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Montgomery Woods/Ft Bragg/Pt Arena

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  • Matt Brady
    Today, David Vander Pluym, Austin Booth and I did some birding along the coast.  We started at Montgomery Woods Sate Park at 6:45 am, where we heard a
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8, 2003
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      Today, David Vander Pluym, Austin Booth and I did some birding along the
      coast.� We started at Montgomery Woods Sate Park at 6:45 am, where we heard
      a NORTHERN PYGMY OWL, 2 BARRED OWLS, a dozen MOUNTAIN QUAIL, and about 6
      PILEATED WOODPECKERS.� We saw the Barred Owls near the fallen log that has
      been cut up at about 7.� Also around the grove were a few White-breasted
      Nuthatches.

      From Montgomery Woods we went on to Glass Beach, where we were unsuccesful
      in looking for the Harlequin Ducks or Laughing Gull.� We then went on to
      Mckerricher State Beach, where we found the LAUGHING GULL on the beach.� We
      first observed it at 9:30, then again at 11:15. At about 11:25 it flew over
      to Lake Cleone. On Lake Cleone was a pair of GREATER SCAUP.� Along the
      board walk near Laguna Point were 6 BARN SWALLOWS cruising around.� They
      were pretty white below, which is apparently similar to birds being seen in
      Washington.� Off the Point was a pair of RED-NECKED GREBES, a HEERMAN'S
      GULL, and a�BROWN Pelican.

      At Van Damme State Park a small flock of GRAY JAYS were frequenting a
      campsite just past the visitor's center.

      At the Garcia Flats, we saw the TUNDRA SWANS, SANDHILL CRANE, dozens of
      ALEUTIAN GEESE, a few BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, and a�GREATER WHITE-FRONTED
      GOOSE.� At the Point Arena Harbor the LAYSAN ALBATROSS was sitting out with
      some surfers.� It even let a surfer apparoach to within just a couple of
      feet!� We then headed out to the light house.� Although we didn't see
      anything different out there, it looked like it could be a spot to check in
      the fall for vagrants.� Do any ever show up out there?� In many ways it
      looks like similar habitat to the Pt. Reyes area.� From there we headed back
      to the Garcia River, where we hiked out to the River mouth.� Access is at
      the end of Miners Hole Road, and requires rubber boots, as you have to ford
      the river and several muddy puddles.� On the way out we saw a ROUGH-LEGGED
      HAWK fly and land in a cow pasture.� Out at the mouth was a large flock of
      gulls, including many Herring Gulls, our only individuals of the day.� Off
      shore was an ANCIENT MURRELET, a MARBLED MURRELET, several NORTHERN FULMARS,
      and a HORNED GREBE.� On the way back we saw 2 more BARN SWALLOWS flying
      around.� The Garcia River mouth looks like another great spot that I haven't
      heard any reports from.� There are extensivce flooded pastures that look
      like they might attract things like Baird's and Le Conte's Sparrows and
      Yellow Rails, and definately seems worth a check in Fall.� Again, rubber
      boots are�at the least necessary, and hip-waders recommended.

      Tomorrow we're heading up past Lake Pilsbury in search of high elevation
      stuff, and I'll post on what we see tomorrow night.

      Good birding
      Matt Brady

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