The Big Sit! 2008 Statistics

These statistics reflect information submitted by reporting circles. As teams continue to report their Big Sit! results, the statistics on this page will change to reflect up-to-the-minute information.

Team Information: SLO Birders

Captain: Jim Royer
Location: Los Osos, California (United States)

Team Checklist

  1. Common Loon Gavia imme
  2. Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
  3. Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
  4. Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
  5. American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
  6. Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
  7. Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
  8. Great Egret Ardea alba
  9. Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  10. Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  11. Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  12. White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi
  13. Brant Branta bernicla
  14. Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
  15. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  16. Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
  17. Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  18. American Wigeon Anas americana
  19. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  20. Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
  21. Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
  22. Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata
  23. Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
  24. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  25. White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
  26. Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  27. Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
  28. Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
  29. Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
  30. Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  31. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
  32. American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  33. Merlin Falco columbarius
  34. California Quail Callipepla californica
  35. Virginia Rail Rallus limicola
  36. Sora Porzana carolina
  37. American Coot Fulica americana
  38. Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  39. Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
  40. American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
  41. Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
  42. Willet Tringa semipalmata
  43. Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
  44. Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
  45. Dunlin Calidris alpina
  46. Red Knot Calidris canutus
  47. Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
  48. Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
  49. Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
  50. Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
  51. Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
  52. Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia
  53. California Gull Larus californicus
  54. Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni
  55. Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
  56. Herring Gull Larus argentatus
  57. Western Gull Larus occidentalis
  58. Elegant Tern Thalasseus elegans
  59. Common Tern Sterna hirundo
  60. Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
  61. Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus
  62. Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
  63. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia
  64. Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  65. Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
  66. Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi
  67. Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
  68. Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon
  69. Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
  70. Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
  71. Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
  72. Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
  73. Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
  74. Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
  75. California Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
  76. American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
  77. Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
  78. Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina
  79. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  80. Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens
  81. Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus
  82. Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
  83. Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
  84. Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
  85. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
  86. Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
  87. Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
  88. Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
  89. California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
  90. European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  91. American Pipit Anthus rubescens
  92. Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata
  93. Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata
  94. Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
  95. Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia
  96. Townsend's Warbler Setophaga townsendi
  97. Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
  98. California Towhee Melozone crissalis
  99. Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla
  100. White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
  101. Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
  102. Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
  103. Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
  104. Brandt's Cormorant Phalacrocorax penicillatus
  105. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  106. House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus
  107. American Goldfinch Spinus tristis
  108. Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria

Team Notes

Participants: Bill Bouton, Karen Clarke, Petra Clayton, Tom Edell, Steve Jobst, Dave Keeling, Dave Lawrence, Ron LeCount, Susan McTaggert, Jim Royer, Ron Ruppert, Brad Schram, Steve Schubert, Maggie Smith, Mike Stiles, Linda Tanner, Deb Villa, Yolanda Waddell, Marilyn Walthers, Ron Weaver, Roger Zachary

Weather: Started clear and about 45 dgrees w/ offshore breeze, warming to 70 degrees, then onshore mid afternoon and cooler.

Location: Elfin Forest, Los Osos, California

Time At Location: 5:45 AM - 7:00 PM w/ later owling

After 10 years of doing a big sit at this location there were still many surprises this year. Many of our reliable species were absent (due to a drought?), such as Canada Goose, W. Snipe, Killdeer, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, R-c Kinglet, and W. Meadowlark. We had 4 new species for the count - White-faced Ibis, Vaux's Swift, Steller's Jay, and Blackpoll Warbler. The vagrant Blackpoll was perhaps the least surprising of the four since its been a good fall for them here. The number of passerines in the coastal scrub of the Elfin Forest was noticeably down, but the Morro Bay estuary was as productive as usual. The flight of migrant passerines was average or better with a fair number of warblers and the largest number of swallows we have ever had at the big sit here - mostly Violet-greens. The single Vaux's Swift was with one of these swallow flocks. We had as many as 8 scopes on our platform at once and a lot of good birders so we'd like to think that we didn't miss too much. Our total of 108 species was well below our all time big sit high of 122 species. Our ten year species list for the big sit at this location now stands at 174 species.

The group organizer/compiler bicycled to the big sit to make it count for his big green big year (BIGBY), but got 2 flat tires riding in the dark to arrive before dawn (he had to repair both tires before the end of the day so he could ride home and be able to count his 2 new BIGBY birds). Nevertheless, it was a fun day of birding with displays by an adult Peregrine Falcon (calling at a Red-tail, and diving on and screaming at a harrier). We watched this Peregrine and an immature Merlin hunt along the estuary. An Osprey caught a fish in the bay and flew by our perch as if to show off its catch. Twenty-one counters made it a fun day of birding, eating, drinking, and more birding. While things slowed in mid afternoon with the tide being very low, they picked up with a small flurry of sightings just before the light faded at dusk. The few who lasted to the end, toasted with champagne to the beautiful sunset behind the sandspit that separates Morro Bay from the not-so-Pacific Ocean. We had a group name contest to replace the not so creative SLO Birders. "Bay Watch" will be our team name starting next year.