California (The Second Part)

Dear Bay Area, I hope you appreciate your easy shorebirding.  Portland has nothing on you.

To see this many avocets I would have to drive at least three hours (Cold Springs NWR) but probably more (Malheur or Summer Lake).   But in the Bay Area this is just normal.  These birds were all over the wasterwater treatment ponds along Radio Road in Redwood City, a spot recommended by Seagull Steve. 

Oh look, Forster's Tern babies.  So ridiculous. 

Black Skimmers, also ridiculous.

Just when I thought ridiculousness had been maxed out on Radio Road we came across this Black-necked Stilt:

Baby stilts!  Gross!  The ridiculousness never ends on Radio Road.

That afternoon we checked out a spot found on eBird called Coyote Point Park.  The spot was picked based on birds as well as proximity to where my little friend Levi was attending camp. 

The bay. 

The shoreline was packed with shorebirds in spots and numbers increased while the tide came in.  I think many folks would agree that part of the fun (did I just say that?) of shorebirds is that they're all buddies.  This small group contains a Marbled Godwit, a Whimbrel, an American Avocet and Willets.  Buddies. 

Along the rockier section were Black Turnstones, Least Sandpipers, a lone Surfbird, and a sprinkling of Black-bellied Plovers.  

A duck was snoozing in the grass and I did not pay it any attention until it stood up and I realized it was a Surf Scoter.  I can't recall ever seeing one on land before.  California is weird.

It waddled out to the water where it belongs.

The shorebird piles were growing and a few Long-billed Curlews joined the mix. 

They kept their distance.

After overdosing on shorebird action we checked out the more forested and uphill parts of the park.  Birding was less eventful but we found this Anise Swallowtail:

Turning over a log turned up this spider which I think is a False Black Widow:

That was about it for my California trip.  Good times with good friends, good birds, and good bugs!!


  1. Driving three hours to see avocets...ouch though. Local shorebird abundance is a very good thing, I try not to take it for granted. You definitely got way better stilt shots than I did, I never got close to the fuzzy ones last weekend.

    1. Well, I could see one or two avocets closer, but not piles of them.

  2. Stilt babies... I'm dying here. And *great*, now John will move to California after seeing this! Thanks a lot.

  3. I wanna move there too, I adore shore birds and never get to see them!! Adorable stilt chicks and tern chicks, Ugly ass spider "chills" we have the real McCoys around here. Wonderful trip post Jen!!

    1. I hear ya, I wish there were more around portland too.


Post a Comment