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California Spring Break Trip Report


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I left on my trip earlier today, and I figure I'll try to post the day's report in the evening after I'm done birding for the day. This will be a nine day trip, so expect nine days worth of trip reports. I might miss a day or two on the busy days, but I'll try to get them up the next day. 

This is my first trip report, so I really hope I don't mess it up too much.

Edited by Aidan B
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Day One. 

I ended up getting a fairly late start, and left my house at around 2:30 pm. It was about a four hour drive to the first location, and I spent almost the whole drive trying to get the species counts and the number of counties I've birded in before. I saw lots and lots of just a few species, and very few of quite a few species. I ended up submitting 54 incidental checklists with a total of 49 species. Not bad for around four hours of driving down a freeway at 60 miles an hour. Lots of White-throated Swifts under all of the bridges, and Rock Pigeons. The three best birds I saw while driving were two pairs of Black-necked Stilts, seven Swainson's Hawks, and a flyover Merlin over the Freeway. 

My destination at this time was my great grandmother house, where my family was going to eat dinner with her. I spent around an hour birding in her small backyard until sunset. Her yard was filled with far more birds than I expected given the location. The highlight there was seeing both a male Cooper's and a Male Sharpie soaring on the same thermal giving a great comparison. Interestingly enough, she seems to have a Eurasian Collared-Dove roost in her yard, I had at least ten fly into the pines surrounding her yard. 

After I left her house, we drove to the campsite at millerton lake, where although I wasn't focused on Owling as I was helping set up the family trailer, it was pretty good. I had two Great-horned Owls, a Barn Owl, and a completely unexpected species, A little Northern Pygmy-Owl giving a repetitive series of toots in the hills above the Campground. That was by far the best species I had today, and one I was certainly not expecting to get this trip. 

Number of species seen today: 61

Number of species seen on this trip: 61

 

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13 minutes ago, BirdNrd said:

where was that?

This was in between San Joaquin and Fresno County, not in San Luis Obispo. I know those would be some nice birds for that county.

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Day Two.

I woke up this morning to the chattering of a Western Kingbird, my first of 2021. That was a great start to a great day. I spent almost the entire day birding, and there where some highlight for sure. I started my first checklist right at 7:00 am, and the highlight of that checklist was a super cooperative Rock Wren that was intent on singing. It seemed to have no fear of me at all, and I might have taken 1100 photos of it. I sure hope a few turned out good. It surprised me how many rabbits there were, there are far more rabbits here at Millerton lake than I've seen anywhere else in California. On my way back to the campground for breakfast, I started hearing this song that I had never heard before. I finally tracked the bird down and found that it was a singing Loggerhead Shrike. However, even better than this was that there was another shrike near it, and this shrike flew down into a nest! I certainly was not expecting to find nesting Loggerhead Shrikes here!

While I was eating breakfast, I had another great bird. I heard a Ring-necked Pheasant calling from up above the campsite, which was the first one ever reported from this hotspot. Millerton lake is way prettier than I thought it would be, which is nice.

After breakfast, I walked up a road that is currently closed to cars, and had some great birds. More Rufous-crowned Sparrows than I could count, both Sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks, lots of Violet-green Swallows, and a small Flock of Lawrence's Goldfinches. The last were particularly nice, besides from them being awesome birds, I had never had a view of one for longer than 15 seconds. Today I had an extended view which lasted for more than five minutes. I also heard their distinctive flight call for the first time, so now I know what to listen for when I think ones around. 

I headed back for lunch around 12:00 pm, and between then and 4:00 pm, I really saw nothing special except for lots of flyover LAGO's. Around 4:30, thing started to pick up. In quick succession I had a Lark Sparrow, my FOS Bullock's Oriole, and tons of other species flying around. I was especially pleased with the Bullock's Oriole as I was not expecting one here, they usually don't move into this area for another week. Around 5:30 it quieted down, and not much started happening until right now. Within the last five minutes I have had a flock of Greater White-fronted geese, a Western Screech-Owl, and at least six Great Horned Owls. It was a pretty good day. 

Number of species seen today: 60

Number of species seen on this trip: 84

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Day Three. 

One of my favorite things about camping is waking up to the birds singing, nothing makes the day seem more beautiful than that. This morning the bird I woke up to was a Nuttal's Woodpecker drumming on the tree next to the camper. This signaled the start to a day that would be even better than the day before.

