Thursday was Thanksgiving. I had to negotiate with my wife about getting out for some birding. I decided to do some ocean viewing from the Mendocino Headlands State Park bluffs. Ocean viewing with a scope isn’t something I do a lot. Since I live near the ocean I guess I should be doing it more. There are some birds that wander close to shore at times. I would be looking for alcids.
Couldn’t find any alcids. There were plenty of cormorants, grebes, gulls, loons, turnstones and scoters. I did find a Black Oystercatcher rock.
Every time I tried to count how many were on the rock I would get a different answer so I green or red dotted each bird as I counted them in Photoshop. There were 87 Black Oystercatchers. I don’t know what that gull was doing near the top. The most I’ve ever seen were 52 out at Laguna Point. With the 30+ at Van Damme Beach I saw close to 120 for the day.
Still stuck on 246 birds seen but it was a nice morning.
I had a late Wednesday afternoon drive with a Lodge Resident into Mendocino. This drive would involve a hour wait time. I could have window shopped in town with it’s many fine shops but decided to bird the Headlands. When I got out there the winds were at 20+mph. I pondered if it would be worth the effort to even get out of the car. I spotted a small bird battling the winds. As it went by I heard it’s dry rattle flight call and knew it was probably a Longspur. I went looking for it. Only took a short time to locate the Lapland Longspur in the short grass near the bluffs. I didn’t have my camera with me and this is what it looked like using my ITouch.
This is what it looks like when I found one in the same location last year.
Lapland Longspurs are listed as rare here in Mendocino. They alway seem to show up in October and most of them have been found here on the Mendocino Headlands. Below is their range map from my Sibley Bird App.
As you can see they should be well north of us. No one knows where these Longspurs go when they leave Mendocino.
The last time I talked about my gas usage I had gone 56 days between filling up my truck. Thursday I had to take my truck into Fort Bragg to put gas in it. I had lasted 49 days. My average had been 21.5 days before I started this experimental year so I’m still doing a good job in that area. Where am I still using gas? 10 miles round trip to Mendocino Bus Stop and several trips into Fort Bragg to catch the CC Rider (MTA) to Ukiah.
On my way back home I stopped at the Caspar Cemetery to look for a Northern Parula. The cemetery is one of the best areas to look for this rare Mendocino bird. Didn’t find one but got some excellent pictures of a Hermit Warbler.
Also went out to the Mendocino Headlands to look for a Tufted Puffin, another rare Mendocino bird. They have been seen during this time period. No luck. Did see 4 Rhinoceros Auklets to the north. There are a rough estimate of 600 Common Murres and 250 Brandt’s Cormorants nesting on the rocks.