San Mateo County, California
Field Trip Report
San Gregorio State Beach
Tuesday morning, October 4, 2011
Overcast skies threatened this field trip, but as the leaders arrived, the clouds began to clear, and by mid-morning the sun shone splendidly, revealing interesting sea birds and some land bird migrant flocks. Co-led by Sequoia Audubon president Jennifer Rycenga and American Birding Association (ABA) trip leader, writer, and editor Michael Retter, this adventure included sea-watching, climbing up the bluff top on the north side of the park, bushwhacking our way down that hill, and watching migrant flocks along the western end of SR 84. The twelve participants were all fine and fun birders, including two people who attended the ABA mini-fest in Half Moon Bay the previous weekend.
The ocean highlights included two Herring Gulls, two Caspian Terns, a flock of Elegant Terns, a few Parasitic Jaegers and Sooty Shearwaters over the ocean, and a substantial returning number of Red-throated Loons and Surf Scoters.
Among land birds, a vagrant Palm Warbler, pumping its tail, was traveling with an Audubon’s Yellow-rumped Warbler; another flock had Warbling Vireo amongst many Townsend’s Warblers and an Orange-crowned Warbler. A few raptors thrilled the crowd, especially a Peregrine Falcon that whipped an entire gull flock into the air. Fifty-nine total species were detected.
– Jennifer Rycenga