Date: 10/24/17 2:11 pm
From: William Legge <WGDLegge...> [northbaybirds] <northbaybirds-noreply...>
Subject: [NBB] Rodeo Lagoon 10/24 - Visual Migration Today

Classic Fall 'vis-mig' conditions in the Marin Headlands early this morning with the moderately strong offshore winds channeling migrating birds into the Headlands. The highlight was a strong movement of American Pipits heading south east. I tallied 562+ moving through in 28 different flocks in c. 2 hours, the largest comprising 52 individuals, with particularly strong passage between 8:15-8:45am when flocks were coming through from the NW, over the footbridge leading to the beach, SE over the main lagoon and up over the southern headlands, every few minutes. No sooner had I tracked the progress of one flock over the lagoon than I would look back to the northwest to seen the next flock approaching. Most were flying about 20-100 feet above ground/lagoon. Special to see migration on this scale in Marin, but best not to think too much about what could have been with them!

Other species seen moving today included Band-tailed Pigeon, Killdeer, Western Meadowlark and Lesser Goldfinches. There were literally hundreds of small passerines moving over the Marin Headlands very early in the morning east of Rodeo Lagoon, that were too far away or high up to ID. In addition several hundred unidentified ducks were moving south offshore - very bad heat hazy hindered my ability to identify any of the latter with any certainty.

Vig-Mig totals from this morning (7:40-9:30am) as follows - all movement south-east (SE) unless noted:

23 Killdeer - single flock flew over quite high
2 Glaucous-winged Gulls
1 Thayer's Gull (first of the fall)
285 Band-tailed Pigeon (largest flock 60+)
2 Tree/Violet-green Swallows over NE
562+ American Pipit (largest flock 52)
10 Lesser Goldfinch
3 Western Meadowlark

The best of the rest included the continuing flock of 17 Cackling Geese (2nd day and visiting both lagoons) - Aleutian sized but no neck rings but pale breast and larger size ruling out Minima, 2 Wilson's Snipe in the outlet channel, and the now resident Common Gallinule with Am. Coot on the main lagoon. Fox Sparrows and House Wrens continue to be present in good numbers for those prepared to undertake a circuit of the lagoon, and I had my first Pacific Wren of the Fall. However the windy condition hampered seeing grounded passerines today - many choosing staying out of the wind.

Good birding,

William Legge
Mill Valley, CA

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