Sunday, October 6, 2013

Booby Bonanza

Alright folks, sorry for the big wait.  I have been trying to update my species total the past few days and it hasn't worked.  I'll figure out that kink soon I hope.  I'm up to 304 species and only 3900 miles on the bike!!!
  My goal for the year was 300, so all these other birds are just a bonus now.   I'm back at work after a great summer off, so the pace is cooling off a bit.  Plus, each new bird is getting incredibly hard to find (11 new birds in the past 700 miles on my bike).  At least it's fall migration and birding has been fun.  It's hard to complain about this migration season (though I'm sure I can find a way) considering what has been going on in California.  BOOBIES!!!
  Yup, BLUE-FOOTED BOOBIES have been all over California, including a few inland sightings.  Mono Lake had the first sighting back in late August.  A cool record, that didn't get too much attention due to the fact that the folks who found it and took a picture, walked off with it and disappeared.  Fortunately, a birder from out there got a look at the picture and reported it.  No else ever saw the bird.
  Then, a few weeks later, others appeared on the coast.  September 16, the first two San Mateo County record birds were seen.    There had been several other coastal birds seen by that point in SoCal, but I figured I better give it a shot.  I went out the next day and found the third San Mateo County bird the next day off of the Pescadero Creek mouth. I got a great view as the bird flew very close to shore.  Since then, I have seen 3 other birds, including two on September 28 while helping to lead the Gay Birders of North America around my stomp here on the south coast of the county.
  August and September were fantastic.  I've done about as good as I think I'll do for shorebirds this year.  Some highlights were my first county CLAPPER RAIL, BAIRD'S, SEMIPALMATED, and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, and a RED KNOT.
  I did another weekend trip right before starting the new school year.  A weekend in San Francisco.  It was a blast.  I got to visit some friends, watched my childhood baseball team (the Pirates) beat the Giants, and got involved in a high speed chase with the SF Cops (yeah, it's a really crazy story-ask me about it sometime).  Certainly the bird highlight was getting to track down an ORCHARD ORIOLE.
  A few other birds I added recently were TENNESSEE WARBLER, TROPICAL KINGBIRD, and then today added POMARINE JAEGER and BULLER'S SHEARWATER (we're having an amazing anchovy year here on the central coast of California).

  Well, more soon... I promise not to let so much time pass before the next post.