Chris Dunford led a Yolo Audubon field trip to Bodega Bay with David Hickman, Kinga Kaminska, Chris Botha, Lori Maloney, and Marlyn Zuluaga. We started at Tides Wharf then spent an hour or more at Doran Beach (beach and harbor side at the Rich Stallcup Observation Deck) and on to Bodega Head where we walked along the cliff top from the main parking lot in a loop through the cypress grove and back to the parking lot, then Spud Point, Campbell Cove, Owl Canyon, Spud Point, Porto Bodega, and finally Tides Wharf again. Total 6.75 hours at Bodega Bay plus two hours travel each way. We had clear skies, moderate to fresh wind, temp in 60s F. The wind on Bodega Head made it hard to bird right on the cliff edge so the cormorant identification “clinic” was a bit rough, and all the birds were hunkered down. We had much better conditions around the harbor, especially the mid-morning at Doran Beach – highlights were Ruddy Turnstones (8), Elegant Terns (6) and Snowy Plovers (9) up close and personal. We didn’t miss any of the relatively common species of shorebird, gull, tern, cormorant, and pelican (see the eBird checklist below – which has been updated to include 4 Yellow Warblers for a total of 58 species). Had great opportunities to study them all up close with binoculars and scope so that everyone could see the diagnostic differences between species. The amazing in-flux of rare vagrant passerines reported the previous Wednesday was not in evidence at Campbell Cove and Owl Canyon, but we had an amusing experience with a large group from RROS looking for the Golden-winged Warbler without luck. At one point, there were some 20 birders packed into the secluded “chamber” inside the willow thicket at Campbell Cove at the south end of the parking lot. Our newbies got to see “avid” birding at its extreme. Gene Hunn was the RROS leader and we had a good laugh about it all. I believe the high winds from the NW had probably blown the vagrants onward farther south.
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