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Re: Snow Bunting, Oceanside, 11/2

Re: Snow Bunting, Oceanside, 11/2
By – 3:48 pm

At 0804, while looking at gulls on the beach in front of Oceanside
Harbor (here: 33.204985, -117.394751) I heard what I at first
thought was a Black Phoebe calling “peew” as it flew south towards
me. I spotted the bird naked eye as it flew over my head maybe 20-30
feet up and realized it was this fat short-tailed thing with an
undulating flight like a longspur; the flapping interspersed with
plunging flight and wings fully closed. I then thought it must be a
LALO giving its “teew” flight call. At the same time I realized the
bird had extensive white in the wings, especially the secondaries.
At this point I started freaking out and fumbling with the camera,
making sure the exposure was decent and trying to find the bird in
the viewfinder as it quickly undulated its way farther away, still
giving the “teew”” call. I managed four shots that aren’t completely
out of focus. I was then unable to re-find it in binoculars so was
unsure if it had landed somewhere at the jetty or the river mouth
itself, or continued south. The grassy area at the river mouth was
checked thoroughly as was the jetty. Select sections of beach and
rip-rap were checked down to Agua Hedionda Lagoon with no luck. But
there were large stretches of narrow beach and rip-rap that were not
checked. Could be anywhere.

Checklist with back-of-camera shots now replaced by actual (if not
any better) photos:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S121743306

Matt Sadowski