Saturday, September 29, 2007
A foray to San Diego
My dad and I made a quick run down to the San Diego area this morning to chase the Bar-tailed Godwit at Famosa Slough, which has become quite a celebrity over the past week. We found it within minutes of driving up. Bar-tailed Godwits are normally found in Eurasia, and a few breed in Alaska, but they are very rare in southern California. A lifer! The bird was quite cooperative, but it was rather distant and the light was poor so I couldn't get any decent shots. You can tell what it is, though! There were tons of birders there enjoying the bird - some drove down from Santa Barbara and Los Angeles! Here's another shot of the Bar-tailed Godwit:
There were plenty of other interesting birds at the slough, including a single Little Blue Heron and at least four Blue-winged Teal, both decent birds for California. Other more common birds there included Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Black-bellied Plover, both Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitchers, and many more.
On the way home we briefly stopped at La Jolla Cove, about five miles north of San Diego. There are lots of scenic cliffs, and the area was jammed with people. It was jammed with birds, too! I actually got three lifers here - Brandt's Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, and Wandering Tattler. It was my first time birding rocky cliffs/shoreline, hence the relatively common lifers. There were lots of Brandt's Cormorants, a handful of Double-crested Cormorants, and one Pelagic Cormorant. Also present were a bunch of seals. Here's a shot of a Wandering Tattler with two Black Turnstones and a Willet:
There were a few Whimbrels hanging around as well - this one was resting on a shelf, preening.
Lastly, here's a shot of several Brandt's Cormorants loafing on a rock offshore. The leftmost bird is a Double-crested Cormorant.