Let's start with the lizard. I think it's a San Diego alligator lizard, though I could be wrong.
He was sunbathing in Chula Vista, making up for the lack of a Thick-billed Kingbird. Now for the boat...
My friend and I went on a whale-watching boat with Dolphin Safari off Dana Point on Saturday. We were a bit early but this Red-breasted Merganer kept us company in the marina.
Once on the boat, I totally missed the first couple whale sightings because I was busy trying to turn Heermann's Gulls into shearwaters. Finally I succeeded! I caught a trio of Black-vented Shearwaters trying to sneak by while everyone was looking at whales.
We saw tons of common dolphins and a pair of gray whales interacting, possibly courting.
Piles of California sea lions are pretty cute.
On our last day we woke up early to drive out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
We wandered around the visitor center area first.
Here I encountered my fifth life bird of my trip: Costa's Hummingbird.
We stopped at a weird little housing complex called Hacienda del Sol, hoping for Cactus Wrens...
It only took about a minute to find one!
The area was packed with other birds- Black-tailed Gnatcatchers, House Finches, White-winged Doves, more Black-throated Sparrows, and adorable Verdins...
Our last birding stop there was the resort golf course where we fully expected to get booted at any second. My favorite bird there was a not-so-vermilion Vermilion Flycatcher:
I wish we had more time to spend here- it was beautiful and the birds were awesome. Obviously. We even found a place to crash...
And that's the last of my trip! I had the best time and can't wait to go back someday!