Pt Arena area, Phainopepla, RT Pipit, etc.
- Hi All,
I birded the Pt Arena area today. What a beautiful windless day on the
coast! At dawn I scanned the ocean for a few hours from the lighthouse
road. Highlights included 3 ELEGANT TERNS, 2 SABINE'S GULLS, 20+
BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER, 2+ FULMARS along with lots of loons and scoters. I
also looked carefully for Tropical Kingbird there, along the road and at the
end of Miner Hole Road with no luck. 18 SNOW GEESE flew over the Garcia
Flats going north at about 7am. There was an adult FERR HAWK in the flats.
Pipits were flying over and walking in many of the fields. Almost at the
south end of Windy Hollow Road (off Highway 1 just before the Garcia Flats)
I found a RED-THROATED PIPIT walking with the Am Pipits in the grassy field
to the west of the road and north of the willows and the Garcia River. I
also heard it call when it flew which some birds in the dispersed flock were
often doing as they moved around in the field. As I was looking through my
scope at the pipits I heard an unexpected call which I did not believe until
I looked up and saw a young male PHAINOPEPLA land in a Coyote Bush about 20
feet from me. It then flew to a nearby tree and a couple of minutes later
flew east behind the hill next to the road. It was not yet totally black,
but was mostly black and had a nice shaggy black crest and some white in the
wings as it flew.
I then went to Windy Hollow Rd from the town of Pt Arena and drove to the
north end of that part of Windy Hollow Rd. Where there is a gate (that you
can drive around) there was a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in the small willow
clump. Another White-throated Sparrow was at the end of the paved road just
before the river. It was feeding on the road under a large pine tree with
Hunters Lagoon north off of Stoneboro Rd off Highway 1 had lots of ducks and
shorebirds including a late PECTORAL SANDPIPER.
As I was driving north from Elk (after calling Toby and leaving a message
about birds I had seen) I was recalling all of my time spent looking in
vain for one of the Tropical Kingbirds seen recently in the Garcia Flats
area. When what to my wondrous eyes should appear but a beautiful TROPICAL
KINGBIRD on a telephone wire right along the west side of highway 1!! There
was even a convenient pulloff on the west side of the road which I
discovered when I turned around and went back to look at the bird. It kept
fly catching from the wire and I got scope filling looks. It was at
milepost 35.18 a few miles north of Elk.
Happy Birding and may a bit of luck bird with you.