Mendo Coast birds today
- 16 February 2009 - Monday - Today I birded the Mendocino Coastline starting at Juan Creek. The Surf was very high but the ocean seemed rather calm with no whitecaps ...just very spreadout swells that really built up as they approached shore. At Juan Creek I had 4 - 5 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES beyond the breakers ... they were with a feeding group of gulls, grebes, cormorants, and murres. Ward Avenue had 1 BLACK SCOTER and 1 LONG-TAILED DUCK. Lake Cleone/Laguna Point access was closed in the morning but was open this afternoon. Many mixed gulls at the beach, including Thayer's adults, and 1 adult Brown Pelican on the beach with the gulls. 6 Whimbrels with Surfbirds and B.Turnstones were on the rocks north of the Laguna Point platform (no Rock Sandpipers). There were a bunch of mixed gulls at Virgin Creek beach, including Mew Gulls, but nothing of rarity stood out. A SAY's PHOEBE was along the north end of the beach. Just north of the beach on the rocks were clumped oystercatchers, Black Turnstones, Surfbirds, and 3 ROCK SANDPIPERS. At Todd's Point I refound the 1st winter GLAUCOUS GULL. Also, there was at least 1 very nice adult THAYER's GULL and immatures... they seem to be more common than I remember ...or maybe I am just getting better at recognizing them. At Caspar Pond (Fern Road) I refound the ROSS's x SNOW GOOSE. This bird is very small, the right size for a Ross's ...but it has too much of a black "grin-patch" to be pure and it surely has Snow Goose genetics mixed in. I think this is a 2nd winter bird due to the mature white plumage, some black flecking on the upper head, and the smooth base of the mandible. At Van Damme SP Beach there were many mixed gulls, including another immature GLAUCOUS GULL. A couple with two dogs chased away all the gulls before I could really get a good look at them. About 20 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were getting ready for roost in a fir tree between Hwy 1 and the Navarro River. I mention this ...not that it is unusual ...(as it is a regular hang-out for them along the Navarro) but to make folks aware that Mendocino County still has NO DOCUMENTED NESTING for this species. I am sure that they nest along our coast, especially near the Navarro ...but nobody has documented this as of yet as I recall.
Good Birding. Bob Keiffer
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