Thursday, March 29, 2012
|Might even be a Clark's in here that I missed.|
Both Western and Heermann's Gulls were pretty abundant here, and the wind kept them suspended in the air long enough for some good shots.
|A young Heermann's.|
I was a bit paranoid that even if there was a Clark's I would overlook it. Birds were diving all the time, so it wouldn't have been that hard to miss an odd bird. However when I did actually find my first Clark's it was stark obvious, at least to me.
Royal Terns were sporadic here, but I did manage to get far better images of them this time.
|Another Heermann's ruffled up by the wind. I never knew they were white under their throat.|
|All three are in here; small and long-billed. Can you find them all?|
|These Long-billed Curlews have an extraordinary long bill even for a Curlew.|
While looking through the viewfinder I saw a dark egret like shape amongst the terns, and there was my Reddish Egret. To be honest I was beginning to think it wasn't here. But I was mistaken. It was infact a [Little Blue Heron] (thanks Liam!), another vagrant egret to the region.
Would still rather call it a Blueberry Egret.
To finish things off I found a black beetle on the sidewalk. And I was quite surprised; it was a Darkling Beetle. Not a Darkling as in Mealworms, but a true desert Darkling beetle like those you see on National Geographic. Not something I expected to see.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Of course this time was different, because otherwise this post would not exist. The previous visit was a one-day trip; drive there in the morning, return at night. This time there would be a stay at the hotel on Saturday night, making a two-day trip.
The hotel was supposedly perched on the river, but unfortunately not the San Diego River, which holds a multitude of specialities at numerous times. But it did look somewhat promising, save the complete lack of undergrowth and trees save a little corner.
I gave the corner a run through because it looked good for spring migrants and found a few Yellow-rumped Warblers (which was unsurprising) and a single Black Phoebe. Some movement and a yellow flash at the back revealled itself to be a FOS male Western Tanager, which while not unusual was indeed a spring migrant; exactly what I was looking for (can't complain).
|Not good views, but its enough. It's the only medium-sized yellow bird in the US like this.|
|Can't stop taking pictures of these Willets.|
|Y halo thar|
|Can't deny that Starlings are pretty though, even without good sunlight.|
Sunday, March 4, 2012
In the car park I noticed a far-off shorebird which seems to be undeniably a Long-billed Curlew, but hazy and uncertain opinions from other birders puts me off. The bill seems far too long for a Whimbrel to me.
This gull is not yet identified. Its probably a California or a Herring.
It was undoubtedly a Brent Goose (*cough* Brant *cough*) and it was completely unexpected. There had been previous reports of a single
Brant Brent Goose at this location for a while, but there was a fair gap between the last report and now. I wasn't looking for it because I already had decent Brent Goose pictures from SeaWorld in San Diego, but it wasn't something to ignore.
FYI I dislike the name Brant, which seems to have occupied the minds of birders outside of Europe. There is no "Brent Goose" in North America.
It flew out to sea and disappeared again, but later when I was walking down the rocks it flew over and landed right beside me. I can't think of any other place where you could get within 2 metres of a Brent Goose. They are just never this tame and even if they are they tend to be out at sea or in marshy wetlands which are downright unaccessible.
|This picture was taken at 0% zoom just to show how close it was. If it helps, putting your hand so it |
aligns with mine gives a better impression of distance.
And still no Surfbird. Someone who had visited on the same day as me had 80 of them. Where are an earth are they?