Thursday, April 1, 2010

Birds I'm Watching: Bodega Bay (April 2010)

Warning: This is a post only a bird watcher could love.

I spent the morning today, April 1, out at Bodega Bay, bird watching. It's a time of transition. Overwintering birds are starting to leave. Spring migrants are beginning to arrive. Birds are moving from winter plumage to breeding plumage. Today I saw four birds I've been trying to see for some time, so it was a good day; I got clear, unambiguous views of a White-Winged Scoter, a Red-throated Loon, a Glaucous-winged Gull, and a Red-necked Grebe in breeding plumage (top photo).

At Bodega harbor, I saw Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Western Grebe, Hermit Thrush, Band-tailed Pigeon, California Towhee, Hutton's Vireo, Osprey, European Starling, Brewer's Blackbird, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, Turkey Vulture, and Horned Grebe. On the way home, passing by this point, there were about 350 Marbled Godwits (lower photo; the fellow with the two-tone bill), many Willets, Western Sandpipers, and a Dunlin or two, with at least one in breeding plumage (lower photo; the Dunlin is the bird with the black spot on its belly).

At Bodega Head, I saw Western Gull, Black Oystercatcher, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Red-throated Loon, Common Murre, Eared Grebe, Scrub Jay, and White-crowned Sparrow.

At Campbell Cove, I saw Pigeon Guillemot, Common Loon, Willet, Brant, Surf Scoter, Raven, Marbled Godwit, Northern Harrier, Red-winged Blackbird, Great Blue Heron, and Brandt's Cormorant.

Across from Owl Canyon, I saw Brant, Marbled Godwit, Willet, Bufflehead. At Owl Canyon, I saw Allen's Hummingbird and Turkey Vulture and heard Bewick's Wren and Wilson's Warblers.

At Gaffney Point, I saw Osprey (3), Western Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Brant, American Goldfinch, House Finch, and American Crow.

At Westside Park, I saw Scaup, Red-breasted Merganser, Brant, Caspian Tern, Brewer's Blackbird, Common Loon, Red-necked Grebe, and Pigeon Guillemot.

At Porto Bodega, I saw Osprey, Double-crested Cormorant, Black Turnstone, Whimbrel, Pelagic Cormorant, Willet, Common Loon, and Turkey Vulture.

At Doran Beach, I saw Pigeon Guillemot, Peregrine Falcon, Red-necked Grebe, Turkey Vulture, Western Gull, Surf Scoter, Common Loon, Red-throated Loon, and Marbled Godwit--about 50 species in total.

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