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4424Caspian Terns, Long-billed Curlews, and Snowy Plovers

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  • Richard
    Mar 31, 2011
      Thu Mar 31, 2011-- I took a walk along the beach from Ward Ave to Fen Creek today (Why??? Because it was a great day with no rain!!). After Karen Havlena's negative report for SNOWY PLOVERS on 2/28/11, I was pleased to find 25. 23 were roughly together further north of the "traditional" Snowy Plover area and two were at Fen Creek. On the way back it was interesting to find small lakes and ponds amongst the sand dunes east of where the haul road would be. I assume they are from the rain and/or high surf. If they last they could be good shorebird areas. Also on the way back I saw 2 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS flying north with a large group of WHIMBRELS.

      At Virgin Creek Beach there were 7 CASPIAN TERNS. I thought nothing about the sighting until I Ebirded them and got an "attention needed" message. Chuck Vaughn emailed that they were only the 2nd March record for the county with the first being 3 found by Karen at 10 Mile Beach in 2009. Stan Harris in, "Northwestern California Birds", states that Caspian Terns are, "Common migrant in late Mar-early Apr along the immediate coast when passage birds can be seen from headlands or resting flocks of 100-300+ stop temporarily at River mouths..." So why don't we see more of them in spring here in Mendocino?

      Richard Hubacek
      Little River