of Santa Rosa Creek that had 164 Mew, 82 California, 20
Western, 3 Heermann's, 2 Glaucous-winged, 2 Herring and a single Ring-billed.
Further north and just south of San Simeon Acres in a cattle grazed field
west of Hwy 1 was a flock of 11 ROSS'S GEESE. On my drive south I saw them
flying to the north. Just south of San Simeon Cove I stopped to scope
offshore for murrelets without luck. I did see four White-winged Scoters
(fairly scarce this winter) and 80-100 Red-throated Loons spread along the
coast, which is more than I would have expected. A tight group of 5 Pacific
Loons were also in the area. North of Hearst Castle an adult FERRUGIONUS
HAWK was on a telephone pole adjacent to Hwy 1. I drove north as far as the
elephant seal parking area where I stopped to look through the gulls. I was
up this way during the Winter Bird Festival and found an assortment of birds
partaking in the feeding opportunity provided but the ongoing puping. There
were far fewer gulls than I expected and nothing of note. Always interesting
to watch and listen to the seals squabble though.

Tom

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA
tedell@aol.com


peregrines

Mike Stiles
 

Steve
I have an anecdote of strange Peregrine behavior you might be
interested in. I was hiking the sand spit and heard a bird screaming. I
saw a Peregrine on the ground about a foot away from a Marbled Godwit.
The Peregrine was screaming at the Godwit, but they both just stood
there eyeing each other. After a few minutes the Peregrine flew away,
and a few minutes after that, the Godwit flew off.

I wasn't sure if the falcon needed the godwit to fly so it could kill
it. Do they take prey from the ground?

Mike Stiles
Los Osos, CA
mstiles@calpoly.edu

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