This morning, September 14, Steve Rottenborn, Jim Lomax, Steve Rovell, Linda Pittman, and Frances Oliver met me at Paicines Reservoir. Al De Martini also showed up. We walked down the levee (with permission from the ranch owner). We spent about 2 hours birding.
The SABINE’S GULL was still present, sitting on the water, picking at (presumably food) the water, in fairly dense fog. The fog really hindered viewing conditions. Eventually, the gull flew around, but mostly it sat on the water. It would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to see it from the Highway 25 pullout due to the fog.
A first cycle CALIFORNIA GULL and a first cycle RING-BILLED GULL were also present (today, and yesterday). We have since decided that the previously reported Western Gull could not be positively identified. Any gull at Paicines Reservoir is unusual. It is not a place where gulls congregate. There was no sign of the Black Tern.
Frances, Linda, and Steve Rovell joined me on a little tour and birding of Paicines Ranch for a short time. We had some excellent views of SORA and VIRGINIA RAILS, both species which are difficult to find in San Benito County.
We made a very brief stop about 11:15 a.m. at Paicines Reservoir to check on the gull when we left the ranch. The SABINE’S GULL was still present. That’s the last time I saw it before heading home. The fog had lifted and the gull was flying around. So, it was visible from the Highway 25 pullout.
Linda and Frances stopped along Lover’s Lane on their way home, and saw a couple WHITE-FACED IBIS (previously reported by Steve Rottenborn).
It was a nice morning in good company with homemade zucchini bread to boot! For some folks, more than a couple county ticks were made.
Tomorrow morning I will likely head to Paicines Reservoir to check on the Sabine’s Gull, maybe about 8 a.m. I do not expect fog tomorrow morning.
I will probably be doing more levee walks which I’ll announce soon, most likely this Sunday, September 20. You do need to sign up in advance.
Many thanks to the folks at Paicines Ranch for their kindness in allowing us permission to view the birds.
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