Further south of Ron LeValley just out of Mendocino County in extreme NW
Sonoma County (at The Sea Ranch), I can only echo his post.
Its a beautiful day on the coast, but the wind IS starting to blow<G> and
the whitecaps are starting to appear!
I spent nearly 1 hour monitoring the northward migration from our point near
Gualala Point Island this morning. During that time, I counted just over
3,200 birds streaming past.
There were a couple of large flocks of Brant (100 220) in their lazy,
irregular Vs, which are forever shifting but the birds always appearing dark
with bright white around a dark tail; there were many loose groups of 5 25
Loons, especially Pacific, who have slightly shorter necks than the
Red-throated and beautiful silvery-gray heads now (even when compared to the
rare Arctic loons Ive noted in the past 3 weeks): they appear to often fly
with their bills just slightly raised; and of course the steady, heavier,
thick-necked and thick-billed Common Loons, who have a black head and neck
and LARGE feet as they fly past with their bills fairly level.
This morning there were fewer of the long lines of Scoters, mainly Surf,
with occasional White-winged and Black that Ive been noting for ~ 4 weeks;
several of these columns were led by the faster flapping Common Murres.
Since Saturday, weve also seen large groups of Whimbrels, which frequently
are just inland from the bluffs edge. This is also the area where Dean
Schuler and I have recently observed Marbled Godwits; Wandering Tattlers;
Long-billed Dowitchers; a couple groups of calling Greater Yellowlegs; and
the occasional Long-billed Curlew.
Amongst the many wheeling, tight groups, of small whitish birds this morning
- Im not as good as Ron at distinguishing Western from Least in these small
tight flocks - but there were Dunlin, Black-bellied Plovers; and Black
Keep coastin and birding!
WindandSea at The Sea Ranch
N 38°45'02" W 123° 31'27"
TSR Wave n Sheep Logo
Life is NOT a dress-rehearsal!
Behalf Of Ron LeValley
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:27 AM
Subject: [Mendobirds] Pacific Loon Migration
This is the second morning of a MAJOR movement of Pacific Loons past the
Mendocino Coast. In the morning and evening they seem to be close to the
shoreline, and during the day they seem to be migrating farther offshore. I
have noted thousands , going by in flocks of up to one hundred at a time.
Almost all the loons are Pacific. I saw about 10 Commons and 5 Red-throateds
as I searched through the thousands in about an hour of watching.
Small to medium size flocks of Black Brant are also going through.
I also saw a Semipalmated Plover, a few Whimbrels, small flocks of Dunlin,
Western Sandpipers, Red-necked Phalaropes, and one group of Bonaparte's
If you can get to the coast early in the morning tomorrow or the next day, I
would guess you would be in for a treat!
Mad River Biologists
P.O. Box 332
Little River CA 95456
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]