3 Pectoral Sandpipers at Mono Lake

Observers: Justin Hite
Email: justinhiteatgmaildotcom
Date: 09/25/2008
Time: 11:03 PM -0400

Another vivid day at Mono Lake, stumbling along the length of the southeast shore. Not many birds for the first few miles, though one of the blackbirds I could have sworn was a Common Grackle...but whatever it was didn't stick around more than a few moments and then was gone in the howling winds. 18 Long-billed Curlews and 3 Ring-necked Ducks livened things up. I lounged near springs, and let a coyote hunting little critters in the grass get in real close before it finally caught my scent. Later I stumbled around a bend and at my feet were three Pectoral Sandpipers working the beaches with 7 Short-billed Dowitchers and 3 Willets. I loafed like a loafing California Gull beside the Pectorals for at least an hour, and they rarely seemed to take note that i was even there. Later still i found a skull that i think could only have belonged to a Marbled Godwit (but I'm not sure...real long bill though), and quacked with some quacking Ibis and frowned at over-abundant Savannah Sparrows that kept surrounding me. Other stuff: at least 4000 ducks, mostly Shovelers but also at least 12 American Wigeon, 2 Long-billed Dowitchers keek-keeking, 6 Western Sandpipers, 100+ Killdeer, a hungry young Peregrine, and not a single Phalarope. Lots of balloons and a huge tar ball too.