Wednesday - 16 August 2006 - George Chaniot & I searched Bear Harbor from about 7:00 AM to 11:30 Am this morning looking for the Brown Booby discovered by Jerry White last week. Despite several flurries of bird activity (surf fish run, bait fish frenzies at the surface, etc) we could not locate the Brown Booby. We viewed the sea stacks from various angles, including Morgan Rock and North Rock and Cluster Rocks. Highlights for the day included 3 Red-necked Phalaropes in Bear Creek ...including one the worked its way upstream about 1/16 mile, 1 Red Phalarope, 1 Wandering Tattler, a Double-crested Cormorant eating a large Surf Perch, a mixed flock of warblers in the eucalyptus/alder grove which included numerous Yellow Warblers, Wilson Warblers, a Black-throated Gray Warbler, a Warbling vireo, and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. A lone immature male MacGillivray's Warbler was at the mooth of Bear Creek. 1 Rhinoceros Auklet was seen amongst numerous Common Murres and Pigeon Guillemots. No other alcids could be found. A mockingbird was near the visitor center and a barn owl was heard early in the morning.
The numerous Harbor Seals were either on the rocks or sleeping in the middle of seaweed patches ...my theory is that they try to stay out-of-sight of the Great White Sharks. I only saw one harbor Seal swimming by itself in open water.
On the road in just near the end of the pavement a large 7 point bull elk posed for photos and appeared to be a Tule Elk, and once we reached the ocean bench numerous Roosevelt Elk were seen, including a large bull near Orchard campground.
This is a beautiful place to visit and I hope that this note does not discourage folks from looking for the Brown Booby ...it could use the area again at any time I feel. It takes about 4 hours to get there from Ukiah and the limited campgrounds include picnic tables and a fire pit. Good Birding. Bob Keiffer
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