As the results of the 2002 California Mountain Plover Survey trickle in,
we're posting some preliminary numbers to give people an idea of their
status this year. Already, some interesting patterns are emerging that may
help future counters hone in on wintering birds. Many observers noted that
Mountain Plovers were concentrated in recently-grazed (by sheep) alfalfa
fields. Apparently, the sheep are trucked in after the hay is mechanically
cut. Once they've grazed it down to yellowish stubble, it is irrigated a
bit, and the process begins again. In that post-grazing, pre-growth stage,
it appears to be most appealing to the plovers.
Please send details and additional sightings to:
California Dept. of Fish and Game
1807 13th Street, Suite 202
Sacramento, CA 95814
Please also send incidental sightings from places not listed below, or
counts from these areas that exceed the numbers reported.
Below is a county-by-county (north to south) summary of sightings on
2/2/2002 received so far.
"plovers" = Mountain Plovers
Most sites had Black-bellied Plovers and/or Killdeer
Midway and Levee Rd. (Rollye Wiskerson)
Flannery Rd. and Goosehaven Rd. (Keith and Marsha Grimson/John Boyd)
San Joaquin Co.
"Jones Tract", off Bacon Island Rd., about 1/4 mile southwest of Woodward
Ferry (Jeff Davis)
[180 plovers on 17 Jan 2002 (Jennifer Green)]
"Panoche Hills" (Al DiMartini)
[52 Panoche Valley 17 Jan 2002 (Jennifer Green)]
East of intersection of Russell Ave. and Althea Ave. (Matt Hamman)
S.R. 41 and York Rd. (Sam Fitton)
San Luis Obispo Co.
Carrizo Plain (Mike Stiles/Tom Edell)
Cholame (Anthony Kent)
Santa Barbara Co.
Vandenberg AFB airfield; Santa Maria ag fields (Alex Abela)
Kern Co. - west
Garces Hwy./Scofield Rd. (Mike Feighner)
Kern Co. - east
Los Angeles Co. - northeast
110th St. East and Ave. I/J; Ave. L and 40th/50th St. East (Nick and Mary
Freeman et al.)
Los Angeles Co. - northwest
Quail Lake to Hwy. 14 (Dan Cooper et al.)
San Bernardino Co.
Harper Dry Lake, Newberry Springs/Mojave Valley (Bill Deppe)
Riverside Co. - west
San Jacinto/Perris Valley (Chet McGaugh)
Riverside Co. - east
1.5 mi. southeast of Blythe Community Rec. Golf Course, Blythe (Roger
San Diego Co.
Imperial Valley (Brawley to U.S. border) (John Green and Mike San Miguel)
[Chet McGaugh, Steve Myers et al. estimate this area held c. 3000 birds from
week-long survey, early 2/2002]
THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!!
Daniel S. Cooper
Director of Bird Conservation
6042 Monte Vista St.
Los Angeles, CA 90042