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Bolsa Chica Reserve Field Trip Report: 12 October, 2013

October 18, 2013
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Another glorious day in Southern California…. a smiling group assembled in the parking lot to see what we could see. We had some of the usual suspects – our White-tailed Kite was there and eventually performed, as did a male Belted Kingfisher and many Forster’s Terns…. so when a kite does it (it being hovering over one spot in the water) it is called kiting, but do we call it “terning” or “kingfishering”, no… it is still called kiting… just commenting.

Reddish Egret - the dance of the hunt (A. Douglas 10/12/13)

Reddish Egret – the dance of the hunt (A. Douglas 10/12/13)

Other than several flotillas of Ruddy Ducks  with a Pied-billed Grebe or two trying to pass, we were duckless. We had a few Reddish Egrets; they did their happy dance that Nat. Geo. calls lurching and Mr. Sibley describes as running, jumping and spinning –  they are distinctive and just fun to watch.

Great Blue Heron in deep water (A. Douglas 10/12/13)

Great Blue Heron in deep water (A. Douglas 10/12/13)

The Great Blue Herons were sporting handsome dark plumes – breeding plumage already? One decided to take a dip, something not usually seen. We had American White Pelicans and Brown Pelicans, Plovers Semipalmated and Black Bellied,and Ruddy Turnstones turning over mud looking for lunch. Long-billed Curlews, Whimbrels, Marbled Godwits, Greater Yellowlegs and several Dunlin were in the mud as well. Interesting discussion about telling the difference between Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitchers – eye placement – have to see if it works the next time I see a Dowitcher (and if I can remember). (Short-billed has the eye above the line made by extending the bill and Long-billed is on or close to the line). My lesson for the day – thanks, Chuck!

The great part about shorebirds is that they are visible – no hiding behind leaves or branches, no warbler neck – the less great part is that they have a rather similar palate of colors…. white, grey, black and brown – have to love Yellowlegs, the orange legs of Turnstones and other color hints.

A lovely day in the sun and a saunter around the wetland….we have have birdier days there, but I, for one, was very glad to be there.  [Ellen Vahan]

Link to prior Bolsa Chica field trips: October 2012, October 2011, October 2009.
Map to Bolsa Chica

Bolsa Chica Reserve 10/12 10/6
Trip List 2013 2012
Brant X
American Wigeon X
Mallard X
Blue-winged Teal X
Cinnamon Teal X
Northern Shoveler X
Northern Pintail X
Green-winged Teal X
Ruddy Duck X X
Pied-billed Grebe X X
Eared Grebe X X
Western Grebe X X
Double-crested Cormorant X
American White Pelican X X
Brown Pelican X X
Great Blue Heron X X
Great Egret X X
Snowy Egret X X
Reddish Egret X X
Green Heron X
Black-crowned Night Heron X
Turkey Vulture X X
Osprey X X
White-tailed Kite X X
Northern Harrier X X
Red-tailed Hawk X X
American Coot X X
Black-bellied Plover X X
Semipalmated Plover X
Killdeer X X
Greater Yellowlegs X X
Willet X X
Lesser Yellowlegs X
Whimbrel X X
Long-billed Curlew X X
Marbled Godwit X X
Ruddy Turnstone X X
Red Knot X
Sanderling X X
Western Sandpiper X X
Least Sandpiper X X
Dunlin X X
Short Billed Dowitcher X X
Ring-billed Gull X X
Western Gull X X
California Gull X
Black Tern X
Forster’s Tern X X
Royal Tern X
Elegant Tern X X
Rock Pigeon X X
Mourning Dove X X
Anna’s Hummingbird X
Allen’s Hummingbird X
Belted Kingfisher X X
Nuttall’s Woodpecker X
Downy Woodpecker X
American Kestrel X X
Peregrine Falcon X
Black Phoebe X X
Say’s Phoebe X X
Loggerhead Shrike X
American Crow X X
Bushtit X
House Wren X
European Starling X X
American Pipit X
Common Yellowthroat X X
Yellow-rumped Warbler X
California Towhee X
Savannah (Belding’s) Sparrow X
Savannah Sparrow X X
Song Sparrow X
White-Crowned Sparrow X X
House Finch X X
Total Species – 75 51 69
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