I always see or hear Rock Doves as I cross the Bolsa Chica footbridge. Today was no different.
I like Willets even if they are as common as sand on the beach. They are always in and around the pickleweed by the footbridge.
Just beyond the bridge, opposite the first lookout, a rare bird for the OC--White-winged Scoter.
I wanted to hurry and get up to the mesa to see the activity up there, but go distracted on the way up by a White-winged Scoter. It was still there. I had seen it the other day on the way to work.
Marbled Godwit--Limosa fedoa a bird often seen in the mudflats or shallow water. In the pickleweed they are often found wing to wing with Willets--Catoptrophorus semipalmatus.
I like both Willets and Marbled Godwits which I think are quite pretty.
Snowy Plovers and Semipalmated Plovers are just about the cutest little birds in the wetlands.
I always like seeing the Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage. Its blue bill is so pretty.
I always enjoy seeing Snowies. You never know what you will see. They are so active and full of personality.
I don't know if they have Bette Davis eyes, but they sure have great eyes. the turquoise is so unusual. I was near the foot of the mesa. Almost there.
Of course the Anna's was there on a shrub at the top of the mesa.
Up on the mesa, a disturbing sight--one of many of the European Starlings making themselves at home on the mesa.
I have to see European Starlings. They are aggressive birds who really reduce the populations of our cavity nesting birds.
Mourning Dove--Zenaida macroura on the chain link fence on the top of the mesa. I love their soft owl-like call and the whistling sound of their wings as they fly away. Mourning Dove--Zenaida macroura are common in Orange County, California.
On the mesa there was a symphony of springtime birds singing for mates: Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Yellowthroats , Northern Mockingbirds, Anna's Hummingbirds, Song Sparrows, and more I couldn't sort out. Nothing like the mesa in springtime.
The warm smells of sage and flowering plants filled the air.
A female Northern Harrier--Circus cyaneus flew by and then perched up in a bare tree. When the inlet was opened, it flooded an area below the mesa and killed some trees. There are a few dead trees at the top of the mesa, too and that was where it perched.
Great Blue Herons were building a nest in a dead tree on the mesa. It consisted seemingly entirely of large sticks.
Great Egret--Ardea alba hunts on the mesa for some tasty non-fishy morsel, surprising many used to seeing them in the water hunting fish.
A Great Egret--Ardea alba was hunting below in among the flowing plants. I was so enraptured by the sights, sounds, and smells, that a snake moving fast across the path by my feet startled me. I forget there are there. I didn't even get a shot of it.
Male Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage.
As I got near the bridge a pair of Killdeer--Charadrius vociferus blocked the way standing in the path. As I waited, they began the "broken wing display," trying to draw several people away from their nest. I never saw it, but they were very persistant trying several times.
Killdeer--Charadrius vociferus protecting its young by drawing attention to itself. Known as the Broken Wing Display.
Finally, they gave up and flew away.
Back near the footbridge I ran into the White-winged Scoter again. He had some friends with him this time.
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