Atascadero Lake

Roger Zachary


I birded around Atascadero Lake yesterday and found a CACKLING GOOSE. This possibly might be the same bird that has over-wintered at the lake the past few years.

Roger Zachary

What kind of dove?

Michelle LaMoustique

Driving on Hill Street in Nipomo I saw two doves on a phone wire. They were tan colored, with a scallopped pattern all over their bodies. They had red eyes. I've never seen one like this. They appeared to be a little smaller than a mourning dove. One of those times I wish I had had a camera with me!

Michelle Maani
Nipomo, California

Brandt, Morro Bay

Mike Bush

Midafternoon on Sunday during a very low tide there were 50+ Brandt off the
Bayside Cafe in the channel.

Photos can be seen:

Mike Bush
Los Osos

Bird Variety Day

Teddy Llovet <bluheron@...>

An amazing day of birding. I showed Jim M of Vancouver around our birding towns today and the birds showed up for us everywhere in just the right light. Jim has been an avid birder since youth and now photographs them.

At the MB marina we joined Dave Keeling to watch and listen to three Red-throated Loons call to each other. A female Kingfisher perched on a nearby mast looked ready to fish. At Morro Rock we watched the south side Peregrine pair scream, circle and dive bomb a Red-tail Hawk perched in "their" territory. According to Peregrine watcher Bob, this phenomenon has been going on for several weeks. Also near the rock were a Double-crested, Pelagic and Brant's Cormorant in close proximity to each other. Many Eared and Horned Grebes were seen.

Near the Audubon Overlook we had the richest variety of winter birds I have ever seen in one place (I didn't try to count them) - Dowitchers, Semipalmated Plovers, a Black-bellied Plover, Green-winged Teals, Cinnamon Teals, Northern Pintails, Avocets, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Ducks and the usual locals. Avila treated us to a Pacific Loon along with Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes and another female Kingfisher. By the time we made it to Pismo Creek and the many Ruddy Ducks there the light was fading.

I posted one photo of the Pacific Loon and several of the Red-throated Loon for comparison. Comments on ID welcome.

fly the bird path ~} ~} ~}
Teddy Llovet

Fine birds of Morro Bay

David L. Keeling

Hi all,

Happy New Year!!

Yesterday, and this morning, I took breaks from working on "Birds of SLO, 2011" and had FANTASTIC fun birding nearby. At the Morro Bay State Park marina, the red-throated loons are a treat. Adding to the visual, they call to each other from time to time, unlike our common loons who do not seem to grace us with their call. Watched the show with Teddy Llovet for awhile and had a kingfisher perch on a nearby boat mast, and visits from common loon and double-crested cormorant.

Later, I lucked into a close encounter with the red-necked grebe, first the T-pier, and as it moved further into the bay, I had it again with Mike Stiles off the overlook by Anchor Park.

I took a jillion pictures and won't have time to look at all of them for awhile, so I went fishing and found a few samples to post on Flickr. And, to compliment the grebe, I added a few of the long-tailed duck, taken a few days earlier from my kayak. Not perfect, but I've not noticed any other posts of its handsome face.

AND, I need to sincerely thank the ill Dave Lawrence for making this all possible. (He'll understand)


Dave Keeling
Morro Bay

Re: Lesser Yellowlegs ?? Morro Bay

Matthew Dodder

Looks to me like a Greater Yellowlegs primarily because of the bill length.
On Jan 7, 2012, at 11:34 AM, Kaaren Perry <> wrote:

I am having some nervous thoughts regarding my initial id of this bird. While the bill appears straight, there are some other features that bother me. Any thoughts on the id would be appreciated.

I have posted another view of the bird:

Kaaren Perry
Morro Bay

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Lesser Yellowlegs ?? Morro Bay

Kaaren Perry

I am having some nervous thoughts regarding my initial id of this bird. While the bill appears straight, there are some other features that bother me. Any thoughts on the id would be appreciated.

