January 2010


Thanks to Dawn DeMarcus for letting us post it here.

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Here’s a couple photos taken by Lisa Ouellette on Saturday 1/23/10.

We’ve had a couple of reports of a flamingo being seen around the Slough.  We are hoping to get some photos posted here.  If you have a sighting or a photo of this bird send it to sloughsightings@elkhornslough.org and we’ll post it here.

Tricia from the visitor center reported that two visitors had seen the bird on Thursday 1/21/10:  A flamingo was seen from Kirby Park. on Thurs.  It then flew to the North Marsh, where it was observed  from the Elkhorn Rd.

This came in from Barbara Kossy on Saturday 1/23/10: Kayaking the slough today I was stunned to see the flamingo!
Looking through photos, and comparing sizes, I think it’s a Lesser Flamingo. It had a yellow band.
Will it survive? Will it be returned to its owner?

This was posted by Todd Newberry to Birdingonthe.Net:

In the late '60s and early '70s a few wintering flamingos graced the
Moss Landing salt pans. Of course (=?) they were escapees, at first
maybe from a local cage and after that from . . . where, Santa Anita?
But there they were, on dark days like flames in the rain. Since then I
have always thought of them as an aching winter absence there, and it
cheers me to hear that they are back.

Todd Newberry
Santa Cruz
And one more from Bernadette Ramer:
Yes, I knew these flamingos well! While doing shorebird censuses in
Elkhorn Slough and the Moss Landing Salt Ponds from  late 1977 through
1980,  I saw 2-3 flamingos regularly. In particular, 3 on 11 April
1978 and  5 on  30 April 1980, both in the Moss Landing Salt Ponds. .
At that time, the "Salt Ponds" were a brine shrimp operation, and the
flamingoes would be seen feeding there. With all the typical grays,
browns and blacks in shorebird land, seeing a flaming flamingo  was
always exciting.

Bernadette Ramer
Santa Cruz

This was posted on our website 1/22/10:

Wild Happenings at Elkhorn Slough Reserve

A young female bobcat was released at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve in mid January. A good samaritan found the unconscious female bobcat, who had been hit by a car, on Jetty Road in Moss Landing. The bobcat appeared to be suffering from minor head trauma and spent the night at the SPCA Wildlife Center (off Highway 68 – the County’s main facility for wild animal rescue and rehabilitation). The SPCA determined she was healthy and ready to released into wild.

Normally wildlife found off the Reserve are NOT RELEASED onto the Reserve.  It is critical for the health of native populations and for the success of the individual animal being released that it be returned to the property where it was found.  Landowners near the site where this animal was found could not be reached and it became urgent to release the cat soon due to the stress of captivity.  A special exception was made to release this animal on the Reserve because bobcats are uncommon, the Reserve has appropriate habitat for them, and the Reserve is very near the site where the injured cat was found.  The California Department of Fish and Game would like to remind everyone not to move or release wildlife onto any area other than where it was found.  The SPCA would like to remind everyone not to transport injured wildlife themselves. If you find an injured animal, please call the SPCA.

Sorry, we’ve been a little behind in posting the monthly sightings.  This should bring us up to date:

From January 2010:

South Marsh Loop:  Common Loon; Western, Eared & Pied-billed Grebes; Brown & American White Pelicans; Pelagic & Double-crested Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egret; Canada Geese; Mallards; Buffleheads; Red-breasted Merganser; Common Goldeneye; Northern Harrier; Turkey Vulture; White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered, Red-tailed & Cooper’s Hawk; American Kestrel; Semipalmated & Black-bellied Plover; Willets; Killdeer; Greater Yellowlegs; Long-billed Curlew;  Marbled Godwit; Spotted Sandpiper; Sandpiper spp.; Gull spp.; Western Gull; Band-tailed Pigeon; Forster’s Tern; Mourning Dove; Anna’s Hummingbird; Belted Kingfisher; Northern Flicker; Acorn, Hairy & Downy Woodpecker;  Black & Say’s  Phoebe; Huttons’s Vireo; Steller’s & Western Scrub-Jay; American Crow; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Oak Titmouse; Western Bluebird;  Bushtit; Bewick’s, House & Marsh Wrens; Golden-crowned & Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned & Townsend’s Warblers; Common Yellowthroat; Hermit Thrush;  Northern Mockingbird; Spotted & CA. Towhee; Fox, Song, White-crowned & Golden-crowned Sparrow;  European Starling;  Wrentit; Dark-eyed Junco; Western Meadowlark; House Finch 

Five Fingers/Long Valley:  Dunlins; Sandpiper spp.; Western Bluebirds; Western Meadowlarks; White-tailed Kites; Red-tailed Hawks;   

