Hi all --
I birded Marston from all vantage points around noon today. Heat shimmer
wasn't much of an issue. The biggest challenge other than the usual Marston
challenge of standing in awkward places and looking through a chainlink
fence (see the Colorado County Birding website for instructions on how to
bird Marston) was learning not to get excited about the dorsal fins of
carp. They would appear, wave around in circles, then disappear -- kind of
otherworldly but also pretty annoying in my search for phalaropes.
Bird numbers have been marginal at best at Marston all year. I only saw
about six Western Grebes today and no shorebirds other than Killdeer (no
phalaropes). A nice loafing party of American White Pelicans, Ring-billed
and California Gulls on the west side. One flotilla of ten American Coots
was visible from every vantage. A party of seven Common Mergansers appeared
on the east side and went arrowing after something or other.
I saw the previously reported Common Loon within minutes of arriving at the
west side. It cruised past, close in to shore, peering underwater in the
loon way, then disappeared for the rest of the nearly two hours I spent
repeatedly scanning, scanning, scanning, repeating.
I almost didn't make the final stop along Bow Mar Drive. Good thing I did:
on my second scan I caught a small gull flying out toward the middle of the
lake. It was a Sabine's, possibly the one reported yesterday. It flew for
fifteen seconds (majestically) then landed in the middle of the res and
floated. Distant even with the scope. An awesome bird.
Good birding to all,
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