|La Jolla, CA|
On my first morning in Point Loma, I woke up to a loud and unfamiliar bird call. I peeked out the blinds and saw a group of green blurs zooming by. I knew from watching the San Diego Birding List (while Gaby was busy with wedding details) that several types of parakeets and parrots were possible in the area. I was excited when the flock of eight began feeding in a tree across the street. After careful inspection I determined they were Red-masked Parakeets. Boy are they loud! It made me wonder what the neighbors thought of them, but I never got a chance to ask anybody.
Some nice sea birds had been spotted at Point La Jolla a week before I arrived, namely a Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, so I decided to check it out. I arrived early and found four friendly birders with their scopes set up in the grass. They shared distant views of Black-vented Shearwater, Common Murre, Pacific Loon, and Pelagic Cormorant. I checked the rocks and found Surfbirds and Least Sandpipers.
|grown up baby with sea lion buddies|
|Bet you can't do this!|
|Double-crested Cormorant with marble eye|
|Black Turntone after cropping stinky, gross cormorant puddles|
|Western Gull posing|
|Ha, you call that posing? -Brown Pelican|
|Spotted Sandpiper (thanks Steve!)|
Paul was very generous and let us tag along with him to check out the birds on the bay at 10th and 7th Streets. As I raised my binoculars, Paul had already set up his scope and spotted a lifer for me, two Gull-billed Terns resting with a Black Skimmer. He told me that the Gull-billed Terns were his first of the season and that they only nest two places in California- there in the bay and at the Salton Sea. I was just in time to see this local specialty. I also had good looks at a few Long-billed Dowitchers. We only stayed at each location for about five minutes since it was very windy. As we hopped back in the car Gaby remarked, "I love this speed birding, I could get used to this!" Little did she know that I would spend an hour at our last stop, the South Bay Marine Biological Study Area.
|Long-billed Dowitcher, because Paul Lehman told me so|
|distant Gull-billed Tern cleaning up|
|Elegant Terns boomeranging|
|Whimbrel with a snack|
|Great Egret doing what Great Egrets do|
I positioned myself on the rocks and photographed a very cooperative Long-billed Curlew.
|Long-billed Curlew catching prey|
|Takin' a dip|
|Post-dip, yes I know I'm beautiful|
|Marbled Godwit and its evil twin|
|Little Blue Heron looking blue|
|Caspian Tern ready to kick butt and take names|
|Caspian Tern playing hard to get|
|Clapper Rail (light-footed)|
|Look at my gorgeous color!|
|balding Royal Tern|
|Xantus's Murrelet before take-off|