Thanks again to our spotters: Linda Jordan; Annie McNeill; Katherine Klein, Shirley Murphy, Caroline Rodgers; Marth Kenner; Laura de Mars; Plant ladies and your reporter Sheryl Gaebelein

From November 2009:

South Marsh Loop:  Pacific Loon; Pied-billed Grebe; Eared Grebe; Western Grebes; American White Pelicans; Brown Pelicans; Double-crested Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egrets; Mallards; Buffleheads; Red breasted-Mergansers; Northern Harrier; Cooper’s Hawk; Sharp-shinned Hawk; Turkey Vulture; White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered Hawk; Red-tailed Hawk; Black-bellied Plovers; California Quail; Killdeer; American Avocets; Willets; Greater Yellowlegs; Long-billed Curlew; Marbled Godwit; Spotted Sandpiper; Sandpiper spp.; Ring-billed Gull; Western Gull;  Mourning Dove; Band-tailed Pigeon; Great Horned Owl;  Forster’s Tern; Anna’s Hummingbird; Belted Kingfisher; Acorn Woodpecker; Nuttall’s, Downy & Hairy  Woodpecker; Northern Flicker; Black Phoebe; Say’s Phoebe; Western Scrub-Jay; Steller’s Jay; Hutton’s Vireo; American Crow;  Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Oak Titmouse; European Starling; Bushtit;  Bewick’s Wren; American Robin; Wrentit; Golden-crowned Kinglet; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Hermit Thrush; Western Bluebirds; Orange-crowned Warbler; Yellow Warbler; Townsend’s Warbler; Yellow-rumped Warbler; Northern Mockingbird ; Spotted & California Towhee; Song Sparrow; Dark-eyed Junco;  House Finch; Lesser Goldfinch; White-crowned & Golden-crowned Sparrow; Red-winged & Brewer’s Blackbird; House Sparrow

North Marsh:  American White Pelicans; Great Blue Heron; Greater Egret & Snowy Egret; Mallards; Northern Shovelers; Northern Pintail; Black-necked stilt; American Avocets; Greater Yellowlegs; Willets; Marbled Godwits; Sandpiper spp.; Dowitcher spp.; Western & Ring-billed gulls; Caspian Terns  

Hudson’s Landing: Black-bellied Plovers; Dowitcher sp.; Rock pigeons; 

Five Fingers & Parsons Slough:  Brown Pelican; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egret; Mallard; White-tailed Kite; Red-tailed Hawk; Northern Harrier; Peregrine Falcon; Black-bellied Plovers; Greater Yellowlegs; Willets; Long-billed Curlew; Sandpipers spp.; Western Gull; Black Phoebe; American Crow; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Hermit Thrush 

Visitor Center Area:  Killdeer; Dark-eyed Junco; Anna’s Hummingbird

Thanks again to our spotters: Annie McNeill, Shirley Murphy, Plant ladies, Katherine Klein, Linda Jordan, Caroline Rodgers, and your reporter Sheryl Gaebelein

From October 2009:

South Marsh Loop:  Red-throated Loon; Pied-billed Grebe; American White Pelicans; Brown Pelicans; Western Grebe; Double-crested Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great Egret; Snowy Egret; Osprey;  Canada Geese; Mallards;  Northern Harrier; Turkey Vulture;  White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered Hawk; Red-tailed Hawk; Cooper’s Hawk;  Northern Harrier; American Kestrel;  Peregrine Falcon; Black-bellied Plover;  Willets; Killdeer; Greater Yellowlegs; Long-billed Curlew;  Marbled Godwit; Spotted Sandpiper; Sandpiper spp.; Ring-billed Gull; Western Gull; Band-tailed Pigeon; Elegant Tern; Mourning Dove; Barn Owl; Anna’s Hummingbird; Belted Kingfisher; Northern Flicker; Acorn Woodpecker; Downy Woodpecker;  Black Phoebe;  Say’s  Phoebe; Steller’s Jay; Western Scrub-Jay; American Crow; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Oak Titmouse; Western Bluebird;  Bushtit; Brown Creeper;  Bewick’s Wren; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Yellow-rumped Warbler; Orange-crowned Warbler; Townsend’s Warbler; Spotted Towhee; California Towhee; Savannah Sparrow; Song Sparrow; White-crowned Sparrow; Golden-crowned Sparrow; Brewer’s Blackbird; European Starling;  Wrentit; Dark-eyed Junco; Western Meadowlark; Lesser Goldfinch; House Finch  

Five Fingers/Long Valley: Say’s Phoebe; American Kestrel; Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Strawberry Pond:  Greater Yellowlegs

Thanks again to our spotters: Jeana dela Torre; Annie McNeill; Katherine Klein, Shirley Murphy, Caroline Rodgers; Plant ladies and your reporter Sheryl Gaebelein