Date: 10/29/17 5:26 pm
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Newport (South Beach) birds

Under overcast skies, with a little fog and a little showery mist, the birding was pretty good.

Highlights:

1.  One Rock Sandpiper was back on the jetty finger st the gull spot, with 1 Black Turnstone and 1 Surfbird.  Around 11:00 the flew west to the last finger (just below the concrete monument).

2. The Tropical kingbird made its appearance around 11:00 and hunted around the  pond between the Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), then into the patch of trees in the SW part of the HMSC property, over into the marina landscaping, then back south to the aquarium parking lots.  It covered a lot of ground but did not seem to bothered much by people.  Chuck Philo heard another one behind the restrooms at the south jetty.

3.  Two Red-shouldered Hawks have been present around HMSC.  Yesterday they were sitting together on one of the Osprey platforms, and today both were near the Nature Trail shelter.  The larger (female?) is an adult and the smaller appears to be in its second winter (hatched 2016) so likely old enough to nest this coming spring?

4. A tiny-looking Merlin zipped between Jeannie Bray and me, about 4' off the ground, and rose up to clear the HMSC perimeter fence near the south entrance.

5,  Chuck Philo saw the big gull roost at the nature trail panic-fly.  I starter scanning for the expected eagle, but then heard some harsh screams, and watched an extended fight between 2 Peregrines.
6.  The nature trail gull roost included 16 Bonaparte's Gulls, and 50+ Mew Gulls among the Californias and bigger gulls. Also 200+ Pintails and some other waterfowl. 

7.  A smallish pink-footed gull with dark eyes and pale bill would have been called Thayer's Gull last year.  I hope OBOL will tolerate me still using that name.  Seriously, it would be good if eBird, OBOL, etc. would adopt some nomenclatural guidelines, so that when one of the really pale eastern ones shows up, the report will stand out.  

Wayne






 
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