January 2013


Sent in from Dave:

My wife and I observed two Brants in the slough at Moss Landing Beach on January 26th. We made the observation from the last parking turnout before the road ended near the mouth of Elkhorn Slough. While we were observing these two individuals, 7 Brants flew over the slough from south to north.

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Elkhorn Slough Reserve (NERR), Monterey, US-CA
Jan 25, 2013 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
45 species

Canada Goose  11
Mallard  2
Bufflehead  47
Common Goldeneye  1
Hooded Merganser  1
Pied-billed Grebe  32
Eared Grebe  4
Western Grebe  3
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  2
Snowy Egret  7
Turkey Vulture  2
White-tailed Kite  2
Golden Eagle  1
Northern Harrier  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  3
Marbled Godwit  9
Western Gull  5
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Acorn Woodpecker  5
Northern Flicker  1
American Kestrel  1
Black Phoebe  3
Say’s Phoebe  1
Hutton’s Vireo  2
Steller’s Jay  2
Western Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  5
Tree Swallow  9
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  3
Oak Titmouse  2
Bushtit  9
Bewick’s Wren  3
Wrentit  1
California Thrasher  1
European Starling  6
Townsend’s Warbler  1
California Towhee  4
Song Sparrow  5
White-crowned Sparrow  17
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco  3
Western Meadowlark  2
House Finch  54

We had a couple questions come into the blog.  This was sent in from Mark 1/20/13:

Hi, I went kayaking in the Slough 1-20-13. Paddled up probably 1.5 miles. I saw many grebes in non-breeding plumage. It seemed to me they were horned grebes, but the blog notes that grebe sightings on 1-18 were eared grebes. Is it possible that there are both species there? Also it appeared that there were two immature or nonbreeding common loons. No blog on this possible sighting. Are these loons found in the slough? Thanks. Mark

Horned grebes and eared grebes are both seen here at the Slough.  Both are “uncommon”, but you definitely could have seen either species. When the birds are lacking their breeding plumage, they can be tricky to identify.  There are many subtle differences. Horned grebes (seen below) are slightly larger, light tip on the end of its bill, and a flat topped head.  Eared grebes will be slightly smaller, dark tip of the bill, smaller head usually with a bump and sometimes a fluffed up rump.

Common loons are common here at the slough as are red-throated loons.  The Pacific loon is less common.

Happy birding everyone.

 

Elkhorn Slough Reserve (NERR), Monterey, US-CA
Jan 18, 2013 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
57 species

Canada Goose  4
Mallard  6
Northern Shoveler  8
Northern Pintail  7
Bufflehead  31
Hooded Merganser  4
Red-breasted Merganser  2
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Western Grebe  1
Double-crested Cormorant  2
Great Blue Heron  3
Great Egret  2
Snowy Egret  4
Turkey Vulture  2
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  3
Black-bellied Plover  2
American Avocet  3
Spotted Sandpiper  2
Greater Yellowlegs  2
Willet  43
Long-billed Curlew  4
Marbled Godwit  54
Least Sandpiper  47
Long-billed Dowitcher  6
Ring-billed Gull  6
Western Gull  8
Forster’s Tern  5
Mourning Dove  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Acorn Woodpecker  4
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2
Peregrine Falcon  1
Black Phoebe  3
Say’s Phoebe  1
Steller’s Jay  1
Western Scrub-Jay  5
American Crow  6
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  3
Oak Titmouse  1
Bushtit  7
Bewick’s Wren  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Western Bluebird  2
American Robin  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Townsend’s Warbler  2
Spotted Towhee  1
California Towhee  3
Savannah Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  3
White-crowned Sparrow  23
Golden-crowned Sparrow  3
Western Meadowlark  3
House Finch  27

Happy New Year Everyone!

The sandhill crane is still being seen in Moss Landing.

Elkhorn Slough Reserve (NERR), Monterey, US-CA
Jan 4, 2013 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
52 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  9
Mallard  3
Northern Pintail  3
Bufflehead  33
Hooded Merganser  8     all 8 were females
Red-breasted Merganser  6
Pied-billed Grebe  4
Eared Grebe  4
Western Grebe  5
Double-crested Cormorant  5
Great Blue Heron  5
Great Egret  7
Snowy Egret  6
Turkey Vulture  3
White-tailed Kite  1
Northern Harrier  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Black-bellied Plover  2
Killdeer  3
American Avocet  1
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  4
Willet  29
Marbled Godwit  28
Least Sandpiper  88
Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher  5
Bonaparte’s Gull  1
Ring-billed Gull  6
Western Gull  7
Forster’s Tern  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Acorn Woodpecker  4
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Black Phoebe  3
Say’s Phoebe  1
Western Scrub-Jay  3
American Crow  7
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  3
Oak Titmouse  1
Bushtit  9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3
American Robin  1
Townsend’s Warbler  3
California Towhee  3
Song Sparrow  5
White-crowned Sparrow  19
Golden-crowned Sparrow  7
House Finch  19
House Sparrow  3