Sunday, December 4, 2011

Outer Point Reyes Birding: Dickcissel, Prairie Warbler, Rhinoceros Auklet, and Sparrows galore

I spent my day off, yesterday, birding the outer Point Reyes Peninsula.  Starting at the Nunes Ranch, Suzie Eastman and I relocated the previously reported Dickcissel after scanning the flock of Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows.  Among the other interesting birds present were two White-throated Sparrows, a few Tricolored Blackbirds, and a hatch-year Peregrine Falcon flyover.  Still no sign of the Clay-colored Sparrow, though.

Dickcissel is a good bird for Marin County with only a handful of previous records.
This bird was very cooperative
Hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow (Dickcissel in background)
After hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow.  The winds were strong this morning.

This beautiful AHY White-crowned Sparrow is showing off his crown.
AHY White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrows were not quite as common as Golden-crowned Sparrows though.

AHY Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrows aren't too common in Point Reyes, but you can usually find a few hanging around with the other sparrows.
After spending some time watching the sparrow flock and Dickcissel, we headed to the fish docks to look for the Harlequin Ducks people have been seeing (including Cory and I on Wednesday, 1M and 1F).  No luck on that front but we did get Rhinoceros Auklet, Pacific, Common, and Red-throated Loons, Horned, Eared, and Western Grebes, Black and Surf Scoter, Townsend's Warbler, and the previously reported Prairie Warbler in the cypress trees.
Western Grebe, Fish Docks, Point Reyes, CA
Sanderlings at the Fish Docks

Point Reyes Continues to impress.  Now we just need a Snowy Owl...?

Photos and story by Luke Musher

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