Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Turri Road Ponds - Yesterday morning went to the ponds to see the Black-necked Stilt and Wilson's Phalarope. Saw both of them plus about 100 resting Semipalmated Plover. They rest in and on the edges of clumps of pickleweed and are very had to see.

Stilts are a real treat to observe as they seldom visit our area. They have very long red legs. In fact they have the second-longest legs in proportion to their bodies of any bird, exceeded only by the flamingo. Wilson's Phalarope is the largest of the Phalaropes. It does not have fully lobed toes and rarely swims. Its habitat is shallow, muddy or grassy pools and mudflats.

I had not taken any photos yesterday, so this morning was out at 7:00 (before the sun was fully up) to get a couple of pond photos . Could not find the Stilt but the Phalarope was in the same pond and it was feeding in close proximity to three Mallards, our largest dabbling duck (top photo - Phalarope in center). This was the first time I had observed this feeding strategy. My theory was, the dabbling behavior of the Mallards and the constant movement of their feet churned up the water thereby bringing to the surface the minute food items the Phalarope fed upon, which made easy pickings for the Phalarope.

Before going home for breakfast stopped at the Baywood Pier. My first sighting, this season, of Blue-winged Teal (lower photo), about 30, feeding non-stop in the shallow water by the pier. This seems to be a favorite feeding area for the Blue-winged Teal. Again saw the light-colored Godwit. I have never observed this bird with other of his species.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these photos Joyce ! Must have been so nice at 7 am.

    Ducks are my favorite birds !