Florence Sanchez

I checked Devereux between 7:30-8:00 this morning and there were no shorebirds in the east bay or across the water, so I parked and walked out to Coal Oil Point and Sands Beach.  The tide was receding (loa tide about 9:30 a.m.) and there were a fair number of shorebirds on the beaches.  At Coal Oil Point, I had 1 Whimbrel and 6 Black-bellied Plovers, but not Turnstones.  Walking west along the beach, I had lots of Black-bellied Plovers, Sanderlings, and Snowy Plovers, as well as 2 Marbled Godwits.  The flock of resting gulls on the beach included a couple of first year Heerman's gulls and a fresh-plumaged  juvenile Western Gull.  In the dry sand amonst the Plovers, I found 6 Least Sandpipers.

At the point were access from the beach to the Dune Pond was allowed, I took the path to the pond.  The water level is too high for shorebirds still, but I had a fly-over Spotted Sandpiper and a juvenile Northern Phalarope was swimming on the pond.  There were about a dozen Mallards at various times, a couple of coots, and a family of Pied-billed Grebes (3 chicks).  A single Black-crowned Night Heron was in the reeds along the far shore.  The best bird I had there was a Loggerhead shrike sitting on a dead shrub near the water's edge.  The birds had a faint buffy tone to the plumage and the bill was not very large or hooked yet, making me suspect this might be a bird hatched this year.  The question is, where?  Sorry that I forgot my camera today.  It was close enough for even my simple camera to get a pretty good photo.

Walking back along the beach, I decided to count Snowy Plovers as there seems to be a lot of them about this morning.  I came up with 46.  A final check of Coal Oil Point turned up 3 Willets.

Driving back along Slough Road, I found some small shorebirds in the rapidly drying up bay.  Scoping the lot turned up Kildeer, Western Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, and Semi-palmated Plovers.  I also had a candidate for Semi-palmated Sandpiper, but I needed to see it a little closer up to make that call for sure.

I cruised by Area K and found that Snowy Egrets are starting to gather there.  This is another sign that the Slough pond is starting to dry up and it will be good for shorebirds soon.

Florence Sanchez