Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Suprise At The Baywood Pier

About 10:00 I started out on my birding walk; as I approached the Baywood Pier there was the usual flock of Western Gulls. A few ducks were feeding in the muck. I wondered if the Blue-winged Teal had arrived. I swung my binoculars into action; the ducks were Mallards. Thinking there might be a Glaucous Gull among the Westerns I check the gulls, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a little Cattle Egret, so dear. ( photo) I think it was an adult transitioning out of its breeding colors.

A note about Cattle Egrets. They are an Old World Species, coming to South America from Africa. They reached Calif. in the Mid 1950s. Cattle Egrets are not bay birds. They usually forage in small flocks in association with livestock. It goes without saying, this little Egret made my day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Phenominal Week For Birding

About 2 miles east 0n Turri Road, in the area of the windmill and the pea field, birding mania was in full bloom. I believe it all began with the appearance of an Indigo Bunting in the latter part of June (see June 23 blog). Then on July 5th an Eastern Kingbird, rare to our area, was seen. Birders flocked to the site.

In the same clump of Willows, alongside the road where I had first seen the Indigo Bunting, a male (below photo) and female Blue Grosbeak had taken up residence. Two days ago the male sat at the top of the willow singing his melodious song while the female dashed back and forth across the road with insects for her brood, clasped tightly in her beak. Today, the male was singing from a tree across the road and the female was feeding 3, maybe 4 youngsters, that were waiting impatiently in the brush on the edge of the pea field - most delightful to view.

A Lazuli Bunting was feeding along the fence across from the windmill, and the song of an Indigo Bunting could be heard coming from the willows across the field (I hope I have all these names right). Up the road a few yard were several Cassin's Kingbird and a Lark Sparrow. By the old corral a female Bluebird was gathering insects for her nestlings. And perched on barbed wire was a juvenile Cassin's Kingbird fussing for food. Thank you Maggie Smith for use of yourIndigo Bunting and BlueGrosbeak photos.

As of Monday, I had yet to see the Eastern Kingbird. The most success at seeing the bird was early morning or early evening. Yesterday, I set my alarm; at 6:30 I was looking for the Kingbird and there it was sitting on the barbed wire directly across from me. I, per my usual, got a fuzzy photo, but it is proof that I saw the little darling (below photo). He was making his call sound and flying out for insects and back to his perch. Eventually he flew out of sight. I did get caught up in the birding mania and loved every minute of it. Below is a link to a video on my latest birding adventure.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Happy days are here again. This morning, resting along the edge of the bay, were about 300 Willet (photo), 80 or more Black-bellied Plover, and one peep (species undermined).

The Willets were observed from the Audubon Overlook in Baywood (my usual haunt). I have included a video of their sound. http://youtu.be/4FrwjbSX70Y

In mid bay a feeding frenzy was in progress - Brown Pelicans, Cormorants, Gulls, eight Elegant Tern, and two Caspian Tern. I really enjoy the Caspian Tern as they have a harsh guttural sound that makes them easy to identify. Looks like there will be no birding doldrums this summer.