Results on the First Birdwatching Marathon in San Quintín

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By Jonathan Vargas

On December 9, 2017 was successfully celebrated the third Bird Festival in San Quintín, in the community of La Chorera. This event attracted a wide range of attendees and students from different schools that enjoyed the variety of activities that took place on the festival.

One activity that took place for the first time was the Bird Watching Marathon that consisted of: identifying the most bird species during the festival, promoting bird watching in San Quintín Bay as a healthy activity and providing entertainment for all ages and to highlight the importance of this place for bird conservation. Children and teens that participated in the marathon were very enthusiastic, looking for all the possible birds during the bird watching tours and writing them down on their pocket guides.

A total of nine teams participated: “Los Chichicuilotes”, “Leoncillos”, “Los Padres”, “Jaciel y compañía”, ¨Red Knots¨, “Chicos Boys”, “Falcon”, “Agua Viva” and an individual participant.

The rules were simple: to register and identify the most bird species in one day, the winner would be the team with the highest number of birds species confirmed.

At the end of the festival, the review of results and the prize-giving ceremony was held:

  • FIRST PLACE of the beginner’s category: the team “Los Padres” managed to identify 18 bird species, a large number considering that they are unexperienced kids and teens.
PRIMER LUGAR en la categoría de principiantes: Los Padres
  • FIRST PLACE of the advanced category: the winner was a member of the Bird Watching Club Los Correcaminos, Roberto Pineda, who registered a total of 54 bird species.
PRIMER LUGAR en la categoría avanzados: Roberto Pineda

With the help of all the participants, we registered a total of 65 bird species during the marathon. Without a doubt, it was a great result and a big first step for the upcoming festivals and bird watching marathons.

Some of the species found throughout the marathon and festival were:

  • Black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans)
  • Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
  • California quail (Callipepla californica)
  • Pacific loon (Gavia pacifica)
  • Common loon (Gavia immer)
  • Pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
  • Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
  • Snowy egret (Egretta thula)
  • Nycticorax (Nycticorax nycticorax)
  • Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura)
  • Surf scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)
  • Western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
  • Great egret (Ardea alba)
  • Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
  • Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
  • Black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

Several species of birds of prey:

  • Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
  • Northern harrier (Circus hudsonius)
  • Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Shorebirds such as:

  • Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus). The team “Los Padres” watched a marked snowy plover that was possibly marked by U.S. researchers.
  • Gray plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
  • Semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)
  • Killdeer ( vociferus)
  • Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
  • Long-billed curlew ( americanus)
  • Marbled godwit (Limosa fedoa)
  • Black turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala)
  • Least sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)
  • Spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius)
  • Willet (Tringa semipalmata)
  • Western sandpiper (Calidris mauri)
  • Sanderling ( alba)

And other species like:

  • Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
  • California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica)
  • Ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula)
  • California thrasher (Toxostoma revividum)
  • White-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
  • Bell’s sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli)
  • California towhee (Melozone crissalis)
  • Sage thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), a very rare species in the area
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