Thursday’s birding was a walk up Ten Mile Beach. Nothing new was found but I did come upon a Burrowing Owl. Burrowing Owls are listed as rare in Mendocino County although in recent years they are being found more often. Last year there were reports of at least nine wintering birds. Ten Mile Beach supported the bulk of those reports. The Burrowing Owl is a, “California Bird Species of Special Concern” and like the endangered Snowy Plover, California State Parks frowns upon reporting the locations of these birds to prevent “harassment” from the public.
This particular Burrowing Owl was on the same log as an individual I found last year. The first picture is this year’s bird and the second picture is last year’s. Both just watched me walk by.
I guess it’s possible it’s the same, but older, bird.
On Friday I did a Fall SOS Survey at Virgin Creek. It was a beautiful sunny day at the beach. Dunlins are coming back now. I guess that makes sense because they were the last to leave going north this Spring. The different in their plumage is striking. The first picture was last Spring and the second is what they look like now.
I also got my best picture yet of a Red-necked Grebe that was feeding close to the rocks at Virgin Creek Beach.
I was wondering what the distortion was around the lower neck and after a little study I determined that it was water bubbles reflecting the feathers in that area.
Found nothing new at the Little River Airport on Saturday so my totals are still 239 bird species with over 2512 carbon producing truck miles saved.