I left the camper at around 6:55 am, and in quick succession added quite a few species. House Finches, House Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Western Kingbirds and a pair of flyover Lawrence's Goldfinches! Around fifteen minutes after I left the campground, I got to the fork of the trail where I had to decide which direction to go, the way I went yesterday, or the opposite way I had never gone. I decided to do that. And it was a very good decision. Within the first four-hundred feet of the trail, I had added twenty-eight species to the day, the best of these was a pair of cooperative Lark Sparrows. Not too far down from the Lark Sparrows, I heard my main target for this location, a Canyon Wren singing from way up in the hills. This was only the fourth time I had ever heard a Canyon Wren, so I sat down to listen to it for a while. As I did this, I heard something completely unexpected. A Northern Pygmy-Owl was calling from right up near the Canyon Wren! I briefly considered hiking up the hill to try to locate it and the Wren, but I decided it was probably much harder than it looked. 

I continued along the trail for about a mile, adding two more heard only Canyon Wrens, five Rock Wrens, a Bewick's Wren, a small flock of Scrub-Jays, the first and only I'd seen at Millerton lake, and in a mixed flock of Savannah and White-crowned Sparrows was a species I hadn't had on my radar for this trip. A Vesper Sparrow! I was not expecting this species as it had only been reported four times at this hotspot with six-hundred checklists. They also start becoming harder to locate around this time in the Central Valley as they are all starting to migrate and there are less around. I was thrilled with this sighting. 

After admiring the the Vesper Sparrow, I continued down the trail for another quarter mile to a huge rock outcropping. By this time it was around 9:00 am, so the birds were starting to quiet down and I didn't have much hope on hearing another canyon wren. However, I decided to give it a try. What was shocking though, was that although there was no Canyon Wren singing from up high, one popped up on a rock about twenty feet away from me and started singing it's heart out. It did not seem to care that I was right near it, and I continued to watch, and photograph it for the next thirty minutes. These were by far the best looks I'd ever had of a Canyon Wren, and I could not get over how loud it was. It was louder than a Mockingbird. And it was the size of a House Wren. No wonder I couldn't locate any of the others way up in the hills. 

From here, I decided to head back to the campsite to help back up. I wasn't expecting anything special, but I could hope. I saw more Lark Sparrows, lots of White-breasted Nuthatch, many Western Kingbirds, and a very pretty Lawrence's Goldfinch. I was particularly happy about this sighting, because although I must have heard over sixty between the past two days, I had only seen four perched, and they had all been distant. This Goldfinch was less than fifteen feet away from me. Sadly, it didn't stay long bit I still managed too get some decent photos. I also finally saw my FOS Bullock's Oriole, yesterday I only heard it calling. Today it was flying around and singing. I arrived back at the campsite right after I saw that bird. I spent the rest of my time at Millerton Lake listening to flyover LAGO's while packing up. 

From Millerton Lake, I headed back to my Great grandmother's house, where although I didn't add anything new, there was a couple of newly hatched baby Killdeer along with their protective parents across the street from her house, and the Killdeer chicks were super cute. I left my great grandmother's house at around 3:00pm, and spent the the next three hours creating incedental lists for Fresno, King, Kern, and San Luis Obispo County. The best birds I saw doing this were two Black-crowned Night-Herons, a small flock of Long-billed Curlews, and several Swainson's Hawks, including a light morph in SLO county. 

I had managed to convince my parents to briefly stop at the Purple Martin Colony on the way to the next campsite, and I was very excited to see them as this would only be the second time I had ever seen a Purple Martin. I pulled to the spot, and within seconds I was hearing them calling overhead. This was awesome as I had expected to have to search for them a little before I found one. And better than one, there was NINE! The west coast Purple Martin's have not adapted well to human interference, so having six males and three females was awesome. Besides from the Martin's, I also had the best looks I've ever had at a California Thrasher. I think these coastal birds are a lot easier to approach than the birds found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. I've never gotten within seventy feet of one of thoese birds, and this one was not concerned by me when I was standing fifteen feet away. Sadly, I didn't have much time to spend with these amazing birds as it was fast approaching sunset and we needed to get to the campsite. My last species of the day was right as my family pulled into the campground, a Western Gull in the fading light of the setting sun. I can only hope that tomorrow will be just as fun, and filled with lots of great birds. 

