Coastal Memorial Day Report
- Greetings Mendobirders,
This past weekend a group of birders (inlcuding Larry Siemens, Stan
Snyder, Paul Hawks, Dave and Ruth Wiebe, Myron Widmer and me) had our
annual Memorial Day coastal birding weekend based out of Albion. The
most notable bird of the weekend was a first year GLAUCOUS GULL seen
Monday morning (5/26) at Laguna point. We initially saw the bird as it
flew north over Laguna Point. We were able to observe the bird at very
close range but as the fog was quite heavy we were unable to see if the
bird landed on the beach or not. We went back to our car and drove to
the Lake Cleone parking lot and walked up onto the Haul Rd just in time
to watch the bird fly south down the beach right in front of us. It
then circled over Lake Cleone and headed north once again disappearing
into the fog. We drove up to Ward Ave but were unable to relocate the
Of local interest were COMMON NIGHTHAWKS found Fri and Sat evenings.
The clouds were very low Fri so we could only hear a single bird. On
Sat the weather was a bit more cooperative and we saw three birds
including one repeatedly performing a booming display. To reach this
location drive east on Albion Ridge Road for about three to four miles
from Hwy 1. Look for a telephone pole on the right with a big "K"
painted on it. Turn right onto the dirt road directly in front of this
telephone pole. Drive maybe 0.1 miles on this dirt road and park (stop
short of the large containers on the left side of the road). Listen and
watch overhead. We had birds between 2030 and 2100 hours on both sides
of the road.
The TUFTED PUFFIN at the Mendocino Headlands was easily observed Fri,
Sat, and Sun. The bird was always seen in the water north of Goat Rock
(in the direction of the Cabrillo Lighthouse) and always in the company
of a RHINOCEROS AUKLET. GRAY JAYS were also easily observed on Fri and
Sat in the upper campgrand at Van Damme. We also had at least 10 RED
CROSSBILLS in the confers along the path through the trees leading to
Virgin Creek Beach on Sat morning.
Short pelagic runs (app 2 hours in length and no more than 12 miles
out) were made Sat and Sun afternoons and on Mon morning. I was on the
Sat run. We had one LAYSAN ALBATROSS at 1715 hours approximately 10
miles west of Noyo Harbor. Other tubenoses were seven BLACK-FOOTED
ALBATROSS, two PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, and approximately 100 SOOTY
SHEARWATERS. The pelagic runs on Sun had several BFAL, many SOSH, one
PFSH, two NORTHERN FULMARS, and five HEERMANN'S GULLS. The run on Mon
encountered heavy fog but also saw SOSH, BFAL, and one HEGU.
Other birds of interest were at least five HARLEQUIN DUCKS at Virgin
Creek Beach on Sat morning. One late BONAPARTE'S GULL was also at
Virgin Creek Beach Sat morning. A single RING-BILLED GULL was seen Mon
morning at the Navarro River mouth. And finally, a leucistic BLACK
OYSTERCATCHER was seen Sun morning from the overlook just north of Juan
Creek. The oystercatcher was completely white except for a dusky gray
head, orange bill, and pink legs.