top of page

Fall Birding | Villa Creek - Estero Bluffs State Park, San Simeon, CA

Distance: 1.4 miles | Duration: 180 minutes

Habitats: riparian scrub, coastal scrub, shoreline, sand, estuary.

We parked our truck by the park entrance before 10 AM.

We followed the path to the right.

There were hundreds of birds fishing and resting offshore mostly Brandt's Cormorants and Western Grebes as well as a few Gulls, Red-throated Loons and Brown Pelicans.

Black Oystercatcher taking a bath in a tide pool.


Least Sandpiper doing just fine on slippery rocks.

These Black Turnstones seemed to be having an argument.

American Pipit.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's).

Western Snowy Plover habitat.

Western Snowy Plover taking care of an itchy spot.

So what?

We reported the sighting of this banded Western Snowy Plover (orange over yellow left, aqua over aqua right) to the USGS Bird Banding Lab and found out it was banded as a chick on a nest at Salinas River State Beach, directly north of the Salinas River mouth, on 10 July 2018. It has been seen at Villa Creek mouth since October 2018.

This bird (blue over blue left, aqua over red right) originated at Oceano Dunes SVRA when banded as a chick in either 2017 or 2018. A bird banded with this combination has been seen at Estero Bluffs since August and has been spending it's non-breeding months there since 2018.

This female (red over lime right) was banded as a chick at Fort Ord State Beach on Monterey Bay 27 May 2016. She previously nested in south Monterey Bay, but this year (2020) nested on Morro Strand State Beach.


Surf Scoters.

Red-tailed Hawk.

Villa Creek.


Pair of White-tailed Kites in the distance.

We tallied 36 bird species including Hutton's Vireo, Allen's Hummingbird, Black-crowned Night-heron, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, White-crowned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Brewer's Blackbird, Bewick's Wren, Downy Woodpecker, Anna's Hummingbird, American Coot, Mallard, and Double-crested Cormorant.


Credits and Additional Information


Villa Creek at Estero Bluffs State Park, a scenic area and Western Snowy Plover habitat worth discovering.



bottom of page