Sequoia Audubon Society
                              San Mateo County, California

The Big Sit & The Big Sit Ride 2015 Report

October 11, 2015

The Big Sit – 85 Species by Jennifer Rycenga

The Big SIT! was a big hit, with 16 participants across the day spotting/detecting 84 species. Highlights included a RED KNOT in the North Pond, a steady stream of BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS and two PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, a BARN SWALLOW, AMERICAN PIPITS, and at least two HOUSE WRENS. The heroes of the morning watch - Mark Kudrav and Gena Zolotar - made a bigger difference than we even guessed at the time, because about 8:30 am the fog settled down, and never lifted! Never! This meant a ridiculously low number of passerines, adding to the drought-caused decrease in waterfowl. The fact that we pulled 84 species from this pea-soup is stunning, really. As evidence, I offer our two biggest misses, birds never before missed on the Pescadero Big SIT!- Red- throated Loon, and Red-tailed Hawk. That's right, RTHawk!

Big Sit 2015
Big Sit Team (left to right): Doug Pomeroy, Lisa Kelly, Donna Pomeroy, Nelle Lyons,
Ginny Marshall, Leslie Flint, Jennifer Rycents, Anne Kelley.
Photo by M. Dinowitz.

Big Ride by Rob Furrow- Exactly 100 species!

Big Ride 2015
Big Riders going green (left to right):
Chris O'Connell, Leader Rob Furrow & Malia DeFelice.
Photo by Chris Hayward.

On Sunday, Oct 11th, our BIG RIDE team had a very different weather experience from the Big SIT! team. Cloudy and sunny, but never foggy, until we reached the Pescadero Marsh. We logged 13 miles of bike-birding, starting at Gazos Ck. State Beach to Pescadero along Cloverdale Rd., and finishing at Pescadero Marsh. Over that distance, we managed to find 100 species and enjoy a lovely ride. Our two major highlights were a PRAIRIE WARBLER and a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER at Water Lane. Other highlights included: many Black-vented Shearwaters heading north along the coast, along with Common and Pacific Loons, and very determined northbound flocks of Elegant Terns, a California Thrasher on Gazos Creek Road, as well as a Black-throated Gray Warbler mixed into a Townsend's Warbler flock nearby, many Golden-crowned Kinglets and Red-breasted Nuthatches along Gazos Creek Road among the Douglas Firs, a flyover Lawrence's Goldfinch on Cloverdale Road, a beautiful array of rocky shorebirds at the southern rocks of Pescadero State Beach, including several Wandering Tattlers, Surfbirds, Black Oystercatchers, and Black Turnstones.

The Big Sit!™ is hosted by Bird Watcher's Digest and New Haven Bird Club and is sponsored by SWAROVSKI OPTIK.
The Big Sit! is a registered trademark of the New Haven Bird Club, Inc.


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