We ended up at 78 <https://ebird.org/checklist/S79861703> species, which is a step up from October's big sit at the same locality (but a different observation site) which ended with 64 <https://ebird.org/checklist/S74722890> species. I think in part the lagoon is actually birdier in the winter than fall, but another big reason for this increase is the help I got from four other birders - Mark Holmgren, Carina Motta, Andy McGrath, and Aaron Kreisberg each came out for part of the day. Having some friends to talk to definitely makes the 11 hours sitting on a ladder go by faster, too!
We didn't have any especially unusual species during our count, although we did also have a merlin just before noon - maybe the same bird as Linus's? Three Fox Sparrows were new for me at this site. And we did manage to find the (or one of several?) Tropical Kingbird which likes to hang out there.
I believe this site has a ton of promise for big sits, especially because there were a few relatively common species we missed (like California Thrasher, Orange-crowned Warbler, Townsend's Warbler). I'm excited to try this more in the future!
I'm pretty sure all the other birders from my sit still think I'm crazy, but I spent most of the day sitting on top of a 6ft stepladder, which really makes a big difference in the viewshed you can reach with a scope or pair of binoculars. With the ladder you can get pretty good views out to the ocean at the S and E edges of the lagoon and can see most of the water in the lagoon itself, plus various terrestrial areas with chaparral and eucs. Almost feels like having a mini observation tower.
Next step: persuade someone to loan me a cherry picker.
On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 3:12 PM Linus Blomqvist <linus.blomqvist...> wrote:
> Hi all, > > Yesterday Conor McMahon and I did an informal Big Sit, with Conor at the > Campus Lagoon and me at Lake Los Carneros. The idea with a Big Sit is to > see as many bird species as possible from within a 17-ft circle in a day > (full description and rules here <https://www.thebigsit.org/>). I chose > the western end of the dam at LLC as my spot, and managed to get 80 species > in the 11 hours I spent there, which felt like a very good result. Many > thanks to the birders who joined me for part of the day: Mark Holmgren, > John Callender, and Zach Reitz. > > I was once again struck by how fun this exercise is - every species > counts, and every moment you have to be alert to not miss a call or a bird > zooming by, never to be seen again. My full checklist is here > <https://ebird.org/checklist/S79859718>. I didn't see anything > particularly rare or unusual, but I appreciated the Merlin that swung by in > late afternoon, the Northern Harrier that made a brief appearance over the > hills to the west of LLC, the Red-Breasted Sapsucker that flew over, and > the Violet-green Swallows that were the first of season for me. Birding > largely through the scope - an absolute necessity to get much beyond 60 or > so species - added its own little pleasures, like when I was pretty sure > about seeing a White-breasted Nuthatch in flight at a distance of several > hundred yards, only to see it land on a tree trunk and run up and down as > if to really help me out with the ID. > > Linus > > ______________ > *Linus Blomqvist* > > >