Migrant Cackling Geese and Horned Grebe


Tom Edell
 

This morning I had two flocks of calling Cackling Geese around Cayucos, 68 seen from Cayucos Creek and 47 seen from San Geronimo Creek at Estero Bluffs State Park. This adds to other flocks reported over the past few days. The large flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese that were seen last month though still a possibility are no longer being reported. I only mention this because it should not be assumed a large flock of flying Geese in early to mid-Oct are Greater White-fronted Geese. When using the Morro Coast Audubon booklet “The Bird of San Luis Obispo County, California” keep in mind that it was last revised in 2006 and that the SLO eBird Bar Charts are probably more accurate. Since 2006 Aleutian Cackling Goose numbers have substantially increased and this likely one reason for an earlier arrival.

 

There have been a few early reports of Horned Grebes at saltwater and freshwater locations. This species is not expected until mid-Oct and early reports usually involve distant birds. In particular, early reports of birds on freshwater need to be well documented. Check out this link to Don Roberson’s web page on Identification problems between Eared and Horned Grebes.

 

Lastly, do not assume that you are seeing a particular species because someone reported it previously… you may be looking at a different individual and/or if they got it wrong you will too. Always best to document an unexpected bird with a description and/or photo.

 

Tom Edell

Cayucos, CA


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Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA


Mike Bush
 

Thanks for the bird updates and additional ID information, Tom.

Jeanne Miller and I saw a flock of 14 Greater White-fronted Goose flying over Oceano Campground yesterday at 1:30pm.

Mike


Mike Bush
Los Osos, California



On Wed, Oct 13, 2021 at 11:20 AM Tom Edell via groups.io <TEdell=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

This morning I had two flocks of calling Cackling Geese around Cayucos, 68 seen from Cayucos Creek and 47 seen from San Geronimo Creek at Estero Bluffs State Park. This adds to other flocks reported over the past few days. The large flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese that were seen last month though still a possibility are no longer being reported. I only mention this because it should not be assumed a large flock of flying Geese in early to mid-Oct are Greater White-fronted Geese. When using the Morro Coast Audubon booklet “The Bird of San Luis Obispo County, California” keep in mind that it was last revised in 2006 and that the SLO eBird Bar Charts are probably more accurate. Since 2006 Aleutian Cackling Goose numbers have substantially increased and this likely one reason for an earlier arrival.

 

There have been a few early reports of Horned Grebes at saltwater and freshwater locations. This species is not expected until mid-Oct and early reports usually involve distant birds. In particular, early reports of birds on freshwater need to be well documented. Check out this link to Don Roberson’s web page on Identification problems between Eared and Horned Grebes.

 

Lastly, do not assume that you are seeing a particular species because someone reported it previously… you may be looking at a different individual and/or if they got it wrong you will too. Always best to document an unexpected bird with a description and/or photo.

 

Tom Edell

Cayucos, CA


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Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA