Friday, 16 January 2009

14 Jan 09 - Formosa and Tijuana Sloughs

The main aim of today was to stake out Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow on the high tide in Mission Bay, but the tide didn't seem to be high enough and I drew a blank.
I started off at first light at Formosa Slough. There were plenty of shorebirds there, mainly dowitchers and Semi-p Sands. The best birds were two female Hooded Mergansers on the relief channel between the lake and the flood control. There were also 3 Little Blue Herons (2 adults and 1 juvenile) and Hermit Thrush.

I then headed off to Mission Bay where I spent an hour either side of high tide failing to see the Nelson's. There were plenty of other birds around though, including Belding's and Large-billed Sparrows, 4 Violet-green Swallows and Clapper Rail. Then it was off to the South Bay Marine Biological Study Area (what a mouthful that is!). Great place though with loads of birds. 30 White Pelicans, 15 Bonaparte's Gulls, 200 Black Brants, 20 Royal Terns, 100 Forster's Terns, American Herring Gull, Osprey and Red Knot.

The mouth of Tijuana Slough was good, with the highlight being 3 Pacific Golden Plovers. Also in the area was 30 Royal Terns, Caspian Tern, Greater Yellowlegs, 15 Surf Scoters, Whimbrel, Red-breasted Mergansers and 4 Buff-bellied Pipits.

Pair of Hooded Mergansers, male left, female right

Black Brants

Buff-bellied Pipits

Pacific Golden Plovers

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