Monday, November 2, 2009

Birds I'm Watching: Bodega Bay

I spent the day out at Bodega Bay today. I stopped first at the farm pond on Bohemian Highway (about 6 miles west of Sebastopol, on the way to Bodega Bay). There were many more ducks than there have been recently--although still not that many. Saw a pair of buffleheads among the Canada geese and mallards, a couple of female shovelers, a fair number of ring-necked ducks, and a lone duck different from the rest that looked like a Eurasian wigeon to me. The highlight was the ring-necked ducks, a new Sonoma County bird for me.

At Porto Bodega, nothing out of the ordinary, but I saw: House sparrows, turkey vultures, Western gulls, greater yellowlegs, Brewer's blackbird, double-crested cormorant, great blue heron, surf scoters, a lone marbled godwit, a Western grebe or two, and a couple of common loons.

At the Tides Restaurant, the usual flock of sandpipers was there, but also saw Western grebes, snowy egrets, a horned grebe, and a great blue heron.

Nothing much at the rail ponds but yellow-rumped warblers. At the north end of Bodega Harbor, I saw surf scoters, common loons, greater scaup (quite a few), ruddy ducks, Western grebes, great egrets, great blue herons, and six buffleheads. On my way home, passing the same location, there were 14 male buffleheads and about half that number of females.

On the mud flats just past Spud Point marina, I saw: Snowy egrets, brown pelicans, white pelicans, Western gulls, marbled godwits, willets, black-bellied plovers, black turnstones, ruddy turnstones, great blue herons, double-crested cormorants, great egrets, and surf scoters. Further along, after Westside Park, I saw: Western gulls, California gulls, and a single Bonapart's gull along with more herons, surf scoters, and white pelicans. On the way to Bodega Head there were many egrets, herons, Western gulls, and cormorants.

At Campbell Cove it was more surf scoters, six more buffleheads, and more Western gulls. Saw nothing up on the cliffs above, except a good view of a Northern Harrier. At the hole in the head, there was little to see except a black phoebe and various sparrows I couldn't identify, along with many yellow-rumped warblers.

Again nothing much out of the ordinary, but I enjoyed seeing the ring-necked ducks, all the buffleheads, the Bonapart's gull, and the harrier. At the hole in the head there was also a juvenile raptor that I couldn't figure out.

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