At 5 p.m. the Red-necked Phalaropes seen by David Jensen were still at
the vernal pool. I counted 26, all frantically whirling about as they
fed. I've never seen them in breeding plumage so it was a treat. 5-6
Canada Geese were also in the pond, and the sight of a tiny little
phalarope feeding right in the shadow of a huge goose's breast was kind
of touching. It looked like a row boat next to an ocean liner.
Also on the edges of the pond were 4-5 sandpipers, and at least some of
them might have been Semipalmated Sandpipers. I haven't done this I.D.
before, but I couldn't see any curve to the bills, and the tips looked
pretty blunt. The head and scapulars had only a hint of brown to rufous
color. I didn't check the cheeks. Or maybe they were Westerns
transitioning to breeding plumage?
Larry Knowles and I kayaked up Noyo River last evening, a bit beyond
the skunk train bridge, in search of a heron rookery, which we didn't
find. We saw four osprey nests, at least three of them active (birds
perching on branches right near the nests). We are not counting the
beautiful nest growing ferns seen from the mid-way parking lot on the
road to the put-in.
On Apr 30, 2006, at 2:50 PM, David Jensen wrote:
> April 30, 2006- Sunday. There are (at least) 24 Red-necked Phalaropes
> in the village of Mendocino on the vernal pool just east of Heeser
> Drive in Mendocino Headlands Park. Nearly all are in breeding
> plummage. Another RNPH was seen briefly about one half mile inland
> from the mouth of Big River. Other Big River sightings this morning
> included one Dunlin, at least three Western Sandpipers, at least four
> Semipalmated Sandpipers, and several Spotted Sandpipers.
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