Posted by: atowhee | September 11, 2014


I am birding the Pt. Reyes area with two birders who flew in from Colorado. The remit: learn gulls and shorebirds. The fall birds are here in numbers now, and yesterday they were also in good light. Here are two species that nest in southern California in late winter, then spend much of their lives in the north. They come for the food, no fools they.
Elegant Terns loafing at Stinson Beach above. Ditto four of the 300 Heermann’s Gulls just up the beach a couple steps.
heer qurtet (1280x960) Juts the most colorful of the eight gulls species we had.
We’re going for 12 hours each day, not much time for blogging. Shorebirds were pretty good with Curlew, Whimbrel, Willet, Greater Yellowlegs, Red-necked Phalarope, Short-billed Dowitcher. We go for rockpipers today.
Two alcids went onto Coloradan’s life list, the easiest two here in Bay Area: Common Murre and Pigeon Guillemot. We also got nice looks at some of the little guys, esp. good to follow a Hutton’s Vireo through some willows.
Most encouraging: huge coveys of California Quail, esp. at Five Brooks where the horse manure enriches the habitat for ground feeders which also included California Towhee and Song Sparrow.

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