I have posted another view of the bird:

Kaaren Perry
Morro Bay

Lesser Yellowlegs - Morro Bay

Kaaren Perry

A Lesser Yellowlegs was at Old Creek mouth this morning, 1/7/2012. It was in the large lagoon created by this mornings high tide.

Photo link:

Kaaren Perry
Morro Bay


Chris Crescioli

Friday evening, about 5:30, I went to Class Act Dance at 2508 Spring St, to pick up my daughter Sophia. After I got out of the car I saw an egret fly into the center of a large oak tree behind the building. I was surprised and tried to locate the bird, when another flew into the tree. I was able to see at least 3 inside the tree, apparently hunkering down for the night. It was a bit on the dark side, with lights from the building making it difficult to see well but I think they were Great Egrets.

Red-necked Grebe and others on the Coast

Paul Rosso <prrosso@...>

Jan 6th, the Red-necked Grebe was at the T- Pier off the non-CG side. At
Tidelands Park, we had a Merlin flyby.

Further up the coast at the San Simeon Pier was the White-winged Scoter
(thanks for lifting and flapping wings).

At the 2nd Vista Point towards San Simeon were 6 Surfbirds, Ruddy Turnstone
and 2 Black Oystercatchers.

Back at the Morro State Park were 3 Red-throated Loons swimming together. A
good birding day with 64 species.

Paul & Rita Rosso

Lompoc, CA

FW: Short Ocean

Rouvaishyana <rouvaishana@...>

Forwarded message.


From: Gerry Fuller []
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 2:31 PM
To: Rouvaishyana
Subject: Half-Day Ocean Trip at Bird Festival

Greetings to Audubon Society members,

The Half-Day Ocean trip at the Bird Festival is not filled and is now
open to the public, starting with local birders. This trip is scheduled
for Sun., Jan. 15, 2012 from 6:45 AM to 12:00 noon. It meets at Patriot
Sportfishing in Avila Beach. We have 21 spaces filled of the 42
available, and are looking to recruit interested people to fill those
spots. This will be an opportunity to see pelagic birds with
experienced guides, while helping the Bird Festival cover expenses for
the trip.

To reserve a spot, send a check for $60 to: MBWBF, 2875 Ironwood Avenue,
Morro Bay, CA 93442. Checks must be received by Thur., Jan. 12, so
time is of the essence. This opportunity is first-come, first-served.


Program committee co-chair


Gerry Fuller

Bird Festival Registrar

Morro Bay, Oceano and Oso Flaco updates

Kevin Zimmer

As of this morning, the Red-necked Grebe was still just off the Tidelands Park at the south end of the Embarcadero in Morro Bay.  The Long-tailed Duck was also opposite the Coast Guard pier (hanging with Buffleheads and Eared Grebes).  There was also a 1st-cycle Thayer's Gull in the immediate vicinity.

The Tropical Kingbird continues at Oceano Campground.  It was hanging around at the far tip of the "Peninsula" in the clearing with the bat boxes, but I also heard it in the southernmost part of the campground.  It was sporadically vocal during the hour that I was there, and habitually returned to the same perches.  The Cackling Goose and Snow Goose are also still there, and are hopelessly corrupted by the various domestic geese and ducks.

Not a lot going on at Oso Flaco (tons of people there today for whatever reason), but Barn Swallows outnumbered Tree Swallows (12 Barns and 5 Trees by my count), which is pretty interesting for the first week of January!

Kevin Zimmer

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Hooded Mergansers

Kevin Zimmer

There are 6 Hooded Mergansers (3 males, 3 females) on the large pond just south of Atascadero on the east side of US 101.  This pond has attracted Hooded Mergansers in past years as well.  Today was the first time this winter that I've checked the pond.

For those unfamiliar with this pond, it is ca. 2.4 miles south of the Santa Barbara Road Exit (the southernmost exit within the Atascadero city limits.  There is a large gravel turnout on the east side of the north-bound lanes that makes a convenient and safe place to pull over and scope the pond.  An adult Bald Eagle has frequented the vicinity of this pond for at least the last 2 winters, although I did not see it during my brief stop this afternoon.

