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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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Bolsa Chica – Greater vs. Lesser Scaup

The stormy weather subsided just long enough Sunday afternoon for me to get a little photography time in. I headed to Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach to seek out the White-winged Scoter that had been observed there for the past month. I walked the entire loop around the wetlands (about 2 mi.) and was never able to find the Scoter – although the last report was from at least two weeks ago. A treat was a juvenile Peregrine Falcon attempting to capture and kill a Willet. Although he was unsuccessful it was still fun to watch. Lots of the normal waterfowl including many Lesser Scaup but just as I was leaving I found a small group of Greater Scaup all by their lonesome. This inspired me to post the following photos as many have trouble in identifying the differences of Greater vs. Lesser Scaup.

You’ll notice the rounder head of the Greater Scaup with the peak of the head being farther forward. The color of the head is greener in the Greater and more purple in the Lesser, although this is not a difference that can be relied upon as lighting conditions can play a major factor. The sides and back of the Greater are lighter and there’s a larger black nail on the tip of the bill (not easy to see). The Lesser Scaup has a narrower, taller head and, as the name indicates, is smaller in size averaging 16.5 inches in length as opposed to 18 inches for the Greater Scaup.

Greater Scaup
Greater Scaup

Lesser Scaup
Lesser Scaup

Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail

Eared Grebe
Eared Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

 

Posted by on February 9, 2009 in Photography Adventures

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Eared Grebes

Woke up around 6AM to a beautiful sunny day on the westside so I decided to check out Ballona Creek. The bloody UCLA rowing team was still out there doing laps so not much on the water. The Eared and Horned Grebes breeding plumage colours are coming in nicely though.

Eared Grebe

Horned Grebe

 

Posted by on April 12, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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