Saturday, March 07, 2015

San Diego Bird Festival--Lake Murray

Peg and I went on a great half-day trip to Lake Murray today as part of the San Diego Bird Festival. Our guide was Eitan Altman, who did a great job of finding some interesting birds for us and explaining what to look for to make quick distinctions in the field between similar birds. That's Eitan (pronounced "Ay-ton") in the light-colored plaid shirt in the middle of the picture. Peg is in the blue cap and white shirt in the center.

The bird I was most interested in seeing was the scaly-breasted munia--previously known as the nutmeg mannekin. It's a introduced species that recently was designated as "countable" by the powers-that-be in the birding world. Which means that it's official recognized as a North American bird. It's unclear how the bird arrived here, but it is believed to be cage birds that were either released or escaped. It's also known as a spice finch in the pet market.

Here's a link for more info:

We did see some munias, but they are very active little birds that jump around a lot, so no pics. But I did get some nice pictures of other birds using my iPhone and scope! You can tap on the picture to see them larger.

We saw a lot of California Thrashers. Here's a shot of a California Thrasher having lunch:

Hermit thrush:

California Quail


Osprey having lunch:

When we got back from the trip, we drove the short distance over to the San Diego River to check out the white pelicans. Most were asleep.

And one last stop to check out the roosting great blue heron at the exit to the marina.

Complete bird list from the day:

Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck
California Quail (San Diego Bird Festival Lake Murray)
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
California Gull
Forster's Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Cassin's Kingbird
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Northern Mockingbird
California Thrasher
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
Nutmeg Mannekin

It was a great day--small group, good birds and great weather.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Love my new Swarovski adapter for my iPhone 5s!

I recently purchased the Swarovski iPhone adapter for my scope from Eagle Optics. Tried it out for the first time, and I'm more than thrilled. Here are a couple of photos I took at Famosa Slough in San Diego: Having a good time birding here--though I haven't been working too hard at it. Saw lots of waterfowl at Famosa Slough. A high point was seeing two crows mob a raven at a park in one of the foothills here. More later!