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Tag Archives: bolsa chica

San Joaquin Marsh, Ballona Creek

Did some birding in Orange County and Ballona Creek with visiting birders, Paul Dodd and Ruth Woodrow from Melbourne, Australia. Uber cute Clark’s Grebe with chick on back at San Joaquin Marsh. We later ticked 3 California Gnatchers at Newport Back Bay. Reddish Egret and many other specialties at Bolsa Chica.

Clark's Grebe
Clark’s Grebe

We concluded the day at Ballona Creek to finish off some missed species – Black Oystercatcher, Brandt’s Comorant and Pelagic Cormorant. A super nice treat were TEN (10) Wilson’s Phalaropes on the Ballona Salt Panne! A couple females were still showing a lot of alternate plumage color.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

Recently fledged Barn Swallows were perched nearby begging for food from their parents.

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

 

Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Photography Adventures

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Bolsa Chica – Weekend Stuff


Bolsa Chica

Took an afternoon journey to Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach on Sunday afternoon in hopes of photographing the American Bittern folks have been seeing again recently. Unfortunately I never seem to have luck with Bitterns of any shape or form! It was a great opportunity to spend a relaxing and beautiful day with my wife in Orange County though. There were two Reddish Egrets playfully prancing around in the shallows in search of food.

Reddish Egret
Reddish Egret

Lots of Horned Grebes with a smattering of Eared’s here and there.

Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe

Eared Grebe
Eared Grebe

And it’s safe to say that many of our wintering ducks have arrived with increasing numbers of Scaup, Bufflehead, Teal and Ruddy Ducks all arriving along our coasts.

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal

Lesser Scaup
Lesser Scaup

Common Loon
Common Loon

One specialty we have here along the coastal salt marshes of California, is the Belding’s race of Savannah Sparrow (sometimes referred to as Large-billed Sparrow) which this photo clearly illustrates:

Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow

 

Posted by on November 4, 2010 in Photography Adventures

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Visiting Birders from Australia

I took visiting birders, Mark and Kay Clayton, to some of the local hot spots near their hotel at LAX. This was their first time visiting the Americas so they were excited to go just about anywhere. We started off at Del Rey Lagoon and Ballona Creek where they tallied over 25 new birds including Green Heron, Black Turnstone, California Gull, Western Gull, Heermann’s Gull, Western Sandpiper, Willet, Whimbrel, Ruddy Duck, Savannah Sparrow, Great Egret, Snowy Egret and much more. Unfortunately we never saw the Little Blue Heron that has been hanging around Del Rey Lagoon this summer.

Green Heron
Green Heron

Since we were still missing a few key target shorebird specialties we hit Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach first thing Saturday morning. We immediately ticked off Least Tern, Black Skimmer, Forster’s Tern, Long-billed Curlew, Light-footed Clapper Rail and Osprey.

Light-footed Clapper Rail
Light-footed Clapper Rail

Least Terns were in great quantity with adults still feeding the almost fully grown fledglings. I was actually surprised to see adults feeding young birds that had almost lost all juvenal plumage.

Least Tern
Least Tern

Least Tern
Least Tern

After Bolsa Chica we hit the LA River in Long Beach to look for migrating sandpipers. Bumped into Steve and Becky Turley upon our arrival who informed us of a Solitary Sandpiper and Semipalmated Sandpiper along with Chimney Swifts they had seen. It didn’t take long to spot two Chimney Swifts flying over us among all the Cliff Swallows and White-throated Swifts. Also scored a nice immature Cooper’s Hawk chasing a Green Heron around. A few minutes later I found the Solitary Sandpiper just below us on the east side of the river. Other new birds for the Aussie’s included Black-necked Stilt, Canada Goose, American Avocet, Hooded Oriole, Short-billed Dowitcher and Killdeer.

Long-billed Curlew
Long-billed Curlew

After a great morning we ended our day at Ken Malloy Harbor Park. Things were a little slow but Ken ticked his 2,000th bird – unfortunately it was a Brewer’s Blackbird! We also picked up Lesser Goldfinch and Black Phoebe. We dipped on any Vireos and Orange-crowned Warbler. However, we did find a pretty neat exotic Saffron Finch:

Saffron Finch
Saffron Finch

 

Posted by on August 9, 2009 in Photography Adventures

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Scoter and Wigeon

The past couple of winters I’ve been struggling to get better photos of White-winged Scoter and Eurasian Wigeon. Well, I finally got my best images today. The prior being the one at Bolsa Chica all winter. If you recall, I missed this one when I was at Bolsa Chica a couple of weeks ago. The Eurasian Wigeon is the one that has wintered at Tewinkle Park for the past two winters in Costa Mesa.

White-winged Scoter
White-winged Scoter

White-winged Scoter
White-winged Scoter

Eurasian Wigeon
Eurasian Wigeon

 

Posted by on February 28, 2009 in Photography Adventures

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Least Tern Nesting Colony

This sunday I visited the Least Tern nesting colony located at Huntington State Beach in Orange County. Since the Terns nest in a very popular area near Newport Beach, the entire area is fenced in to protect the nests from being trampled on by unaware beach-goers. There were more than a hundred successful nests and many with two eggs. The project is almost entirely supported by volunteers which has a few benefits including free admission to any California State Park! You can read more about the Least Tern and Snowy Plover Project here.



Least Tern With Egg


Least Tern With Newborn Chick

 

Posted by on June 2, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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