Monday, July 25, 2011

Santa Monica

The morning started with an early 8am walk down my area. Despite the time, it was very silent save the odd Towhee, which seemed to be the only bird present most of the time. The local Black Phoebe was also around in the picnic area once again. Along the way there were a fair amount of Rabbits. Eventually I came across a pair of Hummingbirds, one being Anna's. This time there was a female that shot off so quickly I couldn't see it clear enough to tell if it was also Anna's. In the same tree I also found a Mourning Dove, which was probably that elusive dove I keep seeing flying overhead. In Alberta these birds were only found in uninhabited areas in the far southern prairie, but it seems here they are regular in the sub urban areas. The male Anna's hummingbird hung around for a bit (in the sun, though the angle was still off) and then started some hovering acts high in the air which was not something I expected to see a hummingbird do. There were also quite a few rabbits and skinks/geckos seen today.

Between visits of my dad's work friends I picked up a long-tailed bird on  lampost which I presumed was a Mockingbird, but hints of blue seemed to suggest Western Scrub-jay. The picture was taken from the car window so it was not brilliant.

At Santa Monica there were Western Gulls everywhere, and luckily the beach did not look like this, and due to the fact that it was summer, it was a nice day and it was the summer holidays, I assumed this was the busiest it got. The pier was a different matter, as it was very crowded. Halfway up the pier a lone gull with a white head was undoubtedly the magic Heermann's Gull I had been after. Nothing much else was seen until the end of the pier where I saw a few off-shore Brown Pelicans and some Bottlenose (presumably)Dolphins. A white bird offshore had wingbeats that were off for a gull, and it turned out to be a Royal Tern. A gliding shearwater-like bird was an immature gull; and another Heerman's at that. The only other event was an immature Western Gull on top of a post at the end, which along with the wind blowing inland, had a cleared a space inbetween it and the wall for obvious reasons.

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