Mendocino Road trip 4th of July weekend
- This weekend, Liz West, my sister-Carmen, and I decided to take a trip up to Fort Bragg and beyond. Had a great trip. Started out birding Mountain House Road off of Route 128. Found many of the typical Oak woodland species. Highlights of the trip were a singing male LAZULI BUNTING (lifer for my sister) and two singing YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS near the bridge 2-3 miles from Route 128. One of the chats decided to sing from the top of the tree. Quite a stunning bird. Further north on the fence above the grasslands and near the summit we saw 2 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS.
From here we drove to Fort Bragg and the coastline, periodically stopping to listen and watch. The scenery was quite spectacular and the weather was great (especially after the hot central valley!). At the Mendocino Headlands found a few Black Oystercatchers, lots of Common Murres and all 3 cormorants. Both a NORTHERN HARRIER AND WT KITE were flying over the grasslands.
On Saturday, we checked out Caspar Cemetery for the Northern Parula. Unfortunately, didn't find it. But, did enjoy seeing the old cemetery and reading the headstones. An Osprey nest was up in one of the trees, and we were surrounded by the sounds of OS Flycatchers and Swainson's Thrushes. Further up the road we found another chat singing from the north side of Ten Mile Bridge. A few shorebirds were seen on the northeast side of the bridge; both peeps, Greater Yellowlegs, SP Plover, and Killdeers. Both a Common and Red-throated Loon were found at the river mouth, on the west side of the bridge closer to the ocean.
Further north, at San Juan Creek, we found several PURPLE MARTINS flying over the vista area. Quite a delight. Also, in the ocean we found a juvenile Jaeger sp. fairly close to the vista point. We tried to identify it to specie, but unfortunately we could never stay on it long enough! Oh well- it was quite an learning experience.
All and all a delightful trip!
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