Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Coastal Range in Sonoma County California

We met Wes Fritz at 5:30am in the parking lot at the marina and charted a course that would take us north of Bodega Bay and into the higher elevations of Sonoma County.  Much of the early part of the drive was in the dark.  When it got light, we could see that many of the big trees we passed were coastal redwoods.  Some were very impressive.  We had been given a location in those woods by Bill Doyle, a participant on yesterday's pelagic trip, for a very southerly Sooty Grouse.  However, the directions were sufficiently vague that we ended up driving past the right spot.  But eventually we decided where the right place was, parked the cars, and got out near a coniferous grove.  We played the call of the grouse and almost immediately one called back in his deep, booming voice.  Several more booms were heard and then nothing for the next twenty minutes as we tried in vain to find the bird.  We finally got back in our cars and headed back to the coast where we poked along, stopping to scan the rocky shoreline and the ocean.  There were many Pigeon Guillemots, Pacific Loons, and three species of cormorants.  We arrived at Fort Bragg with plenty of time to scout out the location of the boat for tomorrow's pelagic trip, check into the motel, buy a couple of pieces of warm clothing and our lunch and snacks for tomorrow.  We had a lovely meal at an Italian fish house.  The grouse (web photo) brought the year's total to 687.


  1. one by one the number grows larger . . . good work on getting the grouse! Renee

  2. lighting a candle for Hawaiian Petrel and maybe two more birds today! not toooo early for Flesh-foot, Short-tailed (either albatross or shearwater), Fork-tailed, and maybe a bonus alcid!

  3. Hi Bob-

    Very glad you got the grouse. I didn't mention that it is often heard, but rarely seen. Helen and I spent almost half an hour last year sighting the bird...ONCE WE HAD FOUND WHAT TREE IT WAS IN! And it was booming the whole time.

    We will be following your progress with great interest. Best of luck to you and John.

    Bill Doyle