Sunday, January 3, 2010
Montana de Oro State Park
I was a little tired after my prior day's trip so I decided to do something different for my second BIGBY day. I also wanted to bird with a birding buddy, Ross, who was not doing a BIGBY and did not very live close by. So, I pedalled out to Montana de Oro State Park and met him (he was dropped off with his bike). We walked out to the bluff just to the north of Spooner's Cove and scoped the ocean for about an hour and a half from the highest vantage point - to see over the booming surf. It was active with dozens of Black-vented Shearwaters, many Common Murres, Pacific Loons, 3 species of cormorants, and other common birds. We couldn't find anything different, so we decided to check the creek mouth and the park's campground for Golden-crowned Kinglet and anything else we could find. We heard the high pitch calls of 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets in some cypress trees in the campground and after a long search found a pair inside one of the cypresses. Otherwise, the campground was very quiet and Islay Creek Mouth had a close perched Osprey, but not much else. Riding our bikes, we stopped at lower Hazard Canyon to look for Winter Wren and Rocky shorebirds (dipped). Then a quick stop at Upper Hazard to check a group off well-worked eucs. for sapsuckers, but only heard a distant one. About four hours off birding only yielded 3 new BIGBY species - flyby Semipalmated Plovers, the kinglet and House Wren!