Trip Report
Big Sur Marathon 2010
2010-04-25 06:45 for 4 hrs 45 mins (marathon) 52 sightings Big Sur Marathon Course (CAWCBSIM) Big Sur, CA (USA) Lat,Long: 36.37375,-121.90224 Map
The marathon runs north on Hwy 1 from Pfieffer Big Sur State Park to Carmel along the spectacular Big Sur coast. Habitats include rocky shores, beaches, coastal chapparal, meadows, oak and redwood forest around Big Sur, residential forest (pine & Monterey Cypress) in Carmel Highlands and riparian thickets with small stands of eucalyptus groves and other trees in stream canyons. Sunny, light NW breeze, 45-65 Ran the marathon, stopping frequently for photos (163 total) and to look/listen for birds and record species in my notebook. The counts are estimates made after the race.
Difficult to hear birds in the first few miles through the woods. I didn't carry binoculars and so missed a few of the smaller species as well as distant waterbirds. Also missed the purple martin colony in redwoods above the River Inn.
Brown Pelican 10   Flying along coast
Brandt's Cormorant 15   Rock around mile 14
Turkey Vulture 15   Common all along the coast
Red-shouldered Hawk 1   Soaring over Carmel river just before finish
Red-tailed Hawk 1   No doubt missed others.
Peregrine Falcon 1   Flew over in Carmel Highlands
Dunlin 30   Flock of med-sized peeps offshore, "brreeep" calls, ID not certain.
Western Gull 50   Common along coast
Caspian Tern 15   Overhead along shore
Common Murre 20   Rock around mile 14
Rock Pigeon 15   Released at the start
Band-tailed Pigeon 4   Woods
Mourning Dove 2   Calling in residential woods
Anna's Hummingbird 3   Including two which flew low across road together, one holding onto the tail of the other and singing, in Carmel Highlands. Two other unidentified hummingbirds, not counted, may have been Allen's.
Acorn Woodpecker 5   High in redwoods
Downy Woodpecker 1   Calling in woods
Hairy Woodpecker 1   Calling in woods
Olive-sided Flycatcher 1   Singing in woods
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 15   Calling/singing in wooded areas
Black Phoebe 1   Open woods in Carmel Highlands
Hutton's Vireo 2   Singing in woods
Warbling Vireo 2   Singing in woods
Steller's Jay 3   Calling in woods
Western Scrub-Jay 3   Chapparal/open woods
American Crow 4   Pastures and woods
Common Raven 2   Over woods/fields
Violet-green Swallow 5   Stream canyons
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1   Meadow
Cliff Swallow 50   Flock under Bixby bridge
Barn Swallow 5   Over pastures
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3   Calling in woods, probably undercounted.
Bushtit 3   Trees near Garapata
Pygmy Nuthatch 5   Pines
Brown Creeper 2   Calling in woods
Wrentit 15   Singing in chapparal
California Thrasher 1   Singing in chapparal thicket mid-course
European Starling 3   Carmel Highlands
Orange-crowned Warbler 5   Singing in woods/thickets
Common Yellowthroat 1   Grassy thickets
Yellow Warbler 2   Singing in woods. One could have been Nashville.
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1   Singing in woods
Wilson's Warbler 3   Singing in woods
Spotted Towhee 2   Woods and chapparal
Savannah Sparrow 5   Singing in chapparal/pastures
Song Sparrow 10   Woods and chapparal
White-crowned Sparrow 10   Singing in chapparal
Dark-eyed Junco 3   Singing in woods
Red-winged Blackbird 5   Pastures near Point Sur
Brewer's Blackbird 5   Roadside
Purple Finch 3   Singing in woods
House Finch 8   Residential woods
American Goldfinch 1   Singing in solitary cypress