Saturday, September 1, 2007

A(nother) morning at Bolsa Chica

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is now one of my favorite birding spots. Why? The answer: there are always so many good birds there! It's a great spot of shorebirds, ducks, terns, and more. The place was swarming with shorebirds today - mostly common ones such as Western Sandpipers, Marbled Godwits, and Willets, but I was thrilled to find a gorgeous Black Turnstone poking around a small area of rocky shoreline. A lifer!

After digiscoping lots of pictures of the Black Turnstone (it was tough going considering that it was only 20 feet away and moving constantly...), we walked out to the tide gates, birding the whole way. One of the Reddish Egrets put in an appearance, and there were plenty of shorebirds to keep me entertained. There were lots of Red Knots near the tide gates - about forty. My dad then noticed the waters around the tide gates were literally filled with thousands of small fish. It turns out they were being hunted by lots of large fish and a few small sharks! Here's a photo I managed of one of the sharks:

We also saw a couple of small rays. Any help with identifying the shark or the ray would be appreciated!

On the way home we checked the back part of Bolsa Chica, visible from Harriet Wieder Park. There were amazing numbers of Black-bellied Plovers and Western Sandpipers there! A couple of birders pointed out a Pacific Golden-Plover among all the Black-bellies, another lifer for me. A good morning out!


birderbf said...

Dang, the shark would make my day!

Tim H said...

*shiver* yiiieee!!! Nice shark/ray photos!