Hey all, I worked a few hours at a Junior Ranger program run by the Park Staff at the Upper Newport Bay's Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. It was my job to teach the students about birds then take them out on a short bird walk. Basic information and a few species. It was a suprisingly birdy day at the bay, we got a huge flock of willets and godwits, with a few yellowlegs and a single long-billed curlew mixed in. Caspian terns were abundant and vocal. I saw one skimming along the water the same way a black skimmer would, I had no idea they fed that way occasionally. We got the good fortune to have the osprey fly over. We later got even better looks over at the nest post where the first successful fledging happened this year, since the platform was put up 13 years ago. (damn me not bringing my camera on the walk...)
Two sightings for me - one was the ash-throated flycatcher picking bugs out of a spider web, a good one for the campers to see. The second was a wintering northern pintail, anyone know how often they do that round here? I saw it in eclipse or perhaps it was a juv. The shape and color originally caught my eye and when I got a moment I took a better look at it and realized what it was. The light blue coming down the sides of the bill was a big tip off.
Now I'm gonna shower off and grab some lunch, no clue what's on the agenda for the rest of the day but this certaintly was a nice break from summer finals... ugh.