Number of species seen today: 79

Number of species seen on this trip: 99

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Aidan B said:

I had managed to convince my parents to briefly stop at the Purple Martin Colony on the way to the next campsite, and I was very excited to see them as this would only be the second time I had ever seen a Purple Martin. I pulled to the spot, and within seconds I was hearing them calling overhead. This was awesome as I had expected to have to search for them a little before I found one. And better than one, there was NINE! The west coast Purple Martin's have not adapted well to human interference, so having six males and three females was awesome. Besides from the Martin's, I also had the best looks I've ever had at a California Thrasher. I think these coastal birds are a lot easier to approach than the birds found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. I've never gotten within seventy feet of one of thoese birds, and this one was not concerned by me when I was standing fifteen feet away. Sadly, I didn't have much time to spend with these amazing birds as it was fast approaching sunset and we needed to get to the campsite. My last species of the day was right as my family pulled into the campground, a Western Gull in the fading light of the setting sun. I can only hope that tomorrow will be just as fun, and filled with lots of great birds. 

 

where were the PUMA's?

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Day Four. 

I woke up this morning to the sound of the same species I last saw the night before, a Western Gull sitting on the top of a neighboring camper and calling with it's harsh voice. It was pretty chilly out, but not as cold as I had expected it to be. By the time I had grabbed all my birding stuff and left the camper, it was about 7:00 am. 

I had meant to go straight down to the beach, but I got a little distracted by a side trail. I started to hear the chuck call of a Hermit Thrush coming from down it a little ways, and I wanted to get a better look at it. This kept happening with lots of other birds, Chestnut-backed Chickdees, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Sooty Fox Sparrow, and Finally, a Singing Common Yellowthroat. This last bird was so stubborn, and would not come out from within the reeds. Of course, I spent twenty-five minutes try to get a half decent photo of this bird before heading back to the beach trail, where of course there had to be four adult male Common Yellowthroats right out in the open.

Once I reached the beach, I started birding and keeping track of the exact numbers of all the shorebirds that I came across. Most numerous were the Willets, followed by the Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlews, Whimbrel, and Western Sandpipers in that order. Among a few of the more uncommon species, the ones I was most surprised with were a pair of Sanderlings in alternate plumage. Of course, my favorite shorebirds where the rock loving ones. The Black Oystercatchers, the Black Turnstone, and my favorite, the Surfbirds. I'd only seen them once before, and it was years ago and from a long distance away. This time they came within three feet of me while I was sitting down and being still. Now those were great looks. I do have to admit I was surprised to see the foraging in the sand, I had gotten the feeling that they really like rocks and almost never would forage on the sand.  I was especially pleased to see both breeding and nonbreeding plumaged birds at the same time. Of course, I couldn't have all these bird so close to me and not get great photos. I ended up getting the best photos I've ever taken. 

I came back for breakfast at around 10:30 am, and didn't get to birding for a while. The next place I visited was the pier up in Cayucos. This was right around 12:00, and the only reason I went there was because my family wanted to go to the beach there, and I figured I might get lucky and see something interesting. I spent around an hour out on the pier, adding Red-throated and Common Loon, Common Goldeneye, all three Cormorants, and lots of Western and Clark's Grebes. Not too many of these gave great looks, but the Red-throated Loon did not care at all that there were people above it on the pier, and I got great looks at what I consider to be the most flighty of the Loons. 

After the Pier, I followed the trail up to where a creek flows under a bridge into the ocean. And under that bridge, there must have been at least two-hundred Cliff Swallows. I spent some time continuing up the creek, adding some more nice birds like Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, and some not so great birds like Mallards and House Sparrows. However, the best bird by far was my maybe Lifer Cassin's Kingbird! It was awsome to finally get this bird that was on my life list from a old photo where I didn't know what it was. 

I got back to the camper at around 2:30 pm, and spent the next two hours just relaxing by reading ebird checklists. So, it was around 4:30 pm that I started birding again.  My mom and my siblings wanted to see Sea Otters, and the T dock seemed like a good place to do so. Right as we pulled up, I noticed a big flock of gulls and terns on the opposite side of the bay. I was instantly ready and raced over there to look for my lifer Royal Tern, a species that doesn't reach where I usually bird. I have to admit that I was so obsessed with with finding my lifer that I didn't even take photos of the many Sea Otters around the dock. I must have scanned that flock of gulls and terns a hundred times, but no matter what I did, I could not turn on of the Caspian Terns into a Royal no matter what I did. I raced around towards Morro Rock to try and get better lighting on those terns. I hardly noticed the black and white Pigeon Guillemot right near the shore, or the Canyon Wrens singing from way up on the rocky face of Morro Rock in my hurry to find a Royal Tern. I have to admit this was the most obsessed I had been with a lifer in a long time. I never found a Royal Tern, and this was also the first miss of the trip. 

