The Big Sit! 2014 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. Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
  2. Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
  3. Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus
  4. Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
  5. Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
  6. American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
  7. Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
  8. Brandt's Cormorant Phalacrocorax penicillatus
  9. Great Egret Ardea alba
  10. Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  11. Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  12. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  13. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  14. Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
  15. Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
  16. American Wigeon Anas americana
  17. Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  18. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  19. Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
  20. scaup sp.
  21. Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
  22. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  23. Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  24. Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
  25. Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
  26. Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  27. American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  28. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
  29. California Quail Callipepla californica
  30. Virginia Rail Rallus limicola
  31. American Coot Fulica americana
  32. Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  33. Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
  34. Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
  35. American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
  36. Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
  37. Willet Tringa semipalmata
  38. Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
  39. Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
  40. Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
  41. Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
  42. Dunlin Calidris alpina
  43. Red Knot Calidris canutus
  44. Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
  45. Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
  46. Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
  47. Herring Gull Larus argentatus
  48. California Gull Larus californicus
  49. Western Gull Larus occidentalis
  50. Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni
  51. Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
  52. Common Tern Sterna hirundo
  53. Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus
  54. Elegant Tern Thalasseus elegans
  55. Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
  56. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia
  57. Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata
  58. Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  59. Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
  60. Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
  61. Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon
  62. Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
  63. Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
  64. Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
  65. Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
  66. California Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
  67. American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
  68. Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina
  69. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  70. Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens
  71. Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus
  72. Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
  73. Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
  74. Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
  75. Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
  76. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
  77. Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana
  78. Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
  79. Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
  80. Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
  81. California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
  82. European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  83. Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata
  84. Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
  85. Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
  86. Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
  87. California Towhee Melozone crissalis
  88. Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
  89. Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca
  90. Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
  91. Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
  92. White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
  93. Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla
  94. Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
  95. Tricolored Blackbird Agelaius tricolor
  96. Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
  97. Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
  98. House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus
  99. Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria
  100. Lawrence's Goldfinch Spinus lawrencei
  101. Pine Siskin Spinus pinus
  102. American Goldfinch Spinus tristis
  103. Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

Team Notes

Participants: Bill Bouton, Tom Edell, Herb Elliot, Alison Fox, Jessica Griffiths, Dave Keeling, Jim Royer, Kerry Runkle, Ron Rupert, Steve Schubert, Maggie Smith, Mike Stiles, Roger Zachary

Weather: Clear, mostly calm, cool in the morning and almost 90 degrees in the afternoon!

Location: Bush Lupine Point Overlook, Elfin Forest, Los Osos, California

Time At Location: 6:00am - 7:00pm

Notes:
We were greeted by calling shorebirds moving with the incoming tide, as we arrived at the wooden count site overlook at 6am. The three part call of Greater Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plovers' slurred two note whistles, Long-billed Curlews saying there name loudly, and dowitchers "keek keek" and "too-too" calls completed the long and the short of the pre-dawn chorus below us. The waking of land birds was signaled by the beautiful and varied song of mockingbirds and California Thrashers, punctuated by the shrill call of the Spotted Towhee coming from the thick coastal scrub around us. We had recorded 30 species by 7 am, just as the light was becoming bright enough for us to look through our scopes and see the birds feeding along the branching tidal channels of the muddy Morro Bay Estuary. As the day brightened, more land birds sang and the indistinct shapes in the estuary below became shovelers, teal, Willets, godwits, terns, herons and other additions to our list, which grew to 82 species by 10am. Virginia Rails added their rowdy laugh-like calls from the marshy edge of the bay, but their usual cohorts in concealment, the Soras, were inexplicably absent (or silent). The species additions slowed considerably as we approached our noon total of 92 species. The hardy stalwart birders of the afternoon fought for each individual addition to the days list and they trickled in slowly - Lawrence's Goldfinch, Common Tern, Barn Swallow and Bushtit. This year's only completely new bird for our local big sit list (181 species seen since the inaugural 1997 count) was Horned Grebe. Our final total of 103 species came with late afternoon add-ons Tricolored Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds. The continuing drought, and other factors, likely contributed to our missing many species we normally record, such as Merlin, meadowlark, pipit, Purple Finch, Sora and snipe. We were satisfied with our species total and to have an excuse to spend most of the day at such a beautiful spot overlooking Morro Bay, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean!

Anecdotes:
The Elfin Forest Big Sit might be subtitled the "big eat". Participants brought banana-blueberry bread, Apple-zuchini bread, homemade energy bars and cookies, fruit, chips and salsa, and other treats. Those of us who counted well past our assigned shifts gained pounds faster than new species toward the end of the day! The last week before the count day had been foggy, so the warm sunny day for the big sit was welcome, but the afternoon temperature of about 90 degrees caught many of us overdressed. The breeze off the ocean by mid afternoon was really welcome. The days counters were a dedicated bunch! There were as many as 5 or 6 scopes at a time crowded onto the wooden overlook deck, all looking in different directions. Our big sit was really a "big stand" for most of us. Thanks to the above named counters who took assigned shifts and unnamed others who dropped by to help spot species!


Subscribe & Save!

ONE YEAR (6 ISSUES) of Bird Watcher's Digest magazine
GET FREE AND INSTANT ACCESS to our digital edition
SAVE 33% off newsstand prices
PAY ONE LOW PRICE of $19.99!
Scroll Up