Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bunche Beach 12/14--Wilson's Plover

Tricolored Heron at Bunche Beach
Another hot spot we liked on previous trip was Bunche Beach, which, in the 40's and 50's was the local "colored beach" and is named after Ralph Bunche, the black UN diplomat who few remember today. It is a wide beach on San Carlo bay with extensive mud flats when the tide is low and often a very good site for shorebirds. We got our trip's first Marbled Godwits there, as well as our trip's first Red Knots and Piping Plovers, but the bird we were looking for was proving all too elusive until finally a bird that sort of looks like a Semipalmated Plover appeared with a large dark bill and we had our FOY Wilson's Plover. There are a lot of beach walkers at Bunche and that stirs up the birds and they appear a bit more skittish here than in other spots. I've had Wilson's Plover at previous trips to Bunche, so it wasn't a surprise for us to find one there. We didn't spend a lot of time there either. No sense being there when the tide is coming in and we had other birds on our agenda for the day.
22 species
Brown Pelican  3
Great Blue Heron  1
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron  1
Reddish Egret  2
White Ibis  10
Black-bellied Plover  5
Wilson's Plover  1
Semipalmated Plover  5
Piping Plover  4
Marbled Godwit  10
Ruddy Turnstone  1
Red Knot  20
Sanderling  50
Dunlin  100
Least Sandpiper  1
Western Sandpiper  2
Short-billed Dowitcher  2
Willet  25
Ring-billed Gull  1
Black Skimmer  20
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1     Heard 

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