Friday, April 30, 2010

Ridgefield NWR 04-29-10

I headed up to Ridgefield yesterday morning hoping for a decent break from the rain/hail/thunderstorms/etc.   I only saw a sprinkle the whole time.

What is this fuzzy duck? Young Gadwall or something?

This Ruddy Duck just cruised through the pond.

A Wilson's Snipe.

I sure do love to watch birds eat dead stuff.  I saw this crow swoop down in my side-view mirror and I poked my head out the window to see him carry off this...uh... thing.

I don't think I've ever seen a crow "hunt" like this.. Maybe I just never pay them much attention..


A Sora!  I had never seen one before... This guy was running through the marsh and this was the best picture I got...


Good trip!   I wish I had seen the Black-necked Stilt that had been sighted just the day before!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Grays Harbor shorebirds..

I was looking at the Portland Audubon Society website and noticed mention of the annual shorebird migration in Grays Harbor, Washington.. It sounded impressive and I had nothing else to do Sunday morning so I headed up there to check it out.

Let me just say that I am TERRIBLE at distinguishing shorebirds, so don't expect too many great ID's here.

The first stop was Bowerman Basin near Hoquiam.

These signs were easy enough to follow...

I don't know what these plants are but they are so darn pretty.

This American Goldfinch greeted me on the Sandpiper Trail.

I wish I had caught this Tern just a couple seconds earlier so it wasn't in front of this house!  I believe it's a Caspian Tern but not positive.

Oh yes, the shorebirds...
There were lots of 'em.  I watched them fly back and forth quite a few times.. maybe for 20 minutes or so.  Then they ALL flew off towards the harbor and out of view...

The dozen or so birders around laughed and sighed..  I waited around for a bit but decided to move on. 

This Bewick's Wren was singing loud and proud back on the Sandpiper Trail.

Our next and final stop was Ocean Shores.  I was expecting another low-key adventure, but Ocean Shores is NOT a low-key place.  It's like a Pacific Coast Daytona Beach, just colder.  Everyone drives on the beach- not just cars but mopeds too.  And horses!  Lots of horses.  And kites. 

But oh were there tons of shorebirds... And they did not care how close Jake and I got.


I may even try to ID a few of them...

Western Sandpiper.

Semipalmated Plovers.

Group shot.  Looks like a handful of Dunlin mixed in. Are the ones with just a little black on their bellies in the process of changing into their full-on breeding colors?

It was beautiful if I tuned out the screaming children and engines roaring...


The little birds had a back-up crew of Marbled Godwits.. (right? Tell me if I'm wrong!)

And who are these little white friends of theirs?  Are they Sanderlings?


Eeek!  They're coming right towards me...

And this was just part of the group...


Alright alright, just one more...


I lied.. One more... Why is the water so gnarly?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ridgefield NWR 04-24-10

I went up to Ridgefield yesterday afternoon and found some new things!

Turtles! The one in the middle is making the best turtle face.

A Wilson's Snipe peeking through the grass..

I had never seen California Quail before, but I'm sure they're pretty common.  Very cool.


Also lots of Bald Eagles around...

Good trip!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Golden Gate Park and then some.. California Part II.

My friend took me on several great walks around Golden Gate Park.. It started as a search for the Golden Gate Bison but we found a whole lot more...

This Pocket Gopher was creeping in and out of his hole..

Cedar Waxwings filled the trees..


We found the bison eventually.. I think we counted five?

Pretty cool to see in bison in San Francisco!

Then we found this fellow:
A Red-tailed Hawk dining on a gopher (hopefully not the same one we saw earlier!!)

Gross and awesome at the same time.

The beach in S.F.

My friend's neighbor had this guy perched on his roof.. My ID is a Great Plastic Owl.

We took a walk along the beach in Pacifica... tons of spring flowers!


These adorable little Coot babies were swimming around a pond near the ocean.  The Coot mama (or papa?) was nearby...

I had no idea they were so colorful and crazy-looking!

On Sunday morning we went for a short hike in a park I can't remember the name of... This deer was chowing down just off the trail..

This Black-headed Grosbeak did not want to be photographed..

 Back at my friend's house I watched this hummingbird feed...

My last day in California we rented a paddleboat at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park... There were turtles everywhere..

A great end to a great trip!