Saturday, October 6, 2007

Monterey Bay Birding Festival - Day 1

September 21, 22, and 23 was the weekend for the Monterey Bay Birding Festival. My husband and I had signed up for one afternoon trip for Friday, and two trips for Saturday. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances arose and Dave was still visiting his Dad in Arizona on Friday. So I went alone to do the Elkhorn Slough (Coastal) birding trip. It's only about an hour's drive from where I live. I met another woman who seemed to also be alone for the afternoon birding trip, and she told me she was waiting for her friend. Her friend lives in the Monterey area, and she is from Palo Alto. Both women graciously asked if I would like to tag along with them since carpooling was encouraged. We all had to meet and check in at the registration table located at the Red Roof Inn in Watsonville. But the birding trip was located a few miles down the road, and at various locations, thus the carpooling situation. It was great tagging along with these two ladies since they were certainly more knowledgable than I. And the woman from Monterey also brought along her scope. The weather was mostly cloudy, and a bit windy at times, but no rain. The Bay Area was expecting rain for the weekend, but we did not experience any on Friday while on the trip.

These photos are various spots where we visited which was all considered a part of the Elkhorn Slough, Coastal area. The birds in this photo (above) are mostly brown pelicans. If you enlarge the photo you might be able to see the elegant terns that are mixed in with the pelicans. In the water are a couple of gulls (sorry, can't ID them), and to the right of the gulls are a couple of dark birds - those are common murres.

This was also one of the areas where the kayaking took place. And the photo above is one of the otters we had seen.

Photo above of brown pelicans flying over part of Elkhorn Slough.

And again, a group shot of brown pelicans more or less trying to sun themselves under partly cloudy skies.

The list of birds that we saw and heard as a group:
Eared Grebes
Western Grebes
American white pelicans
Brown pelicans
Double-crested cormorants
Great blue herons
Great egrets
Snowy egrets
Turkey vultures
*White-tailed kite
*Black-bellied plovers
*Snowy plovers
Black-necked stilts
*Marbled godwit
*Red-necked phalarope
Heermann's gull
Ring-billed gull
California gull
*Elegant terns
Common murres
Belted kingfisher
Black phoebe
*Say's phoebe
*Loggerhead shrike
European starlings
Red-winged blackbirds
Brewer's blackbirds

The ones marked with an asterisk are lifers for me. So many birds, so little time. When it comes to gulls and sandpipers I'm glad someone else was there to ID them. I'm gonna have to study these birds on several more trips so I will be able to ID them on my own.


Larry said...

Sounds like you had a great time! You have an interesting list of birds as well. I would like to have seen some of those birds!

mon@rch said...

looks like such a wonderful festival and so many of those birds would be lifers to me!

RuthieJ said...

Good for you Mary! Sounds like you had a great time. Was that your list of birds for just one afternoon?? Impressive!

Mary said...


Your life list must be 50 feet long!!!!

Sounds like a wonderful day with great people. The shorebirds are foreign to me but I have a feeling I'll be seeing more of them soon :o)


Moe said...

So many great birds! Great photos, too.


Current skin is MC Winter 08 and designed by Red.
Best viewed on Firefox at 1024x768, larger or widescreen.