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.