April Fools Birds

Karen Clarke <seachest@...>

The numbers of gulls at the mouth of Santa Rosa Creek in Cambria have dropped dramatically in the last week or so.  Friday, 3/31, there were 7 Mew Gulls and 7 California Gulls.  Feeding from the dumpster at my house was an immature Glaucous-winged Gull.  During the winter 20+ gulls gorged themselves on restaurant remains in the dumpster.  Now 4-6 gulls partake of the feast.
Saturday, 4/1, I visited Heilman Park in Atascadero in order to find the Chipping Sparrows that were reported to be there.  I didn't see one during the Big Year competition.  I found one quickly, feeding at the edge of the path to the tennis courts.  Many birds were present in the oak woodland---White-tailed Kite (1), Wild Turkey (2+), Band-tailed Pigeon (20+), Acorn Woodpecker (20+), Violet-green, Tree, Barn, and possible Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Oak Titmouse (15+), Bushtit (20+), White-breasted Nuthatch (6+), Western Bluebird (4+), Yellow-rumped Warbler (2), Spotted Towhee (3+), White-crowned Sparrow (14+), Golden-crowned Sparrow (8+), Lesser Goldfinch (20+), and Lawrence's Goldfinch (1).
I walked to the wastewater ponds of the Atascadero sewage treatment plant.  There was a fair number of duck species:  Wood Duck (2), American Wigeon (8+), Mallard (16+), Cinnamon Teal (16+), Bufflehead (2), Ruddy duck (20+).  Some shore birds worked the water's edge:  Greater Yellowlegs (4+), peeps (12+)(didn't have a spotting scope), Common Snipe (1).  I heard or saw 12+ Common Yellowthroats.
Karen C.