Tuesday, January 1, 2013


New Year's Day 2013 - In pursuit of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus) that had been seen in the company of Robins and Cassin's Kingbirds feeding on Ivy Berries that grow along Arroyo Grande Creek in the charming little town of Arroyo Grande.(regretfully Scissor-tailed Flycatcher not in photo)

 A few moments after parking  I spotted the local photographers, their long lenses focused on the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Fortunately I got a good look before it took off.  The Flycatcher was larger than a Kingbird, gray above, whitish and salmon pink below, and of course, a long scissor-like tail - most impressive!  It is not everyday one gets to see the State bird of Oklahoma.
Next stop the San Luis Obispo Creek where it quietly meanders past the Avila Beach Golf Course on its route to the Pacific. The photo was taken from the Bob Jones Trail.  One can cross over the creek on a nearby foot, bicycle, golf cart bridge.  The bridge allows for excellent viewing of the water birds.  Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) and Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) winter in the creek. Both species are agile divers, spending much time feeding underwater.  The Hooded Merganser, the smallest of the three species of Merganser, has a third eyelid that protects the eye when swimming, much like a pair of goggles.  I hope these wonderful species hang around for the Morro Bay Bird Festival that begins on January 18th.

Happy New Year!

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