Monday, December 22, 2014

Morro Bay CBC Preliminary Results

The Morro Bay Christmas Bird Count was held yesterday, December 20.  There was 100% cloud cover most of the day with little to no wind and drizzle early in the morning. A 6.2 foot high tide at 7:52 am and high surf made birding interesting along the beaches and in Morro Bay. Circle coverage was good this year thought I don’t yet have the total number of participants.

The tentative total for the count is 205 species; documentation could increase or decrease the count though only by a species or two in either direction.  Counters please provide area leaders with needed documentation now so they can complete their compilations.

One new species was added to the cumulative species total this year.  A SANDHILL CRANE at the mouth of Morro Creek is the 317th species recorded on the Morro Bay CBC. Other highlights are:

Snow Goose – two adults and two hatch-year at Laguna Lake

Ross’s Goose – not sure of the location at this time

Cackling Goose –two at Laguna Lake

Eurasian Wigeon – male at Morro Bay

Canvasback – not sure of the location at this time

Hooded Merganser – three females together in a well-wooded portion of San Luis Creek just above Bianchi Lane in SLO

Black-vented Shearwater – 1077 seen from the MDOSP bluffs

Green Heron – not sure of the location at this time

White-faced Ibis – one flew over Turri Road

Common Gallinule – adult continued at the SLO Water Treatment Plant pond off Stenner Creek Road

Marbled Murrelet –two seen from the MDOSP bluffs

Ancient Murrelet – one seen from the MDOSP bluffs

Rhinoceros Auklet – two seen from the MDOSP bluffs

Greater Roadrunner – at least three recorded

Western Screech Owl – See Canyon

Spotted Owl – See Canyon

Long-eared Owl – See Canyon

Yellow-breasted Sapsucker – adult male along Brizzolara Street in SLO

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – adult male continued at El Chorro Regional Park

Yellow-billed Magpie – San Luisito Creek Road

Common Raven – one up San Bernardo Creek Road

Barn Swallow – 4 seen along the Moro Bay Sandspit

Mountain Bluebird – not sure of the location or number at this time

Black-and-White Warbler – female/Hatch-year bird continued on Morro Creek

Nashville Warbler – one in cypress and eucalyptus trees just to the north of Pecho Willows, Los Osos

Hermit Warbler – one at Morro Creek

Wilson’s Warbler – one along Islay Creek, Islay Creek Campground, Montana de Oro SP

Grasshopper Sparrow – three in the Bautista Ranch (east of South Bay Blvd), Morro Bay SP

Savannah Sparrow (large-billed) – two seen from the MBSP Marina boardwalk

Swamp Sparrow – one at the west end of Ramona

HARRIS’S SPARROW – hatch-year bird around intersection of Campus and Questa near the Orfalea Family Center”, Cal Poly (5th count record)

White-throated Sparrow – in willows along Stenner Creek behind 475 Brizzolara Street

White-throated Sparrow – others reported, but not sure of the location at this time

Slate-colored Junco – continuing bird at Meadow Park, SLO

Summer Tanager – one continued at the Bowden Open Space

Western Tanager – not sure of the location at this time

Bullocks Oriole – a first-alternate in Liquidambar trees near the Ag.10 building often perching at Cal Poly

Bullock’s Oriole – female on the peninsula that juts northwest into the lake just beyond the park pier at Laguna Lake

There are 3 count week birds (missed on count day but seen three days before or after) as of today. If anyone saw these birds yesterday, please let me know.

Greater White-fronted Goose – Laguna Lake, SLO

Bald Eagle – Laguna Lake, Baywood Cove/Sweet Springs Nature Preserve

Western Flycatcher – Pecho Road willows, Los Osos

Thanks to everyone that participated. A special thanks to Maggie Smith the Count Coordinator (and an Area Leader), Bert and Elaine Townsend the Count Registrars, Bill Bouton, Kaaren Perry, Eric Weir and Mike Stiles/Ron Beck who also acted as Area Leaders, and to Connie Harms for handling the phone calls on count day.  And, the post-count potluck was excellent!

Tom Edell
Count Compiler
Cayucos, CA