Date   

merlin

Steve Schubert <S_Schub@...>
 

A merlin flew across the salt marsh and perched in a pine tree on the
south side of the Morro Bay State Park marina today.

Steve


Magnolia Warbler continues

Jamie M Chavez <jcwings@...>
 

Hello,

I received a call tonight from Don Ryan here in Santa Maria. He spotted
the wintering female Magnolia Warbler today at the Oceano Lagoon. He
first observed it along the nature trail from the Coolidge and Norswing
entrance. Approximately where the wooden footbridge with hand rails is
located. Later in the morning he found it again at the entrance to the
service road from the campground. I recall this is site #70 and 71.

Jamie Chavez


skimmers

Steve Schubert <S_Schub@...>
 

Five black skimmers at the edge of the Morro Bay salt marsh today to the
south of the State Park Marina.
The peregrines at Morro Rock are very active- food exchanges, mating,
frequently perched at last year's eyrie (the pothole with the "diving
board" perch), and should be egg- laying soon. This is a new adult
female (the 12 year old female died last June), but I suspect this may
also be a new male. Will be interesting to wait and see if they can
hatch their own eggs.

Steve


a pretty day at Soda Lake 3/6/00

Miller, Mark C <mark.c.miller@...>
 

Hi Everyone--

On my way home from LA on Monday 3/6, I drove Soda Lake Road from highway
166 to highway 58 and took 58 out to the east. East of Maricopa, 166 is
closed due to flooding. In the way of birds, I saw 2 ad. light-morph
Ferruginous Hawks, 2 Golden Eagles, and many Mountain Bluebirds. Nothing
rare among the Horned Larks, Savannah Sparrows, and Lark Sparrows, and no
waterbirds on the lake. The roads on the east side were too gooey for my
car, but it was nice seeing a dusting of snow on the Temblors and all the
green grass and puffy clouds. Two Phainopeplas on highway 58 at milepost KER
3.0 were a treat, as were a San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel from Soda Lake
Road and 15 Pronghorn on highway 58 just west of McKittrick.

Mark Miller


Re: Lewis' Woodpecker

Tom Edell
 

Jamie....Interesting sighting. There are no previous SLOCo records of
Lewis's Woodpecker in the Cuyama Valley. I checked Paul Lehman's Birds of
Santa Barbara County and he also does not mention any records for the valley.
I agree that the area does seem to have good habitat.

Tom

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA
tedell@aol.com

In a message dated 03/05/2000 3:08:27 PM Pacific Standard Time,
jcwings@pronet.net writes:

<< While traveling west on Highway 166 heading back into Santa Maria from
the Central Valley, I spotted a single Lewis' Woodpecker flycatching
from the top snags of a dead oak right next to the highway. This was
approximately between mile markers 42 and 43 where there is a sharp bend
in the highway. This is a few miles west of the Spanish Ranch. I didn't
take the time to stop but there may be a few more around that spot. It
looks like good Lewis' Woodpecker habitat to me. >>


Lewis' Woodpecker

Jamie M Chavez <jcwings@...>
 

While traveling west on Highway 166 heading back into Santa Maria from
the Central Valley, I spotted a single Lewis' Woodpecker flycatching
from the top snags of a dead oak right next to the highway. This was
approximately between mile markers 42 and 43 where there is a sharp bend
in the highway. This is a few miles west of the Spanish Ranch. I didn't
take the time to stop but there may be a few more around that spot. It
looks like good Lewis' Woodpecker habitat to me.

Jamie Chavez
jcwings@pronet.net
http://www.egroups.com/group/sbcobirding/info.html


kingbirds

Marlin Harms
 

Hi all,
I got a new yard bird this stormy morning, but I'm not 100% sure what it was.
(I live on Estero Ave. in Morro Bay.) I heard a quick call & saw two
kingbirds at the back of my yard. They were being buffeted by the wind &
flew down to get some berries out of the bushes below as I tried to look for
white outer tail markings, which I don't think I saw. What I did see was
distinct white chin/throat contrasting with the gray of breast & very slight
white at tips of tail feathers. Also the wing coverts of one were
significantly pale fringed, the other one slightly so. As you may be
guessing, I'm leaning toward Cassin's Kingbird. After a brief stay, the
local mockingbird ran them off. I didn't get a real good feel for how dark
the back was, nor how bright the yellow was in the dark, cloudy lighting.
Cheers,
Marlin Harms


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


Wood Ducks

Roger Zachary <rzachary@...>
 

Hello,

I was over at the de Anza trail yesterday, leading a bird walk for the
annual celebration of the trail. The birding was great! We observed at
least 3 pairs of Wood Ducks up in the cottonwood trees within the first
quarter mile of the trail. Appeared like they were searching for nest
sites in the trees. Last year (April) I observed a pair of Wood Ducks in a
cottonwood just right inside the trailhead area.

Further down the trail about a mile, we observed a pair Turkey Vultures
copulating. There were several others in a large cottonwood with one pair
in the mating postion. Anyway, it's that time of year...

