Friday, November 25, 2011


Last weekend went on a field trip with Harry and Norma to Oso Flaco State Park located about a mile or so north of the quietly charming town of Guadalupe.

To birders, the main attraction at Oso Flaco (skinny bear) are the two lakes and the user friendly boardwalk that angles across the larger of the lakes. We were hoping to see an American Bittern. To say they blend in with the reeds is an understatement. First of all they are the color of reeds and when an observer is nearby, they will stretch their neck up, pointing their bill to the sky. As a consequence they look just like a reed. When we approached the area where the Bittern had been seen, people were putting away their scopes (not a good sign). The bird had disappeared into the reeds. We birded for about two hours and on our return we tried again for a view, but no Bittern.

What we did see delighted Norma and Harry. It was their first sighting of a Sora Rail. It was feeding along he edge of the reeds. Without effort we saw two feeding and one resting. The majority of the ducks were, of course, on the far side of the lake. We identified 20 species of the usual species. Cinnamon Teal were numerous.

The path into the lakes is lined with willows, and dense brush (photo). Yellow-rumped Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet were numerous.

By the time noon rolled around were were not looking at a Menu, as they don't have one, in a unheated, down home Mexican Cafe in Guadalupe. We warmed up considerably when our delicious meal arrived. The Tortillas were home made and fantastic. The waitress was sweet and charming. I highly recommend the place, but unfortunately do not know its name. It is located in the center of town in the 900 block.

Local birding has been spectacular do to a few days of extreme high tides. As the tide moves into the pickleweed, the ducks come along for the ride - thousands of them. Along South Bay Blvd. you can to get an excellent view, as long as you do not mind cars racing by a few feet away. I could hold my binocs. stationary and watch scores and scores of Pintail, Shoveler, and Wigeon float by on the energy of the tide. Now, that is what I call fun!

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