What a Difference a Few Days Make.

While I was on the pelagic trip, a Baird’s Sandpiper was discovered on Virgin Creek by Cheryl Watson. This is only the 2nd Spring record for Mendocino County. Many people from the pelagic trip were able to find it on Sunday after the trip. I wasn’t able to get up there that day. On Wednesday, while on downtime from my transportation job, I made a fast trip to Virgin Creek. My thinking is that the heavy winds we’ve been having might keep the Baird’s Sandpiper on the beach. For once my theory was right. I found it near the same location where it was first found. The beach was covered with shorebirds, mostly Sanderlings with eight Dunlins mixed in. The Baird’s was a year bird for me, number 215. Didn’t have my camera so no picture.

On Friday I did my SOS Survey at Virgin Creek. No Baird’s Sandpiper, Sanderlings or Dunlins. The beach was empty except for one Black-bellied Plover and two Whimbrels. I finished my survey early and decided to look for a Wandering Tattler along the coastal rocks. One was reported when the Baird’s Sandpiper was discovered. While walking near Laguna Point in MacKerricher State Park I noticed a pair of Black Oystercatchers on some nearby rocks. One of the Oystercatchers appeared to be on a nest. I decided to sit down and wait to see if there were eggs when it moved. While waiting, a Wandering Tattler came flying onto the same rock I was looking at. Saw two of them while I was watching the Oystercatchers. The bird on the nest never moved while I was there. The other one wandered around on the rock. The Wandering Tattler was bird number 216. As of Friday I’m at over 1327 car miles saved.

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