Re: Black Skimmer and Long-billed Curlew at Clear Lake
- During the past 4 summers I've been studying grebes with students and local birder Bryan McIntosh, and we've learned
that rare birds at Clear Lake are much easier to find from a boat than from
Bryan and I were canoeing in search of nesting Aechmophorus grebes (10 active colonies) this morning when the BLACK SKIMMER (1st for Lake County) flew past us, flying from east to west, over Rumsey Slough at 7:21 am. Rumsey Slough is located about 1.5 miles southeast of Lakeport. We last saw it flying toward Lakeport. It flew past us again at 7:37 and at 7:47, both times flying from east to west, so somehow it circled past us twice. We spent another hour surveying grebes in the area without seeing the skimmer again, so we surmised it found a resting spot somewhere. Jerry White and David Woodward searched for it to the southeast at Lakeside County Park and Clear Lake State Park, which have sandy beaches potentially suitable for a skimmer, but couldn't relocate it. Hopefully they will relocate it somewhere later today. If anybody wants to give it a serious search, the odds of finding it from land may be slim. A boat would maximize your chances of seeing it
and you may need to get out there early in the morning before it gets too hot. Disney Water Sports is the only boat rental company in Lakeport and would be happy to rent a boat to birders, but you'll want to ask today if you can rent a boat early in the morning. Their website is http://www.disneyswatersports.com
Bryan and I saw the LONG-BILLED CURLEW (4th for Lake County) fly from W to E over Rumsey Slough at 7:00 am. We saw it again at 8:25 as it flew north. I immediately called Jerry, who saw it from Lakeport as it continued flying northward beyond Lakeport. The odds of seeing it again are slim, but shorebird habitat is excellent at Borax Lake (nothing there on Sunday; we didn't check today). We also saw two WILSON'S PHALAROPES land on the water.
On 30 June we saw a female COMMON GOLDENEYE at Rodman Slough and four RED-NECKED PHALAROPES at Long Tule Point. On 14 June we saw an immature BONAPARTE'S GULL at Redbud Park.
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