The Big Sit! 2009 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: Pishing in the Wind

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

Team Checklist

  1. Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata
  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. Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus
  9. Brandt's Cormorant Phalacrocorax penicillatus
  10. Great Egret Ardea alba
  11. Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  12. Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  13. Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  14. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  15. Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
  16. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  17. Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
  18. Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  19. American Wigeon Anas americana
  20. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  21. Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
  22. Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
  23. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  24. White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
  25. Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  26. Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
  27. Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
  28. Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
  29. Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  30. Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
  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. Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
  41. American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
  42. Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
  43. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
  44. Willet Tringa semipalmata
  45. Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
  46. Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
  47. Dunlin Calidris alpina
  48. Red Knot Calidris canutus
  49. Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
  50. Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
  51. Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
  52. Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
  53. Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata
  54. California Gull Larus californicus
  55. Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni
  56. Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
  57. Western Gull Larus occidentalis
  58. Elegant Tern Thalasseus elegans
  59. Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
  60. Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus
  61. Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
  62. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia
  63. Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  64. Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
  65. Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus
  66. White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis
  67. Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
  68. Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon
  69. Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
  70. Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
  71. Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
  72. Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
  73. Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
  74. California Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
  75. American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
  76. Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
  77. Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens
  78. Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
  79. Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
  80. House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  81. Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
  82. Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
  83. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
  84. Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
  85. Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
  86. Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
  87. California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
  88. European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  89. American Pipit Anthus rubescens
  90. Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata
  91. Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
  92. Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
  93. Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
  94. California Towhee Melozone crissalis
  95. Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca
  96. Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
  97. Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
  98. Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla
  99. White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
  100. Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
  101. Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
  102. Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
  103. Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
  104. House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus
  105. American Goldfinch Spinus tristis
  106. Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria
  107. House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Team Notes

Participants: Bill Bouton, Petra Clayton, Carl Davies, Ellen Davies, Tom Edell, David Efron, Dave Keeling, Teddy Lovett, Deren Ross, Jim Royer, Alan Schmierer, Brad Schram, Steve Schubert, Dennis Sheridan, Greg Smith, Maggie Smith, Mike Stiles, Yolanda Waddell, Roger Zachary, Ruth Zachary

Weather: Mid-forties to high sixties, mostly calm, high overcast for most of the day but good visibility

Location: Elfin Forest Bush Lupine Overlook, Los Osos, CA

Time At Location: 5:30 AM - 7:00 PM and a little evening owling

Twenty-one birders gathered at the Elfin Forest Bush Lupine Point for our 13th annual sit at this location. Starting at 5:30 AM, we birded by shifts from this overlook of the Morro Bay Estuary. From our vantage point we had a panoramic view of most of the bay, the sand spit which separates the bay from the ocean, the hills and pastureland of Morro Bay State Park, the coastal scrub of the Elfin Forest and some of the adjoining residential part of Los Osos. Even without the birds this would be a very pleasing place to sit and pass the day. We have observed a total of 172 species at this location over the years of this annual one day count. Variables which have affected our number of species include the tide, the weather (wind or fog - we have never had rain), and the flight of migrating birds for count day. The tides for this years count fluctuated minimally and we started with high overcast which cleared somewhat in the afternoon - visibility was good for the entire count. Our only handicaps were the lack of much tidal movement and the lack of passerine migration -this limited our variety of species. Our tally of 97 species by noon was about ten shy of our usual pace. We had as many as twelve birders and eight scopes at a time searching in all directions for species, but it was a slow day despite our enthusiastic efforts. For the first time, we had no new species for the count. Nevertheless we had close looks at Merlin, Peregrine, and Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks as they cruised by our elevated perch, catching the thermals off the slope below us. We had more distant looks at a couple of Osprey and a group of three Golden Eagles. We worked hard to find land birds in the very dry scrub, but usual species such as Oak Titmouse and Savannah Sparrow were nowhere to be seen. Eurasian Wigeon, Clark's Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser and Common Loon were species we usually see in the bay, but which were not present this day. The final total was 107 species - only slightly less than average due to some great efforts by the counters.

Our big sit is more than a bird count. Most of the counters(and others) brought scrumptious food ranging from fresh strawberries, to pita chips and hummus, to homegrown grapes and tomatoes from Fresno. The Julia Wilds award goes to Brad's organic brownies and the Davies' solar baked macaroons - both were delicious and "green". The golden feather award,for the best bird find, goes to Brad Schram for the Golden Eagles he found soaring between peaks to our east (tiny specks to the unaided eye). We also used the "sit" to spread the word to others who happen to be at the Elfin Forest, about the great diversity of habitat and bird species present here. Several non-birders visiting the Elfin Forest stopped to look through a scope and peruse our board of bird sightings. Last, this was (to a small extent) a fund raiser for S.W.A.P., the group which preserved and manages this scenic and species-important piece of nature. We finished at sunset with sparkling wine and a toast to our beautiful coast.

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