|I assume it was some form of courtship that these two birds were performing but it remains unknown.|
|Don't know about the Guillemots but the Gulls certainly had spring fever.|
|Probable hybrid Clark's x Western. Bright orange bill yet a dull upper mandible and black feathers only just over the eye which is in the middle of the two extremities.|
|Breeding plumage Brown Pelican.|
Pigeon Guillemots again, this time tapping eachothers' bills.
What really caught my eye was this Clark's Grebe, this time even closer than before. The difference between the Western was so obvious I was able to I.D. it with the naked eye.
|This bird was closer than any Western I've seen, and considering less than 5% of Westerns are Clark's I think that means I was pretty fortunate.|
What was also fortunate was this breeding plumaged Pelagic Cormorant. My only previous sighting of this bird was only a speck in the distance.
To finish my time in Santa Cruz I finally decided to investigate some chickadee-like sounds in some trees nearby. I had been hearing it for a while but never had the time to check. The reason I was interested was because I was purely hearing "chickadee" calls and not any other calls, which alone rules out the chance of a sly Titmouse. There was only one chickadee around this area which I had not seen yet. Sure enough I had found some Chestnut-backed Chickadees.
|The pictures were not great but this one shows the namesake chestnut back.|
There was a male Myrtle Warbler in the area too, which I was led to by its distinctive chipping calls, which are similar but noticeably different to that of the Audubon's.
I will cover Año Nuevo State Reserve in the next post.