Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 15, 2016

Birding Burleigh Murray SP and Half Moon Bay 8/14/16 – updated

 Birds, Flowers, Berries and Butterflies in San Mateo County

Yesterday I went birding with several members of the Master Birding class I did last year. We went to Burleigh Murray SP,  and Pillar Point near Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County, California. Both were new for me.  At Burleigh Murray the group had 20 bird species and Pillar Point 21 species including four terns.

Some of the native flowers in bloom included Yellow Bush Lupine, Pearly Everlasting, Bush Monkeyflower, Lizardtail, Hedge Nettle,, California Blackberry, an aster, Gumplant, and Coast Buckwheat.

Alien flowers in bloom included Coast Tarweed, Yellow Lotus, Mustard, Radish, Sea Rocket and Poison Hemlock.

Berries in-fruit included Thimbleberry, California Blackberry, and Snow Berry.

Other interesting botanical observations were “Old Man’s Beard” (Usnea sp.) lichen hanging from dead trees and Poison Oak starting to show Fall Color

Butteflies seen included Field Crescent, Lorquin’s Admiral and an unidentified Skipper.

There was one unidentified Crescent butterfly that looked like  a California Crescent, which is supposed to be extinct in our area. It has orange antennae clubs as opposed to the dark antennae clubs of the Field Crescent.  I am guessing I am wrong about this so I sent it to Bug Guide for further evaluation. The two crescents look very similar except for the color of the tips of the antennae.
update on above butterfly ID Bug Guide explained

A pale orange antennal tip which is typical of Field Crescents at your locale. California Crescents have similar tips but often brighter orange. Based on the amount of black, forewing spot pattern, and locale this specimen appears to be a Field Crescent.

Also seen were a number of cottontail rabbits

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Burleigh Murray SP, San Mateo, California, US
Aug 14, 2016 8:05 AM – 11:27 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
20 species

Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Downy Woodpecker  3
Northern Flicker  3
Band-tailed Pigeon
Hutton’s Vireo  1
Steller’s Jay (Coastal)  1
California Scrub-Jay  3
Common Raven  1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  12
Bushtit  6
Pygmy Nuthatch  12
House Wren  1
Pacific Wren  1
Bewick’s Wren  2
Wrentit  6
Swainson’s Thrush  1
Wilson’s Warbler  1
Song Sparrow  3

We also heard a probable Macgillivray’s Warbler


Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, California, US
Aug 14, 2016 12:38 PM – 1:02 PM
21 species

Surf Scoter  4
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Brown Pelican  4
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Semipalmated Plover  1
Whimbrel  2
Marbled Godwit  1
Sanderling  300
Willet (Western)  15
Common Murre  2
Heermann’s Gull  1
Western Gull  32
California Gull  1
Herring Gull  1     Pale mantle, white eye, black wing tips. Adult
Least Tern  1     Small tern, white forehead yellow bill.
Caspian Tern  1
Forster’s Tern  1
Elegant Tern  20
Black Phoebe  1
European Starling  10


  1. […] Burleigh Murray SP and Half Moon Bay 8/14/16 […]


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