Sunday, August 26, 2007


Friday I got to bird with some friends from out of town. A fellow youngbirder and old friend Sean and his friend Tom were on a birding vacation from Wisconsin, and stayed with me while in Orange County. My old roommate David drove down from Ventura to join us as well. We birded the coast, starting down at La Jolla Cove to look at seabirders. We got black-vented shearwaters, and the usual coastline stuff like brown pelicans, brants cormorants, and heerman's and western gulls galore. Common dolphins and harbor seals provided some non-bird entertainment.

From there, we drove to Mission Bay where we picked up good mixed flocks of shorebirds and some little blue herons. David had a chance to practice his sign-language on a few people out on the spit allowing their dogs to run around chasing birds, including endangered species like least terns.... grrrrrr.

We then moved on to San Elijo Lagoon, where we saw a lot of the same species, but added yellow warblers and nuttall's woodpeckers, as well as a few more shorebird species. No sign of the black tern being reported there, but the boys had just birded the Salton Sea, so black tern wasn't a real big miss as far as they were concerned.

We then headed back into Orange County, stopping at Cresent Bay in Laguna Beach, another good spot for some seabirds. We added rocky shorebirds like surfbirds and turnstones, as well as many black storm-petrels farther out. The ocean mammals were abundant, with Risso's Dolphins swimming on the horizon.

Next it was off to Bolsa Chica, where we saw the reddish egret, and savannah sparrows, as well as more least terns. This is where I left them, to get some stuff done on my own. They continued birding until nightfall then David headed back home, and Sean and Tom crashed at my place one more night before a very early plane ride home.
Can you guess who's scope is the shortest one?

Friday, August 10, 2007

August Birding

Well for the first time in ages, I had a morning free to go birding. It was already 75 degrees at by 9am when I arrived, and it did not cool off at all. It was slightly more subdued than I'm used to, due to the heat, but I had the marsh to myself, seeing only one couple walking during my entire two hours there.

I saw dozens of white-throated swifts flying around, and lots of Wilson's phalaropes in the third pond. The butterflies and dragonflies outnumbered the birds, with Lorquin's Admirals, Western Tiger-Swallowtails, and multiple species of dragons flying around.

The lizards were also out basking in the sun, and skuttled away whenever I came too close. At one point, I saw a european honey bee struggling in a web, the spider waiting patiently just out of reach. The bee managed to disentangle itself and flew to the mulefat nearby to continue gathering pollen