Checklist S63648478

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Owner Rob Tyser

Traveling
  • 40
  • 1.42 mi
Checklist Comments

Tom Edell, Curtis Marantz, Wes Fritz, and Will Knowlton led the full-day pelagic trip for the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival aboard the M/V Endeavor out of the Morro Bay Landing with Brad Leage as captain. The present list is for our return trip through the harbor and inshore waters out to the outermost buoy at the mouth of the harbor. We cruised through the harbor relatively quickly, so even though we did our best to see what was present, this is best considered an incomplete survey of the many birds that were present on a relatively low tide with exposed mudflats along the sandspit. We arrived at the dock at 3:25 pm, but then spent an extended period of time at the dock going over the lists for the day. We saw both Long-tailed Ducks, but we did not stop to study either of them carefully. The obvious highlight, but seen by only the leaders at the dock after participants had left, was an immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron that was spotted by Fritz at the dock. Also onboard were local birders Maggie Smith, Herb Elliott, and Pat and Ann Vaughan, Jeff Miller, Norman Pillsbury, but most participants were from out of town. Edell's eBird Android phone app calculated the one-way distance through the harbor at 1.42 miles. There was a roughly 95% cover of high clouds, a moderate (10-15 knot), breeze from the northeast, from which we were largely sheltered when at the dock, and a temperature of 57° F (on the basis of the thermometer in Edell’s vehicle). 3:10-4:00 pm.

Sea Otter - 18 (this is an estimate).

Submitted from eBird Android, version 2.0.6

Observations

  1. Number observed: 2

    Details: (standing together along the sandspit at the edge of the bay)

  2. Number observed: 35

    Details: (estimated by Edell, with most birds seen on the west side of the sandspit in the outer part of the harbor)

  3. Number observed: 1

    Details: (seen poorly by Edell, who was able to note white in the folded wing on an individual that was with Surf Scoters inside the outer harbor along the western shore of the sandspit)

  4. Number observed: 2

    Details: (we saw both continuing birds, with the female seen off sandy beach just south of the short revetment across channel from Morro Rock, and the male near floating dock off Coleman Park)

    Age & Sex:
    Juvenile Immature Adult Age Unknown
    Male 1
    Female 1
    Sex Unknown
  5. Number observed: 7

    Details: (counted by Edell)

  6. Number observed: 1

    Details: (a single bird in female-like plumaqe flew by us in the outer harbor)

  7. Number observed: 1
  8. Number observed: 9

    Details: (counted by Edell)

  9. Number observed: 40

    Details: (number estimated in a single flock while seen in flight)

  10. hummingbird sp.

    Number observed: 1

    Details: (Edell and others saw a hummingbird as it flew across bay in front of boat toward Embarcadero)

  11. Number observed: 4
  12. Number observed: 75

    Details: (this is a rough estimate)

  13. Number observed: 6

    Details: (likely a minimum number)

  14. Number observed: 1

    Details: (an adult with white flank-patches seen in the harbor)

    Age & Sex:
    Juvenile Immature Adult Age Unknown
    Male
    Female
    Sex Unknown 1
  15. Number observed: 1
  16. Number observed: 14

    Details: (counted)

  17. Number observed: 1
  18. Number observed: 1

    Details: While going through the lists for the day, Fritz spotted this bird standing on the dock below the landing at which we had just arrived and mere meters from where we departed the boat a few minutes earlier. I then walked down onto the dock and took several photos before this bird flew to one of the braces for the building above, where it remained for us to take some more photos. I never heard this bird vocalize and it was rather sedate while under observation apart from it sone short flight. Not only was this bird a year older than the other three Yellow-crowned Night-Herons that were at the state park, but after seeing this bird we drove over to the state park marina and saw all three first-winter birds that have been there.
    This was a stocky, medium-sized heron with a rather massive bill, a blocky head, a medium-length neck that was more massive than those of most herons yet slimmer than that of a Black-crowned Night-Heron, short and seemingly rounded wings, a short tail, and medium-length legs that had more mass than those of an egret. I thought the bill was quite deep and that it was about as long as the head was wide, with a culmen that curved subtly yet smoothly downward to the pointed tip of the bill. The forehead was steep but short and the crown was gently rounded back to the more strongly rounded junction of the crown with the nape. When extended, this bird’s neck was both long and slim for a night-heron even though it was both shorter and stouter than that of a egret. The body was plump, full-chested, and with a posture that was more upright than diagonal when the bird was alert. I noted minimal primary projection on short, rounded wings that appeared to fall right at the tip of the short tail, which was obscured by the closed wings.
    This bird’s plumage patterns were clearly those of a subadult bird in that they combined a faint suggestion of the pattern of an adult on the head with the generally grayish or brownish body and wings of a young bird. The head was generally a slate-gray in color, but with the forehead and crown brownish centrally yet with a paler and somewhat yellowish frame that extended through the supraloral region and along either side of the crown. I also noted at least some suggestion of a pale gray stripe extending narrowly below the eye before expanding on the auriculars in a faint suggestion of the adult cheek-stripe. The chin and maybe also the upper throat were pale yellow and thus contrasting conspicuously with the more blackish face. I did not see the neck all that well, but it did not appear to contrast obviously with the body. The back and scapulars was a medium to dark gray and each of the larger scapular feathers at least had a relatively broad band of slate gray running down the center that was bordered on either side by lighter gray to create a striped appearance to the generally dark and grayish upperparts. The wings contrasted as lighter and slightly browner than the back, and at least most of the covert feathers had a small, pale spot where the shaft met the tip. The larger greater coverts, and maybe also some of the lesser coverts also had a paler stripe along the leading edge that gave the lower part of the closed wing a striped appearance that was even more conspicuously given the narrow but well-defined fringes on the tertials. I did not see the underparts as well as I did the upperparts and wings, but what I did see appeared to be quite dusky and seemingly not as conspicuously striped as were the first-winter birds seen shortly later.
    The bill was a dull, blackish in color, and the irides were orangey and contrasting sharply with the black pupils. The legs appeared to be blackish when seen from the front, but greenish or yellowish-green when seen from behind; however, I cannot now remember the color of the toes.

    Age & Sex:
    Juvenile Immature Adult Age Unknown
    Male
    Female
    Sex Unknown 1
  19. Number observed: 5

    Details: (seen flying around the rock and later over the dock)

    Breeding Code: F Flyover (Observed)
  20. Number observed: 1

    Details: (flying overhead)

    Breeding Code: F Flyover (Observed)
  21. Number observed: 1

    Details: (seen by some as it perched on one of the power plant stacks)

  22. Number observed: 2
  23. Number observed: 4

    Details: (calling)

Additional species seen by Maggie Smith:
  1. Number observed: 3
Additional species seen by Ann Vaughan:
  1. Number observed: 3
Additional species seen by Patrick Vaughan:
  1. Number observed: 3