SLOCo March Bird Sightings

Tom Edell

Here is a draft of my column for the Morro Coast Audubon Flyway newsletter
covering March bird sightings in SLOCo. Comments, corrections, and additions
are welcome. Thanks.


Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA


Black-vented Shearwater -- One seen from Point Piedras Blancas on 3/18 was
the first reported this winter (RR).

Cattle Egret -- Three were present on Cal Poly agricultural fields as of 3/31

Mute Swan --For the past few years this species has been seen off an on at

Atasadero Lake creating suspicion that they are breeding somewhere in the
nearby area. One was again present at the lake on 3/21 (RZ).

Greater White-fronted Goose -- Three were present at Laguna Lake all month

Snow Goose -- A flock of 65 found in the fields NE of Point Piedras Blancas
on 3/12 (MS) dwindled to 19 birds on 3/20 (RR) and were not recorded
thereafter. Five birds seen near Little Pico Creek on 3/19 may have been
part of that flock. Another flock of eight birds were present on Morro Bay
3/15-24 (SS,JR).

Ross's Goose -- The three wintering at Laguna Lake were last seen on 3/11

Brant -- The number on Morro Bay dropped to 1300 birds by 3/30 (JR).

Canada Goose -- The individual (small race) found at Ocean County Park in
January was present through March (TE).

Wood Duck -- Pairs were again present along the Salinas River at and around
the Atascadero sewage ponds on 3/5 (RL, RZ).

Eurasian Wigeon -- Last report was of two males on Morro Bay on 3/13 (JF).

Blue-winged Teal -- A male and female were found on Morro Bay on 3/4 (JR). A
male was also found at the Atascadero sewage ponds on 3/5 (RL).

Ferrugionus Hawk -- The bird wintering on the coast at Point Piedras Blancas
was present through at least 3/25 (TE).

Black Skimmer -- Numbers fluctuated in March between two and thirteen birds
on Morro Bay (JR).

Eurasian Collared-Dove -- This species continues to expand its territory in
SLOCo. One was seen in Los Osos on 3/10 (KH) and another was present in
Cambria on 3/18 (KC). I would appreciate hearing about any nesting locations
in the county.

Burrowing Owl -- An individual was found along the coast in Montana de Oro SP
on 3/5 (MA).

Lewis's Woodpecker -- One along Hwy 166 near between mile posts 42 and 43 on
3/5 (JC) was at a previously unrecorded location.

Northern Flicker -- A "yellow-shafted" race bird was seen on Dairy Creek on
3/5 (MA). A male "yellow-shafted" in Los Osos on 3/8-10 (KH) was probably
the bird seen off and on along the bay front all winter.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher -- One seen near the Cal Poly feed mill on 3/3 (MS)
could have been either the individual that wintered there or a spring arrival

Magnolia Warbler -- The female wintering at the Oceano Campground and lagoon
was last reported on 3/18 (BH).

Black-headed Grosbeak -- An adult male and a first spring male present at a
feeder in Bee Canyon on 3/10 (DS) were reportedly present all winter.

White-throated Sparrow -- Two adults were found in Bee Canyon, Arroyo Grande,
on 3/10 (DS). An individual was at a feeder in Los Osos on 3/19 (M&PC).

Tricolored Blackbird -- Approximately 20 birds were seen near the
intersection of Orcutt and Morretti Canyon roads on 3/22 (DS).

Yellow-headed Blackbird -- There were multiple reports of a male seen between
13th and 4th Streets in Los Osos from 3/11-16 (MS,mob)

OBSERVERS: Mary Adams, Bill Bouton, Jamie Chavez, Karen Clarke, Michael &
Peggy Craig, Tom Edell, Jerry Friedman, Marlin Harms, Karen Havlena, Bruce
Hollingworth, Roger Lau, John Roser, Richard Rowlett, Steve Schubert, Mike
Stiles, Doug Stinson, Roger Zachary, and mob = many observers. For
information about birds or locations mentioned in this report, contact Tom
Edell at (805) 995-1691 or

Tom Edell