Earlier today, Rich Trissel and I went birding on both sides of the Gualala
River. While there are several hundred Gulls on the Gualala River beach,
the river having breached the sandbar early this year, there was nothing
unusual for this late Fall. Venturing south on Highway 1 to the north
eastern portion of The Sea Ranch, which is private, we checked out the
northern treatment ponds where we saw 8 Bufflehead on the water and a
Wilsons Snipe dancing the rumba on the north shore. Crossing west of
highway 1, we walked with some golfing friends out near a couple of the
ponds to see if Sora were back. (Dean Schuler and I had been periodically
playing calls through the summer to determine if the species bred here: no
response from May through September.) At the first pond, a Virginia Rail
replied, though it was not seen. At the second pond, 4 Sora immediately
responded with one coming to the edge of the reeds to check us out briefly.
Driving north, we hit fog just south of Moat Creek. Determined to accept
the weather, we drove out to the Pt. Arena Lighthouse observing several wet
and bedraggled Red-tailed Hawks and American Kestrels. As we slowed in
front of the Lighthouse cabins for rent, we saw several Killdeer left of the
road and then Rich Trissel spotted a Juv. Golden Plover that we rapidly
determined was a Pacific. (I grabbed several captures of the bird and am
happy to share.) Parking, we looked for the Peregrine Falcon that is
frequently behind the Museum, but found only Brandts and Pelagic Cormorants
with a few Western Gulls. However, making our way behind the cabins to the
gazebo, I noted another Juv. Pacific Golden Plover with the first one and
suddenly they all flew back over the cabins revealing a third.
We did not find the previously sighted White-faced Ibis, nor were there any
identifiable Yellow-headed Blackbirds amongst the more than 1,000 we scoped
thru across Hunters Lagoon at the end of Barnegat off Stoneboro Road south
of Manchester. We did note a pair of Gadwall and 4 Scaup sps. in the Lagoon
along with ~40 American Coots and had a single Long-billed Dowitcher
fly-over while calling.
Rich Kuehn and Rich Trissel
WindandSea at The Sea Ranch
N 38°45'02" W 123° 31'27"
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Life is NOT a dress-rehearsal!
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