Sunday, January 3, 2010
Birding the High Tide
Now I needed to figure out what known wintering species might not be around any other time of the year in this area. I wanted to see them for BIGBY list, especially the unusual ones that might not return next winter. Since there was a six foot tide today, I thought it would be a good time to look for shorebirds as they are forced up near the road for easy viewing and it is a good time to look for Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow and Large-billed Savannah Sparrow near the Morro Bay State Park Marina. The shorebirds where cooperative as I found many Dunlin and a couple of Red Knots (both new) without much searching from South Bay Boulevard. I zipped over to the peninsula next to the marina and the tide was almost at its highest point, but after almost 2 hours of searching I gave up on the sparrows. It was a gorgeous morning next to the bay, and a great variety of birds were nearby due to the incoming tide. A Northern Harrier (new) was eyeing a tidal smorgasboard and a flock of Caspian Terns formed nearby. White Pelicans soared overhead as I slowly left on my bike to try my luck on Turri Road for several new year birds: Yellow-billed Magpie, Rock Wren, Mountain and Western Bluebirds, and Horned Lark. I missed the first two species, but found the other three from the road. It was only day three and target birds were already coming slowly, but it was too beautiful of a day to do anything but enjoy the birding and the scenery.