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RE: [Mendobirds] Pacific Loon Migration

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  • Richard Kuehn
    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. It’s a beautiful day on
    Message 1 of 2 , May 4, 2010
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      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.

      It’s 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 I’ve 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 I’ve been noting for ~ 4 weeks;
      several of these columns were led by the faster flapping Common Murres.

      Since Saturday, we’ve also seen large groups of Whimbrels, which frequently
      are just inland from the bluff’s 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
      - I’m not as good as Ron at distinguishing Western from Least in these small
      tight flocks - but there were Dunlin, Black-bellied Plovers; and Black
      Turnstones seen.

      Keep coastin’ and birding!


      Richard Kuehn

      WindandSea at The Sea Ranch

      N 38°45'02" W 123° 31'27"

      <http://ourlives-at-windandsea.info/> HTTP://ourlives-at-windandsea.info

      TSR Wave n Sheep Logo

      Life is NOT a dress-rehearsal!

      From: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Ron LeValley
      Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:27 AM
      To: 'Mendobirds'
      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!


      Ron LeValley
      Mad River Biologists
      Mendocino Office
      P.O. Box 332
      Little River CA 95456
      Office:: 707/937-1742
      <mailto:ron@... <mailto:ron%40madriverbio.com> >

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