Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Monday morning - Only a few feet into the Marina Boardwalk, when from overhead, came a pesky squacking - a Peregrine Falcon with a small bird clutched in its deadly talons was being chased by a Red-tailed Hawk.  Then from out of the blue, came three Red-shouldered Hawks.  The falcon with its prey sped off over the bay with Hawks following.  The entire drama happened in about a minute. (note: try not to blink when birding, you might miss the action)

Due to the morning's high tide White Pelicans were fairly close. (photo by Mike Baird)  They usually hang out on Grassy Island in the middle of the bay, but during high tides they can be seen floating in the estuary channels or resting on the Pickleweed.  Directly across the channel from the Pelicans were a huge flock of Willet, Curlew, and Godwit.

Several Birders were clustered together looking intently into the brush for the Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow.  Do hope they were successful.  Best sighting from the Marina Boardwalk:  Lincoln Sparrow, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Yellow Warbler, and a hovering Kingfisher.

Sweet Springs never disappoints; observed a male Downy Woodpecker, the Smallest North American Woodpecker.  Its drumming sound, compared to other Woodpeckers, is quite delicate.  And from the overlook watched a flock of about 200 Brant Goose swoop in for a landing along the edge of the pickleweed.

The highlight of the week was a Red-breasted Nuthatch in my front yard.  It landed at the top of a bottle brush tree, crept down, flew over to the bird bath, took a few sips of water, flew back to the top of the tree, foraged around and flew off.  Hope the little darling makes a return visit.

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