Roger Lau went over to the sewage ponds afterwards and reported the
following species: Wood Ducks(1-pr)., Ruddy Ducks(25), Cinnamon Teals(30),
Blue-winged Teal(1-male), Greater Scaup(1-male), Ring-necked Duck(1),
American Pipit(1), and Violet-green/Tree Swallows.

Have a Good One!

Roger Zachary


Re: PS Flycatcher 3 March 2000

Tom Edell
 

Mike.....Did the PS Flycatcher look the same as the one you saw in December?
Just kidding. While this bird is in the same location and therefore may be
the bird that wintered there, county records show that it could be an early
migrant. Early dates of arrival for this species include an individual at
Spooner's Cove Campground in Montana de Oro State Park on 3 Mar 1993 and two
at Cerro Alto Campground in the Santa Lucia Mountains on 4 Mar 1986.

It would be great if we all posted SLOCo arrival dates of spring migrants to
the list. You can check the status and distributional bird list "The Birds
of San Luis Obispo County California" that is published by Morro Coast
Audubon to find out when migrants typically arrive. Regards......Tom

Tom Edell
Cayucos, Ca
tedell@aol.com

In a message dated 03/03/2000 9:19:45 PM Pacific Standard Time,
mstiles@calpoly.edu writes:

<< Today at Cal Poly in the creek near the feed mill I refound the
Pacific-slope Flycatcher that was first seen in December. I assume it
was the same one. I saw it in the same tree anyway. If it's not the same
bird it's an early migrant >>


PS Flycatcher 3 March 2000

Mike Stiles
 

Today at Cal Poly in the creek near the feed mill I refound the
Pacific-slope Flycatcher that was first seen in December. I assume it
was the same one. I saw it in the same tree anyway. If it's not the same
bird it's an early migrant.

Mike Stiles
Los Osos, CA
mstiles@calpoly.edu


Brant trip

TnBPope@...
 

Reminder of the Brant field trip with John Roser this Sat., 4 March - meet at
east end of Morro Bay State Park Marina parking lot at 11:30AM.

Ted Pope
tnbpope@cs.com
547-0242


Re: 4 March Brant field trip

TnBPope@...
 

Sorry - forgot to mention John is doing this for the Morro Coast Audubon
Society.

Ted


4 March Brant field trip

TnBPope@...
 

Saturday, 4 March, John Roser is leading a field trip on which he will share
his expertise on the Brant - a sea goose which migrates from Northern Alaska
and Artic waters as far south as Baja California. Many Brant are seen in
Morro Bay this time of year and John will tell us where they are from, where
they are going, why they are here, etc.

Meet John at 11:30AM at the East end of the Morro Bay State Park Marina
parking lot. Bring a spotting scope if you wish. Call me if you need more
info.

Ted Pope
547-0242


Bullocks Oriole

Tom Edell
 

I am hoping someone can help me out. If I remember correctly, a Bullock's
Oriole was reported at the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in January during
the Winter Bird Festival. I would like to determine who found the bird and
the dates it was seen. FYI, this species is very rare to casual in SLOCo
during winter, averaging less that one bird per year. I'd appreciate any
information on this or any other recent winter records of Bullock's Oriole in
SLOCo.

Tom

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA
tedell@aol.com


cooper's hawks on the road

Gale Kordowski
 

Bill and I had just turned right onto Hwy 1 from Grand
Ave. in G.B. Sunday late morning, when Bill said in a
frantic voice �my God, look at those birds��just
before the car in front of us were (what appeared to
be) two Cooper�s Hawks that apparently locked talons
and dropped from the sky to the middle of Hwy 1�(thank
goodness the car going southbound stopped and the car
in front of us slowed down)�.just that quick one bird
flew left and the other went to the right. As we
slowly drove on I saw the bird that flew left soaring
in the sky (its tail was very long)�.as we drove on, I
bird that flew to the right had landed on a low tree
stump. It was hunched over, wings slightly spread
out, and was hanging onto a lifeless red-winged
blackbird in its talons�its tail was also very long�I
quickly asked Bill to turn around to make sure the
birds were not hurt�.when we drove back to the
scene�all the birds were gone.

The event happened near the driveway to the mobile
home park on Hwy 1 between Pismo Monarch Grove and
Grand.



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Bald eagle

Marlin Harms
 

Hi all,
I saw the adult bald eagle at Atascadero Lake again mid-afternoon today after
not seeing it, but checking frequently, for about 3 weeks. It was in the
same tall tree above 9576 Marchant Way, on the west side of the lake.
Cheers,
Marlin Harms


dark morph Ferruginous Hawk

Guy Tingos <gtingos@...>
 

A group of Santa Barbara birders cruised the Cuyama area on Saturday and
had a beautiful dark morph Ferruginous Hawk. The bird was in a large
field on the north side of 166 between Highway 33 and Kirchenmann Road,
just east of the sign for Tut Brothers Farm.

Also seen were lots of standard Ferruginous Hawks, 2 Prairie Falcons, 1
Merlin, 1 Golden Eagle, 3-4 Mountain Bluebirds, 1 Sage Thrasher, several
Sage Sparrows and Lawrence's Goldfinches. No Mountain Plovers,
Longspurs, or Solitaires were seen.

Guy Tingos


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. >>

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