Mon, 14 Aug 2006 -- This afternoon I went to Virgin Creek Beach to look for
the BAR-TAILED GODWIT reported over the last week. I arrived at about 2:20
and walked the full length of the beach several times without finding it.
I walked clear to Laguna Point checking all the rocks and small coves.
Finally at 5:20, after three hours, on my fourth pass, I found it as it was
walking from the outer beach to the small lake impounded at the mouth of
Virgin Creek. Here it tucked and went into resting mode. It flew off
excitedly with a group of noisy Whimbrels -OK, I was getting too close -
but it peeled off from the Whimbrels and landed at a small pool along the
base of the bluff about 100 yards to the north. Here I watched it forage
for about 45 minutes. On the landward side of the pool about 10 feet up
from the water, it was very easy to overlook. It was not associating with
any other birds and ignored a Marbled Godwit about 150 feet away. Finally,
at 6:30, it flew off to the north, giving me good looks at its wing
linings, and landed on the beach in the central third.
Some other interesting birds in the area were a pair of bright
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS with remnants of breeding plumage, a pair of
gorgeous SURFBIRDS in alternate plumage, several WANDERING TATTLERS in
alternate plumage, and a pair of MARBLED MURRELETS flying south past Laguna
Potter Valley, MEN, CA