I than went to Turri Rd, but it was the complete wrong time of day for birding so my numbers were way down, but I did have great looks at a Western Kingbird, had my FOS Wilson's Warblers, got to hear a Horned Lark Singing, and watched a American Kestrel mob a Red-tail. 

It was a pretty good day, but I think I could have done better with more planning and more time out birding. On a side note, I still haven't seen a Red-shouldered Hawk yet this trip, which I find super funny. I've always though of them as being California's most common hawk after Red-tails. 

Number of species seen today: 91

Number of species seen on this trip: 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Aidan B said:

Number of species seen on this trip: 

I forgot to put the number of species, it's 128 species so far this trip. 

Edited by Aidan B
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Just now, Connor Cochrane said:

Really. I need it to stick till Tuesday when I'm down there

Listen for the chatter. Once you hear it, it's unmistakable.

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Day Five.

 I got a fairly early start this morning, leaving the trailer at around 6:45 am. I went straight to the beach this morning, without any birding along the trail to the sand. It was surprising to me on this trip how warm it was early in the morning, I'm used to the Northern California beaches in winter, where the cold is absolutely biting. On to the birds I saw this morning. There were lots of Willet and Marbled Godwit. I got some really good photos of those birds today. I also had smaller numbers of most other species, a couple of highlights were a pair of Black Oystercatchers that were chasing each other and flew within ten feet of me several times, a flyover Osprey, and a very cooperative Ring-billed Gull. The silliest thing I've done this trip happend halfway through the morning. I spent fifteen minutes photographing a Western Sandpiper, only to realize it was a Dunlin. On my way back from the beach I had the best looks I've ever had of a Common Yellowthroat. 

I hardly did any birding after the morning, as I was helping pack up the camper and it took a long time to get to Carrizo. When my family pulled up to the hipcamp, there was a Horned Lark singing on the picnic table. I'm sure that will be the only time I pull up to the a campsite and a Horned Lark is singing on the picnic table. The last bird of the day was also the best, a Short-eared Owl flying out in the sunset. 

Number of species seen today: 99

Number of species seen on this trip: 133

Sorry for the shorter trip report, I struggling to remember all the small details several days later. 

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Day Six.

I woke up to the deafening sound of a Western Meadowlark singing only a few feet away from the camper. It always startles me when I hear a Meadowlark close up, they are sooo loud. I was planning on looking for LeConte's Theasher this morning, so I was up at 5:50 am and ready to go at 6:05 am. The first species was of course the Meadowlark that was singing ridiculously early, and than a Barn Owl and than tons of sparrows I couldn't identify because the light was so low. Than there was a hawk I couldn't Identify because of the distance. I think it may have been a Rough-legged because it seemed to be kiting. Than I had a Merlin that was probably of the Prairie Subspecies, but it was distant. It was a long drive to where the LeConte's Thrasher's live, fourteen miles on a dirt road to be exact. However, I got super lucky and found five! I also saw a crazy amount of Sage Thrasher, I had gotten the feeling they could be hard to find in Carrizo, but in this five mile stretch I had sixteen! Besides from these, I also saw lots and lots of Bell's Sparrow. 

From here, I drove over to Quail Springs, taking lots of little stops along the roads. More Sage Thrasher everywhere, Western Kingbirds and Say's Phobe at Traver Ranch, and sooo many Ravens. They are absolutely everywhere at Carrizo, and Turkey Vultures are almost absent. At quail springs, I saw more Bell's Sparrows and Lawrence's Goldfinches as well as my FOS Ash-throated Flycatcher! There were lots of rabbits as well. 

