This was our big day for the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory's California Fall Challenge
(their annual fundraiser). We ran according to standard big day rules. We are entering as "MBB Overdrive" (Mary Wisnewski, Bill Walker, and Bob Power). Our theme this year is "More than a feeling."
Weather began with clear skies and a temperature of 47 F as we drove over Hwy 92 in the dark. Skies continued clear with only light wind from the north at the coast. When we crossed to the bay side, temperature rose nearly 15 degrees to around 85.
Highlights of the trip as posted to Pen Birds by Bob:
4 species of Owl in and around Butano State Park and Gazos Cr. Rd.
Sooty Sheerwaters on the water and Buller's gliding by at Pigeon Pt.
Pacific Loon (1) and Rhino Auklets (3) at Pigeon Pt.
Wandering Tattlers (2) under the Pescadero Cr. mouth bridge.
Parasitic Jaegers (2) @ Coyote Pt.
Black Skimmers (8) at Radio Rd.
Blue-winged Teal (2) at Nob Hill pond (Redwood Shores).
Mary's notes on the route, in case we run it again next year: The route was laid out with two goals: to catch a migrant flock (which we never really found) and to cover as much habitat diversity as possible. We wrote up a detailed plan with times and our hoped-for target birds at each location.
Wavecrest - Barn Owl (missed)
Pescadero Marsh - rails (missed)
Butano State Park - owls
Gazos Creek - owls and dawn chorus
Gazos Creek Mouth - gulls, shorebirds
Pigeon Point - pelagic species and tricolored blackbird
Lake Lucerne - stray shorebirds (missed)
Pescadero Beach - rocky shorebirds
Pillar Point Harbor - divers
Princeton Willows - warblers, etc
Etheldore (south end) - warblers
Skylawn - crossbills (missed)
Filoli entrance - oak woodland species
Coyote Point - passerine migrants and shorebirds, jaegers
Radio Road - ducks, shorebirds, swallows
Nob Hill Pond - ducks
Menlo Park - second chance at a Barn Owl (score!)
East PA marsh - for rails and pheasant (missed)
Also saw Western Flycatcher