September 2009

Sounds like the title for a children’s book – one that could be written here at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.  These animals are spotted every now and then and its always a thrill.  This last June, a bobcat was spotted walking past the picnic tables and into the woods.  That same month a young Long-tailed Weasel ran past the visitor center and disappeared into a hole in the ground.


These are the bird sightings recorded by the docents at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve June – August 2009.  Special thanks to all the great spotters: Annie McNeill; Katherine Klein, Shirley Murphy, Marth Kenner, Linda Jordan, Caroline Rodgers; Plant ladies and your reporter Sheryl Gaebelein


South Marsh Loop and Five Fingers/Long Valley : Western Grebe; American White & Brown Pelicans; Great & Snowy Egrets; Great Blue Heron; Double-crested Cormorants; Mallards; Canada Geese; Turkey Vulture; White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered Hawk; Red-tailed Hawk; California Quail; Greater Yellowlegs; Willets; Marbled Godwit; Whimbrel; Long-billed Curlew; Sandpiper spp.; Western Gulls; Caspian Tern;  Acorn Woodpeckers; Black Phoebe; Hutton’s Vireo; Anna’s Hummingbird;  Western Scrub Jay; Tree Swallows;  Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Oak Titmouse; Bushtits; Bewick’s Wren; California & Spotted Towhee; & Song Sparrow; House Finch


In addition – South Marsh Loop:

Black-bellied Plover; Black-necked Stilts; American Avocets; Spotted Sandpiper; Ring-billed Gull; Mourning Dove; Barn Owl; Belted Kingfisher; Northern Flicker;  Downy Woodpecker; Pacific Slope Flycatcher;  Barn & Cliff Swallows; Western Bluebird; Common Yellowthroat; Brewer’s Blackbird; Wrentit

In addition: Five Fingers/Long Valley:

Osprey; American Crow; White-crowned Sparrow; American Goldfinch;

North Marsh Overlook:   American White Pelican; Brown Pelican; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egret; Black-necked Stilts

 VC Area :   Western Bluebirds



South Marsh Loop:  Am.White Pelicans; Loon spp.; Western, Clarke’s & Horned Grebes; Double-crested & Pelagic Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egret; Black-crowned Night Heron; Canada Geese; Mallards; Northern Harrier; Turkey Vulture; White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered, Red-tailed & Cooper’s Hawks; Black-bellied Plover; California Quail; Killdeer; Willets; Greater Yellowlegs; Long-billed Curlew; Marbled Godwit; Sandpiper spp.; Dowitcher spp.; Ring-billed & Western Gull; Mourning Dove; Barn Owl; Caspian, Elegant, Forster’s Terns; Black Skimmer; Rock Pigeon; Anna’s & Rufous Hummingbirds; Belted Kingfisher; Acorn, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers;  Northern Flicker; Pacific Slope Flycatcher; Steller’s Jay; Black Phoebe; Western Scrub Jay; Hutton’s Vireo; American Crow; Barn, Tree & Cliff Swallow; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Brown Creeper; Oak Titmouse; Western Bluebird; European Starling; Bushtit; Bewick’s Wren; Hermit Thrush; Common Yellowthroat; Wilson’s Warbler;  Spotted & CA. Towhee; Black-headed Grosbeak; Song Sparrow; Brown-headed Cowbird; Red-winged Blackbirds; Wrentit; House Finch;  Dark-eyed Junco;  Am. & Lesser Goldfinch

VC Area :   Western Bluebirds; Dark-eyed Juncos

Jetty Rd : Pacific & Red-throated Loon; Western & Eared Grebes; American White & Brown Pelicans; Double-crested, Brandt’s, & Pelagic Cormorants; Mallards; Am.  Avocets; Western Gulls; Black-crowned Night Herons; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egret; Greater Yellowlegs; Willets; Marbled Godwits; Long-billed Curlew; Western Gulls w/ chicks; Caspian Terns; White-crowned Sparrows



South Marsh Loop:  American White Pelicans; Loon spp.; Western Grebe; Clark’s Grebe; American White & Brown Pelicans; Brandt’s & Double-crested Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egrets; Black-crowned Night Heron;  Canada Geese; Gadwalls; Mallards; Turkey Vulture;  White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered Hawk; Red-tailed Hawk; Long-billed Curlew; American Kestrel; California Quail; Willets; Greater Yellowlegs; Marbled Godwit;  Western Gull; Mourning Dove; Great Horned Owl; Barn Owl; Caspian Tern; Rock Pigeon; Anna’s Hummingbird; Belted Kingfisher; Acorn Woodpecker; Downy Woodpecker; Pacific Slope Flycatcher; Black Phoebe; Steller’s Jay;  Western Scrub-Jay; Hutton’s Vireo; American Crow; Barn, Tree & Cliff Swallows; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Oak Titmouse; Western Bluebird; European Starling; Bushtit;  Bewick’s Wren; Common Yellowthroat ; Wilson’s Warbler; Spotted Towhee; California Towhee; Song Sparrow; Black-headed Grosbeak; Red-winged Blackbirds; American Robin; Wrentit; California Thrasher; House Finch;  Dark-eyed Junco; Lesser Goldfinch; American Goldfinch

 Five Fingers/Long Valley :  American White Pelican; Double-crested Cormorants; Great & Snowy Egrets; Great Blue Heron; Mallards; Turkey Vultures; White-tailed Kites; Marbled Godwits; Greater Yellowlegs; Red-tailed Hawk; Cooper’s Hawk; Western Gulls; Pacific Slope Flycatchers; Black Phoebe; Hairy Woodpecker; Western Scrub-Jay; American Crows; Cliff Swallows; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Bushtits; Common Yellowthroat ; Spotted Towhee; Dark-eyed Junco 

Visitor Center Area: Anna’s Hummingbird; American Crow; Cliff Swallow; Western Bluebirds; American Robin; California Towhee

This beautiful sea slug was found in the Slough.  The photo was sent in from Linda Jordan – an Elkhorn Slough Reserve Docent.

It is Phyllaplysia taylori – an eelgrass specialist.

sea slug