Hello! Most of my posts take place around San Diego County, (Mostly Lake Murray) unless otherwise noted.
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Shorebird counting with PRBO

Today, I did my first official shorebird count with Point Reyes Bird Observatory.  I was paired up with Lynne, who is very experienced at doing this and we went to the east side of Coronado to look for shorebirds.  However, the shoreline there was not very conducive to shorebirds as it's very rocky.  Though, we did find a few.

We surveyed a couple different sections, one north of the ferry landing and one near Glorietta Bay and south of the ferry landing until we got to just past the bridge.

It was a nice, bright, sunny day:

In the first section, all we saw was this little spotted sandpiper.

Up ahead, there was a small roost, but they were outside the study area.  Three sanderlings, some godwits, and a black bellied plover.

At Glorietta Bay, I saw my first Heerman's gull, though gulls were not part of the count:

Lots of grebes of all kinds, but we weren't counting those.  Here's a western grebe:

Lots of buffleheads here:

A few pacific loons (too far away to get a good photo):

This marbled godwit and black bellied plover were very co-operative.  They were located just south of the ferry landing:

The purpose of this census was to check on the population health of various shorebird species.  Many of these birds breed in the far north in areas that are not accessible for research.  It's possible that the warming of the arctic may have an effect on these species' breeding.  So, they are counted while they are in their wintering areas.  

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