South Coast and Ft Bragg Birds (MEN Co.)
- Hello birders. Today Chuck Vaughn and I enjoyed a very warm and still day on
the south-central Mendocino coast. Our first stop, at Pt Arena Cove failed to
yield Al the Albatross; floating birds were scarce there.
At the mouth of the Garcia River (accessed from the bluffs at the Lighthouse),
we noted the two continuing SANDHILL CRANEs. Also present were one continuing
LONG-BILLED CURLEW and 7 DUNLIN, both rare in the county in the winter. Off the
river mouth we had one BLACK and two WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS (all females), one
RED-NECKED GREBE and a distant, basic-plumaged (ie, mostly white) PIGEON
GUILLEMOT fly by. In the short grass behind the dorms at the Lighthouse itself
the three PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS continue. We also had our first FERRUGINOUS
HAWK sitting in the grass on our way in; we later saw it soaring over the
fields. We could not find any Cattle Egrets.
At least 35 TUNDRA SWANS were on Brushy Creek, a long scope view from the corner
of Barnegat and Gloucaster Drs off Stoneboro Rd., south of the town of
A total of three more FERRUGINOUS HAWKS were between Manchester and Irish Beach;
in my experience, the area just north of Manchester has been about the best
place in the county for this species, other than maybe Round Valley.
The mouth of the Navarro had a few gulls, but the only one of note was an adult
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE. There were about 20 Common Goldeneyes and a few more
Surf Scoters here, too.
At the Rose Memorial Park in north Ft Bragg (at the east end of Spruce St.) we
had the continuing probable BALTIMORE ORIOLE. Once again, I wasn't able to take
any photos of it and I'm still not sure about this bird, but am leaning more
towards Baltimore. I need to do a bit of research and talk to an expert or two
before I'll feel really comfortable calling it. Chuck was able to say that it
was a different bird than any of the three he, Karen and Jerry saw last week,
which means there are four oriole in this cemetery, a winter high count for
Mendocino County! Chuck and I also saw one definite female BULLOCK'S ORIOLE.
If confirmed, the Baltimore Oriole would be a new species for the Mendocino
In non-coast news, the hybrid GOLDEN-CROWNEDxWHITE-CROWNED SPARROW continues in
my parent's yard here in Potter Valley.
Potter Valley, MEN
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