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Pt Arena area, Phainopepla, RT Pipit, etc.

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  • John Luther
    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.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2003
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      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
      Fox Sparrows.

      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.

      John Luther
      Oakland
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