Kevin Zimmer

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Sweet Springs

Michelle LaMoustique

I went out to Sweet Springs and had several firsts for me: Green-winged Teals, Blue-winged Teals, and American Avocet. Also seen: American Wigeons, a single Cinnamon Teal, several Willets, a couple of Black-bellied Plovers, Northern Shovelers, Mallards, a Great Egret, and a Belted Kingfisher. There is a beehive behind the base of a eucalyptus tree in a hole that has been cemented over. Monarch butterflies were to be seen everywhere.

Michelle Maani
Nipomo, California

Ferruginous Hawk morphs

David Lawrence


Among highlights enjoyed during a trip to the Carrizo Plain yesterday were 2 Ferruginous Hawk adults in an interaction high above Simmler Road. Why can't we all just get along....?

A before-during-after trilogy is posted at:

Dave Lawrence
Arroyo Grande


Brian H. O. A. McHugh <orrock1946@...>

Hello Group! I am unsubscribing tonight; my partner and I are moving to New Mexico. I want to thank Mike for this birdsite, and especially Maggie for her superb reporting and help!



Brian McHugh
805.406.3015 (mobile)

Reflections Blog:

Poetry Blog:

I find ecstasy in living - the mere sense of living is joy enough. ~ Emily Dickinson

West Cuesta Ridge - Townsend's Solitaire

Tom Edell

On Monday, Kevin Zimmer relayed to me that he had three TOWNSEND'S
SOLITAIRES and a HERMIT WARBLER along West Cuesta Ridge from the Botanical
Area to the north on December 28. I drove up there this afternoon, but was
unable to turn one up, though I only had time to check around the Botanical
Area. I only encountered the expected common species including a male
MOUNTAIN QUAIL that ran across the road in front of my car.

Be aware that this road is in terrible shape and only a high clearance
vehicle is recommended due to the depth of unavoidable pot holes. You can
skirt the edge of a lot of the holes, but you can't miss them all..

Tom Edell

Cayucos, CA

Tropical Kingbird/Oceano/ 1/4

Maggie Smith

Paul Keller and I had the TROPICAL KINGBIRD mid morning on the peninsula at the Oceano Campground.  We also saw a CASSIN'S KINGBIRD near campsite 71.  As previously reported the immature SNOW GOOSE and the CACKLING GOOSE were with a group of domestic geese in the campground.

At Oso Flaco Lake, a few Canvasbacks remain near the boardwalk.  One Barn Swallow was with a small flock of Tree Swallows.
Maggie Smith
Arroyo Grande

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Bitterwater Rd. Lark Bunting

Brad Schram

Kevin Zimmer birded along Bitterwater Road with Bill Rucci yesterday, finding a LARK BUNTING in the process. I insert below Kevin's directions:

"Today's bird was ca. 11 miles north of Hwy. 58 on Bitterwater Road, or, about 1.5 miles north of the only conspicuous stock tank (which is on the right side of the road as you head north on Bitterwater from Hwy. 58). The bird was feeding with a flock of 15+ Lark Sparrows, right where a private road takes off up a hill on the left (west) side of Bitterwater Road. The pasture is fenced for goats, and there is a neighborhood watch sign posted on the fence."

Brad Schram
Arroyo Grande

Re: Bald Eagle along Hwy 101 north of Santa Margarita

Chris Crescioli

I see one or two Bald Eagles roosting there nearly every morning and
evening on my commute from SLO to Paso. On one morning I saw one alight
from a tree top on the hill on the W side of 101. Once in a while I
will stop with my daughter and watch them with binoculars. Also of
note, near the Hwy 101 park and ride, east bound on hwy 58 Sunday I saw
a road kill bobcat while riding my bike.
Chris Crescioli

gmh wrote:

Yesterday (January 2) while driving home to Atascadero from San Luis
Obispo at around 2PM, I briefly noticed a BALD EAGLE roosting in a
snag toward the northeast end of the large pond located just north of
the Santa Margarita off-ramp from Hwy 101. The large pond/wetland
occurs along the east side of northbound Hwy 101.

Geoff Hoetker
Atascadero, CA

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