Thursday, November 3, 2011

surfbird ~ 11/03/11 ~ Morro Strand Beach

Surfbird, huh? So, where's the surfboard or the, um, computer with internet connection? I would've never been able to identify these birds, let alone even spot them, if it weren't for the help of a total stranger.

My friend was asking me about marbled godwits that we saw, which for the life of me I could not remember their name even though I had been on this beach only 3 weeks before and blogged about it. So, I took to asking random strangers, especially ones carrying massive cameras and binoculars, if they knew the birds. The first couple I asked replied in a thick accent, "Ve ar' not vrom around hair." The second couple I asked ended up being leaders of the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. Bingo! As I was absorbed taking pictures of anemones in the rocks they called us over to look at the surfbirds. Really, since they are actual birds, their name should be "surf bird" as two words.

From a distance, I'm sure I'd get them confused with a lot of other shorebirds, including black turnstone (which were also picking at the mussel-covered rocks for food), least sandpiper (Calidris minutilla), western sandpiper (Calidris mauri), red knot (Calidris canutus), and pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos). As a note about the pectoral sandpiper, even though several reputable books and Cornell's All About Birds site show they are not ever here in CA, both the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival site and Don Roberson's Monterey Birds book show they are recorded migrants in our area.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I'm so happy I got the chance to spot new birds! I just posted them on birdpost!