Date: 10/11/17 4:01 pm
From: Joan Lentz <joanlentz...> [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply...>
Subject: [sbcobirding] Bird class at Coal Oil Point this a.m., comments on Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at LLC
Hi All:
We had a good class this morning at Coal Oil Point, walking along the bluffs beginning at the end of Del Playa, circling back around to Devereux.
The best shorebird watching was in the extensive wrack washed up along the beach between the steps from I.V. west to Coal Oil Point. What a great place that beach is, especially in winter — lighting is great, many Sanderlings, some Westerns and Leasts for comparison, and finally three Dunlin mixed in, my first this fall. One Black Turnstone.
Many, many shorebirds too distant to really i.d. completely are roosting towards the mouth of Devereux Slough, if you scan with a scope from the Sands Beach overlook. We saw Snowy Plovers mixed in with masses of Black-bellied Plovers. Definitely worth a beach walk on your own.
In contrast, Devereux is pretty pathetic and held very few birds. The water there is drying up or at least has very little oxygen. Waiting for rain….
About the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER that Brad Hacker has so kindly provided us with excellent photos of: I took the liberty of writing to Curtis Marantz, because I was confused as to the age of this sapsucker. Traditionally, the juvenal plumage of Yellow-bellied is much browner than this (on the head especially) at this time of year, but Curtis suggested that this bird was moving from juvenal to first basic plumage, i.e., had been born perhaps earlier in the spring than a more typical bird, so that the red throat is clearly visible and a little bit of red coming in on the forehead, thus a male (females have white throats). So, thanks to Curtis for clearing that up, and to Brad for his photos.
Perhaps there are two sapsuckers at LLC: a Red-naped somewhere in addition to this Yellow-bellied? Further exploration needed!

Joan Lentz

Posted by: Joan Lentz <joanlentz...>

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