Saturday, February 7, 2009

Between Rain Showers at the Back Bay

The wetlands lived up to their name on Saturday.

This Saturday between rain showers I would classify the wetlands at Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve as highly soggy. The water level were as high as I have ever seen them.

Very Soggy.

Saw a Great Egret or two.

There were Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Great Blue Herons wading in the wetlands.

Female Northern Harrier hunting low over the wetlands. The Female is brown.

The male Northern Harrier hunting. The Male is gray.

Northern Harriers are commonly seen at Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary,and at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. They used to be called Marsh Hawks because that is were they are usually seen. The male is gray and the female is brown, but both have a white area on the rump. The face is owl-like. They fly low to the ground or water, looking for prey. The pair I saw was hunting almost the entire time I was there. Every now and then, they would find a dry spot and sit in the pickleweed. They often sit on the ground or a low perch. Northern Harriers are also known to perch higher up.

Beautiful Stormy views.

It was cold. And muddy. There wasn't much out. I saw a Say's Phoebe at a distance, but couldn't get close enough for a picture.

Stormy weather.

The views of the wetlands and the clouds alone were worth the walk.

Up by the Muth Interpretive Center on the mesa, you will find a lot of different birds. I saw the White-crowned Sparrow above.

California Towhee

Notice Cinnamon highlights

and undertail coverts.

On the mesa, I have also seen Western Meadow Larks, Common Yellowthroats, and House Finches in addition to White-crowned Sparrows and California Towhees.

The View of the snow-capped mountains in the distance through the clouds was beautiful.
Rainy days are great days for birding in Orange County or anywhere. Whatever the weather, have fun birding in Orange County!

OC Birder Girl Links

All about our watershed. What is a watershed? Read this post to find out.

Northern Harrier

Home - Index - Contact - Shop - Ask the OC Birder Girl - OC Birder Girl Videos

No comments: