Had a very interesting evening (March 26) looping around Coal Oil Point Reserve with Emily Kreisberg.
Starting at Venoco Bridge we saw two American Avocets (I assume the same pair reported by Libby Patten today) on the NCOS side.
We walked the Pond Trail from there and by the time we reached the Western overlooks the two Avocets had moved into Devereux Slough and joined an aggregation of shorebirds in the middle of the Slough (there was also a large aggregation of shorebirds on Wednesday evening). Migrants resting up? Mostly whimbrel but some godwits and curlews present. Also a few stilts present both nights. When we last observed the avocets they were roosting with black-necked stilts next to a log in the middle of the Slough. There was a also a White-tailed Kite kiting between the Slough and Dune Pond.
From there we continued on to the Dune Pond where a Eurasian Wigeon was present with 15 American Wigeon. Light made viewing hard but the rufous sides to the head and white rump area with grey sides on the body were apparent. Head streak was difficult to distinguish.
We then walked the beach; plovers (many Snowy Plover with one Killdeer also seen) and sandpipers (sanderling, western/least, dunling, and one other bird of interest) were very active. Post-sunset light made viewing difficult but I thought we had Curlew Sandpiper with a few Dunlin. I do not feel as confident about this sighting as the Eurasian Wigeon though. We attempted some poor photos and were at the western edge of the fencing in front of the Slough mouth. The bird I thought was Curlew Sandpiper showed a prominent white eyebrow, a curved bill, and breast streaks with black spots on the belly. The belly spots looked like tar possibly (makes me wonder if this was a Dunlin with some tar that I was wishing into Curlew Sandpiper).
Coal Oil Point Reserve and NCOS are lovely to visit right now and keep an eye out for breeding evidence.