Yesterday morning I attended Sea & Sage Audubon's annual Pancake Breakfast at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. It was a fun morning - there were many friendly birders there, delicious food, and of course lots of birds. The front ponds held quite a few shorebirds, included a single Dunlin, two Black-bellied Plovers, Long-billed Dowitchers, and more. I was excited to see a very nice male Common Ground-Dove with a flock of Mourning Doves - a county bird. A few Bonaparte's Gulls flew over - a long awaited new state and county bird. A female Northern Harrier put on a nice show by flying around and then landing on the edge of one of the ponds.
Pond C was filled with ducks and grebes. Northern Shovelers, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, and Ruddy Duck were represented in good numbers. Here's a shot of a mixed flock of Cinnamon Teal and Northern Shovelers. You gotta love those male Cinnamon Teal!
The back ponds were productive as well. There were many American White Pelicans around, along with more ducks. I heard a Virginia Rail deep in the cattails at one point - another state/county bird for me, pitifully. We finally dragged ourselves away after eleven A.M. and headed home.
This afternoon my dad and I birded Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley for a couple hours, a place I'd never been before. The lower lake was filled with coots, grebes, American Wigeon, Ruddy Duck, Redhead, Gadwall, and more. I heard and tracked down a calling Golden-crowned Kinglet nearby in a cluster of tall pine trees. A decent bird for the lowlands of southern California, and yet another state/county bird for me. The rest of the park was pretty quiet but I did get super looks at some Townsend's Warblers by the upper lake.