After Quail Springs, I drove down to near the Bitter Creek NWR to look for Condors, and to add Kern and Ventura counties to the counties I've birded in California. No luck with the condors, But I had the first Red-breasted Sapsucker of the trip, which was really nice. I than headed back to the campsite where I spent a few hours relaxing before I went out birding again. My plan was to look for Poorwill, and I had spent a long time researching where the best place to see them in Carrizo was. Ebird shows poorwills scattered all throughout the area, but almost always as one or maybe two. However, I found one place that stood out. Caliente Mountain Rd. There were only a couple of reports from this road, and of the ones containing Poorwill, they were incidentally seen while driving back in the dark. But these lists contained more Poorwill than everywhere else around the valley! I decided to go there. It is a tough road, in that it is really skinny and there is a cliff not far from the edge. My family was driving a big SUV, so that little road was a bit nerve wracking. Because of this, we left the top of the ridge before any Poorwill even came out, and were halfway down the mountain before I saw my Lifer Poorwill and the 150th species of the trip! From here, It was just Poorwill after Poorwill. Not many landed on the road, but the were just calling everywhere. I put down six on my ebird checklist, but I believe this was a serious underestimate.the number was probably douple that. Once we were out of the mountains, I stopped seeing  Poorwill, but mammals took over. Coyotes, Pronghorn Antelope, Kangaroo Rats, Jackrabbits, Cottontails, field mice, and soooo many bats. This was a good ending to the day, 2hich was probably the best I'd had this trip. 

Number of Species seen Today: 47

Number of Species seen in this Trip: 150

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Posted (edited)

Day Seven.

I got up late this morning, as the day before had been very fun, but tiring. Because of this I woke up at around 7:30, and it was close to 8:00 by the time I was ready to start birding. I had planned on trying to go and get better looks at the LeConte's Thrashers, but by the time I reached where I had seen them yesterday it was getting later in the morning, not so good for seeing them, and the birds around there the day before seemed to have dissapeared. Because of this I turned around and headed back towards my campsite figuring I would bird somewhere on the way back. I decided to stop and bird at a place called Wallace Creek. The creek was completely dry, and there weren't a ton of birds, but there were a few good ones. Not far from the beginning of the trail, I heard a couple Bell's Sparrows singing on territory so I walked over to try to photograph it. I ended up sitting down to watch it, and completely lost track of time. I spent an hour and forty-five surrounded by Bell's Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, and an endangered species of Squirrel called San Joaquin Antelope Squirrels. They are the smallest squirrels I've ever seen, and I think I might have spent more time watching them than I did watching the Bell's Sparrows. I also took around two thousand photos between the two species. I'm not looking forward to going through all the photos I took this trip, there is way to many!

After watching the sparrows and squirrels for a long time, I headed back to the road and started walking down it. There were so many Savannah and White-crowned Sparrows and not much else. I with all these sparrows, I did find a single Vesper Sparrow, which was really nice. After this I headed back to the camper to help pack up. 

We arrived at our next, and final campsite of the trip at around 2:00 PM, and by the time I was free to start birding, it was a little past 4:00 PM. I stated off with an Allen's hummingbird, a species I had missed at Morro Bay. Than I saw Great-tailed Grackles, Lots of Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and the only Common Ravens I would see at Pismo beach. And then I found the gulls. I scanned through them quickly, and my eyes instantly found one that looked a lot like a Glaucous Gull. I hurriedly took a few photos, posted them on Whatbird asking if it looked good for a pure Glaucous Gull, and than ran to get my scope. Once I returned I quickly set up my scope and looked through it, only to find all I could see was black! I took a closer look only to find that my scope was broken! It looked like a mirror inside my scope had broken, leaving my scope fine in the outside, but broken on the inside. This was a big disappointment as I wanted to use it to get a better look at the Gull. However, someone started throwing food to the Domestic Mallards in the nearby pond, and almost every gull left the roost and flew down to eat the bread. The gull I was watching included within these. Up close, it was readily apparent it was not a Glaucous Gull, but some sort of hybrid instead. I took so many photos of this one gull it's almost funny. This was definitely the highlight of the day. After this I did a little more birding, but nothing too special appeared. It was a pretty good day, and that Gull was a big suprise. The Vesper Sparrow was a treat as well. 

Number of species seen today: 77

Number of Species seen on this trip: 155

Edited by Aidan B
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Day Eight. 

I woke up to the sound of Marsh Wrens just a few feet away from the camper, and hurriedly got up and ready to go. I was out the door by 6:45 AM, and ready to start birding. It was a very overcast day, which I hoped would cause there to be lots if birds out and about. I started with lots of Great-tailed Grackles calling overhead, as well as lots of swallows. By the time I reached the other campground, I had added thirty-nine species for the day's list. There is a trail right near the campground, and as I entered the trail, I was overwhelmed by the noise. Birds were everywhere. I quickly added Wilson's Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Chestnut-backed Chickdees, and Hutton's Vireo, as well as a whole bunch of other things to the day's list. Not to much farther down the trail, I added a bird I was quite excited about. My FOS Black-throated Gray Warbler! I continued down this trail, adding lots of birds to the day's list. 

