Wednesday, August 31, 2016

CA ~ Acorn Woodpeckers

I quite enjoy watching the Acorn Woodpeckers because the industrious devils drill a hole in the tree truck and then take the acorn to the trunk to store it for winter time.  Thy work hard at this all fall. Here's some pictures taken at several places around the area.   Does the one to the left have babies in the nest?  No way to know but I think it would be late in the season for young ones.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

CA ~ Pinnacles National Park

Great scenery though you can tell how dry the area is by all of the vegetation. I didn't hike today because it was just to hot. You are able to drive around to different areas, get out and walk in that area.


CA ~ Pinnacles National Park ~ Life Birds

I was delighted to see the Lawrence's Goldfinch (life bird #404) in the trees by the swimming pool. There were other birds seen there also.  Then I drove up to Bear Gulch Trail hoping to see some CA Condors.  I wasn't lucky with the condors but instead saw a Rock Wren for life bird #405.
Lawrence's Goldfinch #399 life bird

Rock Wren #400 life bird


Dark-eyed Juno - Oregon 

CA ~ Pinnacles National Park ~ Bird Life

CA Quail
Pulling into the parking lot by the Visitor's Center you are greeted by dozens of Mountain Quail feeding in the fields along with Wild Turkeys. Today, the birds shared the space with the deer that came in to feed on the grass and perhaps the acorns that are in such abundance at this time of year.  My trip, though, was to find the Lawrence's Goldfinch that makes Pinnacles NP their home at least this year along with any other birds that might be around.  The birds were plentiful.

CA Scrub Jay

Stellar Jay (a sad looking one)

CA~ On the way to Pinnacles National Park

Debi had mentioned to us on the pelagic that there were certain birds to be found near by or at Pinnacles N P.  One of the birds was a Yellow-billed Magpie though she said stopping along the road could be risky.  She is right that it's a fairly narrow 2 lane road with few pull offs but I saw the birds just as I approached a driveway with a large opening so pulled over there and watched the antics of the Magpies for a short while.  This was life bird #403.

Monday, August 29, 2016

CA ~ Salinas River NWR


western Snowy Plover

western Snowy Plover

Mylitta Crescent ~ Life Butterfly

Sunday, August 28, 2016

CA ~ Elkhorn Slough

West Coast Lady

American Lady

Skipper ~ Possibly Umber or Woodland

CA ~ Moonglow Diary, Moss Landing

Western Grebe
Another great biding spot mentioned in much of the material I fund on the internet was Moonglow Dairy just near Moss's Landing.  I was hoping to see some Yellow-headed Blackbirds among the hundreds that were there but struck out.   I did see life bird #402 - Clark's Grebe that has been hanging around with a Western Grebe.
Clark's Grebe

Saturday, August 27, 2016

CA ~ Moss Landing

Marbled Godwit

Long-billed Curlew


Sea Otter 

Sea Otter

Western Willet 

Sea Lion

Watsonville, CA ~ walking the Slough's

Anna'a Hummingbird on Mexican Sage
Lesser Goldfinch

White-crowned Sparrow

Brown & White Pelicans resting

Friday, August 26, 2016

Monterey Bay, CA ~ Sheatwater Journey's Pelagic

This was my first true pelagic and what an adventure it was.  Debi's enthusiasm throughout the trip fills you with excitement about the birds and other sea creatures that are seen.  Over the course of the trip which lasts about 8 hours I saw 16 new life birds and missed 2 life birds.  Starting in the harbor we saw good numbers Pelagic Red Crabs that come in El Nino years.  My first life bird was a Surfbird in the Harbor feeding along the rocks.  Once we got out to sea we saw Pink-footed Shearwaters, Black-footed Albatross, Cassin's Auklets, Sabine Gulls, Rhinoceros Auklet, Common Murre's, Long-tailed and Parasitic Jaegers, Sooty Shearwaters, Red and Red-necked Phalarope, Northern Fulmar and more. We saw 2 Ocean Sunfish, Otters back in the harbor with CA Sea Lions sunning themselves n the docks.  Out at sea several Humpbacked Whales were seen and I saw a Blue Whale plus several large pods of Risso's Dolphins and some Dall Porpoises.  It was a wonderful day with a great group of people.

Red Pelagic Crab
Red Pelagic Crab

Black-footed Albatrosses

Black-footed Albatrosses

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Yard ~ Butterflies

American Lady Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly

Eastern-tailed Blue Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Question Mark Butterfly on rotten fruit