Date: 10/8/17 6:33 pm From: Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> Subject: [obol] Lane Coast birds
I spent most of today near Florence birding with Tye Jeske. He found our best bird, an adult Northern MOCKINGBIRD just north of Lot 3 along south jetty road.
We started at dawn at Baker Beach Rd. Lots of rails calling and the usual swarms of Steller’s Jays - why do they like that place so much? We wanted to do a thorough check of the willows and the small deflation zone between the horse parking and the creek. We checked the alder-willow patch at the west side of the parking area (not much) then spent an hour and a half doing a loop west along the horse trail, south along the east side of the dune line through tall and short grass into some nice longspur habitat (found one Savannah Sparrow).
We then negotiated the twenty-yard “gorsewest passage” on the s side of the creek (gorse, sinkholes and dense beach grass with loose driftwood), waded the creek to check the pipit zone in the sand on the north side (nobody home) then crossed back again and returned to the horse parking via the trail on the edge of the pines. Although we did not find anything rare out there, the area looks very good and we had plenty of yellow-rumps, marsh wrens, bushtits and other small birds. Bald Eagle and RS Hawk were present.
After that we went out the s jetty road (mockingbird and not much else besides a straggling Turkey Vulture), ate lunch and went down to Siltcoos. I have never seen so many people and their dogs going in via the north slough. A constant flow of dogs kept us from having much to see, but the slough offered a PECTORAL Sandpiper and a Long-billed Dow. A few pipits went over. We checked the grassy area north of the pullout for CC Longspurs and found one more Savannah Sparrow. The alder-willow patches near Waxmyrtle parking were pretty empty but we had one flock of rumps and a Black Phoebe at the boardwalk.
By the way, we found generally small numbers of yellow-rumps all day, and little packets of Audubon’s were roughly equal in number to little wads of Myrtles. Crossbills were at every stop, often in numbers.
North Jetty sites were stuffed with hundreds of Cal Gulls. We went in to the port area in early afternoon and there seemed to be two thousand tourists there—the first time I have ever seen the parking area east of Old Town completely full. It was almost impossible to bird anywhere around the port complex at high tide so we declared victory and came home. Florence is notoriously dead on warm sunny afternoons.