San Mateo County, California
Field Trip Report
Under Birded State Beaches
Sunday, January 9, 2011
The Sequoia Audubon Society trip on Sunday, January 9, 2011 to San Gregorio, Pomponio, and Bean Hollow State Beaches was a fabulous success. The gull flock at San Gregorio produced our best bird of the day, a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE on the beach at the edges of the flock. It was a life bird for many of the 13 participants. There was a sizable flock of WHITE- WINGED SCOTERS offshore at San Gregorio. We found a recently killed BARN OWL along SR1; Laurie G. and Jeff F. collected it to take to California Academy of Sciences: it was in near-perfect condition, with even its eyes still present. We walked along the creek and under the SR1 bridge to the marsh, where the group had all-too-fleeting glimpses of two WILSON'S SNIPE, and heard a MARSH WREN. Raptors were cooperative, with COOPER'S HAWK, WHITE-TAILED KITE, TURKEY VULTURE, AMERICAN KESTREL, RED-TAILED and RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS.
At Pomponio State Beach, there was one adult THAYER'S GULL, at least two HERRING GULLS, and a HEERMANN'S GULL. The SURF SCOTER flock had one female WHITE-WINGED SCOTER.
At Bean Hollow State Beach, the Blue Whale's decaying skin was still attractive to NORTHERN FULMARS, of which there were about twenty present: another life bird for many present, and certainly excellent conditions under which to see it. The rocks at the southern (main) parking lot had a SURFBIRD in amongst BLACK TURNSTONES, SANDERLINGS, BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS, and MEW GULLS. A CINNAMON TEAL pair graced the lagoon across SR1, but Lake Lucerne held nothing of interest.
Thanks to all the participants: it was a good-spirited, cooperative group - many people contributed to locating all of these excellent birds.
— Jennifer Rycenga, Half Moon Bay