Volunteer Plover and Shorebird Observers wanted in Pacifica

Letter

Posted by on Thu, May 28, 2009

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A Black Oyster Catcher (left) and a Whimbrel forage during low tide at Pacifica State Beach, Linda Mar.

Members of the Pacifica Shorebird Alliance have started conducting observation of shorebirds along our local beaches. In doing so, we have settled on the recording model used by CA State Parks HMB for recording of Western Snowy Plovers. Since we will be submitting our recordings at Pacifica State Beach to CA State Parks, we have been asked that observers be trained by the volunteer program from Half Moon Bay. This is also appropriate since we plan on recording the local population of the Western Snowy Plover.

The training is composed of an evening training program of about 2 hours and follow-up beach walks with docent trainers and mentors until an observer is signed off. If you have an eye for bird identification, this would probably only be two beach sessions. For experienced bird watchers the beach sessions would be optional.  Personnel from the Half Moon Bay program have agreed to come to Pacifica to do the first portion of the training and we are reaching out to members of the community who want to join our efforts.

With climate change and increasing pressure on our coastal birds, we are interested in getting a baseline for current populations and track what many are reporting as changes in bird distributions and migration patterns. You don’t even have to be a beginner bird watcher, you will get training and mentoring. Observations currently consist of making a sweep of a beach/location for about 30min when you have the time to do so, and recording wildlife, location usage, disturbances, predators etc…

This training session will start here in Pacifica with follow-up beach walks in Half Moon Bay. The beach component should be over the following three weeks and be completed by the first week of July. Those follow-up beach sessions can be scheduled at your convenience with the initial training session here in Pacifica. If you are interested, please send us an email at [email protected]

Training Session
Wednesday June 10th
7:00pm to 9:00pm, Pacifica Community Center
Directions will be posted on our web site: www.pacificashorebird.org

Dyer Crouch
Pacifica Shorebird Alliance