Thursday, February 28, 2008

San Diego Bird Festival--North County trip

My second trip of the San Diego Bird Festival was the North County tour with my sister-in-law Peg. This was the highlight of the trip for me--an Allen's Hummingbird (lifer!). Terrible picture, but the best I could do at the time. The orangy color was quite striking. This was at Todd Buddy Park in north San Diego County. We also saw red crossbills there, another life bird.

From Todd Buddy, we went to Guajome Park. A nice park with a big lake. I think they told us this was the only natural lake in San Diego County. We saw a lot of birds there, but I just have decent pictures of a few:

Ross's Goose

Snow Goose

Common Moorhen
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San Diego Bird Festival trip to Anza-Borrego, Part II

Costa's Hummingbird nest near the Visitor's Center at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We saw the female picking spider webs off the front of the Visitor's Center. The Park is over 600,000 acres.

Cactus Wren

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More Point Loma on Feb 4th

This orange-crowned warbler, also shown below, actually showed a bit of the orange crown!

This female Norther Harrier was harrying a red-tailed hawk on the west side of Pt Loma.

Still catching up on my pre Bird Festival and Bird Festival sightings!

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Pt Loma, February 4th

This Western Scrub Jay posed obligingly for us!

All the birds were very cooperative for us on this day. I've never gotten such a clear picture of a Spotted Towhee.

Even the Wrentits, usually very secretive, came out for short periods. I did have to be quick, however! (You should see all the blurred pictures of the wrentit in flight!)

The California Thrasher that we see regularly at Pt Loma finally made an appearance towards the end of our lunch!
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Whimbrel, Mission Bay, San Diego on Feb 4

(Catching up on some of the birds I saw in the early part of February.) In anticipation of the Bird Festival the coming weekend, Fred and I spotted this Whimbrel greeting the morning sun along the bay just behind our condo. It turned out to be the only whimbrel I've spotted on this trip.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tricolored Heron, San Diego River, CA

Our first view of the Tricolored was in the reeds next to a Great Egret. He was preening and eventually did a big stretch, caught below.

Later, he moved out into the channel and began feeding, and I got some better pictures....

A beautiful bird, and a lifer!

(All pictures in the post and the next digiscoped with my Canon 10D and 800mm adapter on my Swarovski 65HD, except for the rufous-crowned sparrow.)
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More Birding in San Diego

In addition to the tricolored heron in the above post, we saw this American Avocet

this Little Blue Heron,

and, at Torrey Pines State Reserve, this Rufous-Crowned Sparrow, another lifer!

I love finding new sparrows, especially after Kenn Kaufman's talk at the Bird Festival about sparrows...I was just reading in my CA birding book that rufous-crowned sparrows are in the lower parking area of Torrey Pines when this little guy popped out. Cool!
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Birding at Pt Loma

Enjoying our first good sunny day in a week, Fred and I went out in search of sun and birds. We stopped by a Pt Loma neighborhood in search of an American Redstart that had been sighted there; no luck. After a nice hike on Sunset Cliffs, where we saw a few birds but a lot of surfers and dogwalkers, as well as the Point Loma Nazarene University girls' softball team, we went to the Cabrillo National Monument, one of my favorite birding locations.

It turned out to be a great day. We saw three red-tailed hawks (someone later saw four) soaring in close proximity. It was a windy day, and one by one, the hawks would soar to a point almost directly overhead, face into the wind and just float in place. When we got there, one stayed in almost the same place long enough for me to watch it as we parked and then get out of the car and walk nearer to get some pictures. Later, one soared directly overhead and not very high above us, a you can see from this picture!

Looking down at one of the hawks. That's San Diego Bay and the Naval Base in the background.

Another view of the hawk.

Periodically, one of the hawks would flare at another.

We also saw many of the usual suspects: scrub jay, many white crowned sparrows, orange crowned warbler, california towhee, ground squirrels and we heard wrentits.
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