Stephanie Aroche and I started doing shorebird surveys in Monterey, CA in mid-March. Since then we have seen significant numbers of shorebirds at all of our surveying sites. The Parson’s Overlook surveying site was one of the sites with the largest quantity and species of shorebirds per day. During the peak of the migration from mid to late April Parson’s Overlook was the place to be if you wanted to know more about the species that passed through the area. Jetty Road was another site with a significant number of shorebird species. This site is very accessible just right of the Highway and it gives you a good representation of all the shorebirds that stop to feed before heading up north. South Marsh was also busy during the peak of the migration. This site had less species and number of shorebirds per day when compared to Parson’s Overlook and Jetty Road. It was only active during the peak of the migration. Lastly, North Marsh had only a few good turnouts. This site is flooded most of the time and it offers little bare ground but a good amount of vegetation (pickleweed). In the last few weeks this site has become interesting because it has many Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets.
Most of my other sites are lacking shorebirds now. If you are luck you might find a few species. The only species that I am seeing now are Black-bellied Plovers, Whimbrels, and Long-Billed Curlews- but in very small numbers. Occasionally I’ll see a Marble Godwit. I also had the opportunity to see a Red Knot this past week but that is uncommon. It is still interesting to go out and survey because you don’t know what new species might be coming through or what shorebird are late according to my observations. Overall it was a great experience and I think I might continue to do this as a hobby for years to come!