Shoreline Lake 11/10

Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui@...>

Laurie and I headed out to shoreline today to shoot the scoters and see if we could get lucky and find the black scoter (no luck, nobody I talked to had, either). There were a few hundred scoters on the lake when we arrived, but they were moving around a fair amount, partly due to paddle boaters wandering the lake. Having a flock of ~100 scoters take off and fly around was awesome; they make a thrumming sound you almost feel instead of hear in those numbers.

Also found in the lake were a large number of coots and scaups, western grebes as well as some pied-billed, Ruddy ducks, and double- crested cormorants. Special birds included the female goldeneyes (near the boathouse), the leucistic coot, and an eared grebe. We checked out the canada geese, but all we saw were canada geese, no greater white- fronted.

A lot of the scoters ended up flying out to the salt ponds; as we left, the lake had maybe 1/3 the number as when we arrived. Walking the salt pond out behind shoreline showed a few white pelicans and a lot of ruddy ducks, but not much else. The scoters primarly seemed to be flying out beyond the ponds you could see from the paths.

One of the cormorants, FWIW, was very lightly colored. Not leucisitic, I don't think, but stood out for being very blond-to-pale across the entire body. Shorebirds included a couple of willets.

Peggy Don reported a white-throated sparrow; we didn't find it, but in checking the bushes, golden-crowned were about 50/50 with white crowned around the area. We also had one lincoln's sparrow pop up in the brush right where the paths all meet at the point of the lake (the one heading out towards terminal, the one along the pond, the one up to the back salt pond and the one going over to Charleston Slough), it was in the are next to the salt pond near the end of the path heading over to the slough.

On the way out, laurie checked the channel right at the entrance at terminal and saw movement -- it was a Bittern, which was hiding in the rushes right where the channel narrows. we got about five minutes look at it, then it flew back deeper into the marsh and out of sight.

Amusement of the day was about a 4-5' long gopher snake in the grass freaking out the joggers and entrancing the kids, and the mortal enemy of the canada goose: the four year old, one of which was making a concerted effect to catch and hug a goose today. The geese weren't cooperating.

admin note: we're seeing significant delays for mail sent to the domain -- it looks like the mail server is under attack by spammers again. Things aren't broken, just slow.

Chuq Von Rospach
chuqui@..., chuqvr@...