Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Birds I'm Watching: Bodega Bay

Drove briefly out to Bodega Bay yesterday, not having really planned to do so, but I had nothing better to do. Didn't see a lot new, but did get a clear look at a group of grebes and saw the difference between the Clark's grebe and the Western grebe well enough that I now can say I've seen both, so I add the Clark's grebe to my life list. The latter is a bit paler, especially on its back, and the black on the head stays above the eye. The black on the head of the Western grebe surrounds the eye. In my book Birds of Sonoma County California (Bolander and Parmeter), there is no historical sighting of this bird in the county in August. The book was published in 2000 (revised edition). It probably has been sighted, but, if not, there you go. I'm 100% certain about this one.

Out at Bodega Head I saw a group of birds that I believe were Pacific loons in their winter plumage. Nothing else makes any sense. So, tentatively, I add the Pacific loon to my life list. I also saw what I think were mew gulls, but I'm not certain. Otherwise, I saw the usual on a drive in Sonoma County that includes the ocean: Double-crested cormorants, Western gulls, turkey vultures, scrub jays, Canada geese, black oyster catchers, willets, sandpipers, great egrets, brown pelicans, white pelicans, marbled godwits, and common terns.

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