Friday, January 15, 2016

New Year's Birding

With the arrival of the new year, I like to work on my NEW year bird species list. We took a trip to Mammoth Lakes and vicinity (in the Sierra Nevada Mountains) in the first week of January, and then I made a couple trips to the coast of San Diego County.

Snowy scene at Convict Lake, which is just a bit downslope to the east of Mammoth Lakes. Two Black-billed Magpies were hanging around the lake, and one repeatedly flew and landed near me, allowing a fairly close approach. Maybe they are used to being fed by people?

The best close-up I could manage of the Black-billed Magpie.


We took a drive up to Bridgeport (via Mono Lake), and saw many Red-tailed Hawks perched in these lowlands east of the mountains, but this hawk looked different. Eventually, with some help, I learned that this was a Rough-legged Hawk - a nice life-bird!

This was taken at the Tijuana Estuary in southern San Diego County. There was a very high tide in the morning, and some birds were foraging quite close to the trail. This was a cooperative Little Blue Heron.

Whimbrel. Tijuana Estuary.

Willet. Tijuana Estuary.

On the same day that I visited the Tijuana Estuary, I checked out Mission Bay - at a very LOW tide, in the afternoon. These were two Ross's Geese at Ski Beach, Vacation Isle.

This photo really shows how tiny Ross's Geese are - since this a Ring-billed Gull, which a small gull species (and the goose is not very far behind the gull in this photo)!

There were some Redheads floating around near shore at Ski Beach.

Two days ago, we paid a quick visit to La Jolla Cove and vicinity. A small number of Brown Pelicans were perched on one of the higher cliffs. This particular pelican was doing a lot of flapping in an attempt to settle in and get comfy. I did not even see this little interaction with the Double-crested Cormorant pretty obviously saying "Get out of my face!" until I looked over the photos at home later!

Flap, flap, flap!

I might be a little annoyed, too!

Damp pelican.

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