Date: 8/27/18 3:14 pm
From: William Legge <WGDLegge...> [northbaybirds] <northbaybirds-noreply...>
Subject: [NBB] Rodeo Lagoon (Marin Headlands) - Recent Sightings

I have been covering Rodeo Lagoon pretty consistently over the last few weeks (with David Weichers and others) and the current weather set-up seems to be bring in good number of western passerines migrants to the coast, particularly the expected warblers, and Hermit Warblers in particular. Today's trawl included 7 species of warbler including 2 Hermit Warblers and single Townsend's and Black-throated Gray Warblers. The area just west of the Marin Headlands Visitor Center Park Car, along Field Road and its junction with Simmonds Road has been particularly good for Hermit Warblers over the last few weeks. In contrast, Yellow Warblers have been a little on the scarce side thus far (I only had 2 today), so I am hoping their big push will come in September. We have also been having good numbers of 'Western' Flycatchers, and Warbling Vireos by the lagoon's lowly standards as well as the odd Western Wood-Pewee, and this morning a Lazuli Bunting put in an appearance, a good bird for the lagoon. However, Western Tanagers have been noticeable by their complete absence thus far. It is still early, so there is plenty of time for them to come through and the first two weeks of September have traditionally been the time to catch-up with this species at this location.

The water level at the main lagoon is lower than it has been for some years.. Consequently there are some small but decent patches of shoreline mud developing, particularly in the south west corner of the main lagoon, with the latter consistently attracting small numbers of Red-necked Phalaropes, Least and Western Sandpipers as well as the odd other shorebird over the last few weeks - but nothing too special ........yet! Sadly the lagoon seems to have missed out on the region's recent influx of Baird's Sandpipers.

Notable has been this summer's influx of Brown Pelicans. Numbers have receded a little over the last two weeks but we are still seeing over 200-/+ visiting the lagoon at any one time to wash and preen. Its been well over 6+ years since the Pelicans have been comfortable to visit the lagoon in this manner given their macabre history with the lagoon's River Otters, so its good to see the River Otters and Brown Pelicans co-existing right now. Perhaps this current generation of River Otters have yet to work out how to catch a Pelican or two. Hopefully that will remain the case!

Finally, and while I know its early, we have been having a few migrants wildfowl including a one-day (and super early) Ring-necked Duck on August 15th, a couple of Gadwall and a Northern Shoveler this last weekend.

September here we come........

Good birding,

William Legge
Mill Valley, CA

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