Saturday, October 25, 2008

Two-stop Birding

Peeps. Hmmm. My best guess is Least Sandpipers and Western Sandpipers.

I like to hit several birding places in one outing. So today I went to Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve aka Newport Back Bay, and it was somewhat quiet.

Black Skimmers. Some lighter juveniles in the mix.

All over Orange County I am seeing mulefat going to seed. It catches the sunlight and looks pretty. So I took a picture. Provides lots of food for the birds in fall and winter.


I am thinking this is mulefat. Isn't it pretty?

A closer look at the mulefat.

It attracts lots of White-crowned Sparrows, House Finches , Lesser Goldfinches and lots of Bushtits, and other seed eaters.

Marbled Godwit and a peep of some kind. Peeps are beyond my scope. I am guessing a Western Sandpiper.

There are always mixes of Marbled Godwits, Willets, and Black Skimmers just beyond the parking lot on Back Bay Drive.

And the American Wigeons back from their breeding grounds. I often see them near the drainage pipe from the surrounding neighborhood.

The American Wigeons are often beyond the parking lot on Back Bay Drive, and occasionally have a Eurasian Wigeon tucked in among them. Many of the sightings of Eurasian Wigeons come from this spot. None today. I met a birder/photographer looking for an Osprey. He had been there for hours and hadn't found one. I mentioned he might want to check at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary since it is so close. Sometimes if you don't see them at Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, they are at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. It was fairly quiet at Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve aka Newport Back Bay , so I got back onto Jamboree and turned left. Turned right on Michelson, right on Riparian to the end, and down into the parking lot of San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sea and Sage Pancake Breakfast was finishing up. I had completely forgotten about.

Black-necked Stilt with its black-and white feathers and red legs mirrored in the water.

I had to park in the auxiliary parking lot which provided a closer view of the first pond. It was full of shore birds and ducks.

American Avocet in winter plumage foraging.

Lots of shorebird action.

Dowitchers. Long-billed? Short-billed? Guesses?

Semipalmated Plover

Pair of Killdeer--Charadrius vociferus scurrying about being vociferous.

Northern Shovelers shoveling.

Female Northern Harrier scattered the shorebirds.

When the shorebirds take flight, I look for a hawk. This time it was a female Northern Harrier looking for a fast meal.

Northern Harrier coming around for another turn around the pond.

Common sight. American White Pelicans coming into San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary for a rest.

Overhead a flock of American White Pelicans flew looking for a resting place deep in the marsh. I see them often on the islands or strands of mud in one of the ponds back in the marsh. Often see Black Skimmers there as well, but not today.

Osprey up in the Eucalyptus between the Audubon House and the trail by the pond. Notice the fish under his left foot. Look at that bill!

I met a birder and photographer in the parking lot that I seem to see everywhere in the Southland. Dave. Sunburned and peering through his telephoto lens. He pointed out an Osprey in the tree by the Audubon House. Many thanks to Dave.

He stayed up there eating for hours.

People told me the Osprey was in the eucalyptus tree eating for hours. He had a very large fish. Look at that seriously sharp, hooked bill. A bill made for fish!


Are you still there?

I took a lot of photographs, and all in all it was a good birding day. Have fun birding the Orange County!

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