Fall Mono Lake Shorebird Census Summary

Observers: River Gates
Email: rgates@prbo.org
Remote Name:
Date: 08/27/2004
Time: 01:40 PM -0400


On Saturday, August 21, 2004 21 brave souls conducted the 8th Annual Fall Mono Lake Shorebird Census. 81 species of birds were observed throughout the day including 38 species of waterbirds…. 9 ducks, 21 shorebirds, 3 rails and coots, 3 herons, 3 gulls. Additionally, 38 species of landbirds were seen plus 5 species of raptors but no Red-tailed Hawk? The day was mostly cool with thunderclouds beginning to build by 0930. Bartshe and Kelly Miller took the California Gull boat out to the south shore of Gaines Island and counted 4033 AMERICAN AVOCETS, nearly 4,000 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and the counts only 5 FORESTER’S TERN. George and Nancy Appel surveyed De Chambeau and County Ponds and found a GREATER YELLOWLEGS at County Ponds and 38 AMERICAN COOTS with 8 juveniles. Later in the day, Rich Stallcup, Sarah Warnock and the PRBO members trip saw a EASTERN KINGBIRD at DeChambeau. SNOWY PLOVERS were spotted in their usual haunts by Alison, Burl and Ulli on the east shore and the Harrington Brothers at the Tufa shoals. Kristie Nelson and Laurie Lawrence ventured between Sammon and Warm Springs finding 76 BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS and a ton of SNOWY PLOVERS (45 adults and 4 juveniles) as well as a high number of SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS (24). Shirley Sturts, Carrie Sturts- Dossick and Wendy Tanowitz braved the mud slog between Black Point and County Park, finding the count’s only WHIMBRELS and BONAPARTE’S GULL. A lone AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN was seen by a few groups on the northwest shore near County Park. Paul Mc Farland and River Gates saw the counts only RUDDY’S DUCKS at the Rush Creek delta. Chris McCreedy and Steve Huckabone found the only RING-BILLED GULL and a handful of LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, MARBLED GODWITS and LONG-BILLED CURLEWS. Dan and Raymond Harrington spotted the only BLACK-NECKED STILTS near 10 mile beach. And finally, Chris Rintoul located the counts only SOLITARY SANDPIPER and GREAT BLUE HERON on the west shore. 5 species of dead birds were found on the shore of Mono Lake including RED-SHAFTED FLICKER, AMERICAN KESTREL, CALIFORNIA GULL, EARED GREBE, and WILSON’S PHALOROPE. Overall, there were a fair number of shorebirds, although diversity and abundance was on the low side. Most of the abundant species like AMERICAN AVOCETS (8863 individuals) and 4922 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were comparable to other years. It was a great census, thanks to all you participated this year.