Six intrepid birders (Terry, John, Kay, Lorna, Eleanor and Roger) met at Petra’s this morning to decide on the birding site. The weather was perfect but chilly but warmed up as the day progressed. We started at the Beach Grove elementary school parking area and roamed the adjacent park where we were rewarded with a roosting Great Horned Owl in the usual tree by the bathrooms. Other birds seen there included two Brown Creepers, Black-capped Chickadees, a Merlin zipping by, two Bald Eagles, Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, two Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Juncos, House Finches, and a Varied Thrush. John was able to extricate Lorna who had become lodged under a fallen log without sustaining any injuries. Moving down to the beach we were able to observe large numbers of Wigeon, Pintail, and Mallards as well as many Ring-billed and Mew gulls.
Moving over the Beach Grove Lagoon at the foot of 12th, we added a very dark Fox Sparrow, more Wigeon, Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Mallards, a male Hooded Merganser and a group of 8 Lesser Yellowlegs. Off shore were many Black Brant and enormous numbers of ducks, mainly Pintail, and Wigeon. Among the Wigeon we saw at least three Eurasions in a small area which lead us to belive that there were probably many more in the large group of American ones. Lots of Canada Geese were seen offshore as well. A solitary Northern Harrier was flying over the fields and a single juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was seen sitting in a tree. On the way back through the fields we saw a Northern Flicker duck into a small hole in a dead birch tree where it stayed for the five minutes we spent waiting for it to emerge. Several Great Blue Herons were spotted about the fields, most sitting in trees. Eagle-eye Kay spotted a Northern Shrike in a distant tree. Several Spotted Towhees and Song Sparrows were also seen in various locations, not to mention the usual crows, robins and starlings. In the distance, over the bay, and we thought might be around Cloverdale, we saw a large plume of smoke rising which turned out to be a lumber yard in that area. We were finished by 11:30 am after a very successful morning of birding but missed our intrepid leaders Tom and Anne who are probably seeing more exotic species south of the equator.
Photos by Terry Carr. More photos at