After I reached the end of the trail, I turned around and headed back to the start of the trailhead. I than headed into the campground, where I saw my first Townsend's Warbler of the trip. I continued birding around the campsites, where lots of Black-crowned Night-Herons were roosting up in the trees. And then, I hit a patch of some sort of blooming trees. They were absolutely covered in Hummingbirds and Orioles. In that patch of trees, I had eleven Orioles, seven Allen's Hummingbirds, five Rufous Hummingbirds, and lots of Yellow-rumps! I continued birding and saw a few more good birds. These were: a Scaly-breasted Munia, a Stellar's Jay, several Red-breasted Nuthatch, and a few Hairy Woodpeckers. From here I headed back to the campground having a list of eighty-one species plus taxa. 

After this, my family headed to Port San Luis to get lunch. Here, I got my third Lifer of the trip, a adult male Harlequin Duck sheltering from the super strong wind. I spent around a Hour and a half on the pier looking at the birds. There were lots of Pigeon Gullimonts, Surf Scoters, my FOS Brown Pelicans, and Terns! I spent so much time trying to turn each flyby Caspian Tern into a Royal, but I could not do that. I think Royal Tern is officially on my nemesis birds list after this trip. I took so many photos of terns this trip it's a bit overwhelming. From here it was getting late so I headed back to the campground where I spent the rest of the evening photographing swallows. It was a awesome day full of migrants, and I really enjoyed watching my lifer Harlequin Duck. 

Number of Species seen Today: 96

Number of species seen on this trip: 166

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Posted (edited)

Day nine.

I woke up at around 6:50ish this morning, and was ready to start birding at around 7:10 AM this morning. I started off by watching some Cliff Swallows, trying to pick out other species from among them. I managed to find several Tree Swallows and a Northern Rough-winged Swallow. From here, I headed back to the trail I visited the day before and saw lots of migrants. The numbers here today were a lot lower. I only saw a few Wilson's Warblers today, compared to the 25 or so I saw yesterday. However, I heard my FOS Pacific-slope Flycatcher, and saw several Hermit Thrush, which I somehow managed to miss the day before.

However, it was while I was walking back on the trail I saw what was probably the best bird of the day. I was walking back when I noticed a Fox Sparrow on the ground in front of my, and when I got it in my bins I instantly knew it was not a Sooty. I slowly grabbed my camera to start taking photos, and that flushed it. Luckily it landed in a bush right by the trail, where I managed to get a few photos before it disappeared into the wall of Black berries. I could hear it calling from the thicket, and it sounded very similar to California Towhee. Checking my photos confirmed it. It was a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow, the first record on ebird of a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow for Pismo Beach. This was so weird because although Thick-billed Fox Sparrow's winter in the mountains along the coast, having one in the lowlands less than a fifteen-hundred feet from the ocean is very rare. From here, I continued on birding the same exact route I did the day before. The number of birds seen was definitely lower than the day before, with the exception of Townsend's Warblers. I only had two Rufous Hummingbirds vs five, and way less Orioles. We had to be out of the campsite at 11:00 AM, and I had to help pack up. On my way back home, I added the last three species of the trip, a flock of Cedar Waxwing and a group of Wild Turkeys and a bunch of Cattle Egrets.

Number of species seen today: 87

Number of species seen on this trip: 169

 

This was a really fun trip filled with amazing birds. My favorite lifers must have been the Common Poorwill, followed by the LeConte's Thrasher and the Harlequin Duck.  The biggest misses of the trip were Royal Tern, California Condor, Greater Roadrunner, Golden Eagle, and somehow, House Wren. That last one especially puzzles me, how did I miss that? My favorite bird however, has to be the Purple Martins. It's been a very long time since I've seen one, and I've always loved them. The Bell's Sparrows were also a ton of fun to see. I really am not looking forward to sorting through all the photos I took, as I have 29,000 I'll need to sort through. I really enjoyed visiting all these new areas, although I wish I was able to have more time in each of the areas. I'm sure I missed out on lots of great spots I could have visited since I didn't have enough time. This was probably the best trip as far as birding goes that I could think of.

I hope you all enjoyed reading about all the places I went, I'll admit had a lot of fun writing these trip reports. I only wish I could have added photos of some of the birds.

 

 

Edited by Aidan B
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