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Coastal Memorial Day Report

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  • Matthew Matthiessen
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2003
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      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.

      Good Birding.

      Matthew Matthiessen
      Ukiah, CA
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