On Friday we drove up to Fort Bragg from Davis in search of the
HARLEQUIN DUCKS reported at Glass Beach. We didn't se any on either our
Friday 5:00 PM visit or our Saturday 8:00 AM visit, but on Friday
evening did see numerous BLACK TURNSTONES, 4 BLACK OYSTERCATHERS, a
WHIMBREL and 16 SANDERLINGS gleaning the rock surfaces of the large
rocks just off the beach. The SANDERLINGS were a surprise, both for
their numbers and where (and how) they were feeding. Their behavior and
location was so unusual that I redoubled my efforts to see if there was
any alternative to SANDERLING, but their size relative to the BLACK
TURNSTONES and light grey/white color left me with no alternatives. Has
anyone else seen SANDERLINGS in similar habitat?
Saturday morning the SANDERLINGS and WHIMBREL were gone, the BLACK
TURNSTONE flock had reached 50+ and 4 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS had arrived.
The beach was alive with AMERICAN PIPITS, and despite some very active
scanning none of them were RED-THROATED. Four species of Sparrows, FOX,
SONG, WHITE-CROWNED and GOLDEN-CROWNED were present in significant
numbers in the blackberry bushes and the grasses. A WHITE-TAILED KITE
was ether perched on the chain link fence or hovering over the fields in
both our visits.
At both Glass Beach and Mendocino Headlands there were many hundreds of
LOONS streaming southward. More at the Headlands than at Glass Beach.
More Loons than we have ever seen in my life.
All in all a great trip -- good for the soul.
Matt Williams & Landon Scarlett