12 January 2013

2013 begins with a...

I see I haven't posted on my blog since Christmas?  How depressing.  I guess it's high time for another pile of photos for you all.

We did the Folsom CBC this year which yielded good birds like this adult BALD EAGLE (pics taken by Ash).  It's very strange for me living somewhere where BAEAs aren't actually dirt.  Here in Sacramento County, though, they're quite uncommon and a decent county bird:

Here is the very shocked California subspecies of RED-SHOULDERED HAWK.

I also managed my Sacramento County ROCK WREN finally, this one along a dam:

Later in the week I chuckled when I saw this sewage pond.  Birders know all about sewage lagoons but I can't say I've seen one this full outside of California.  This one is in Davis:

Ash and I drove to Monterey about a week ago.  But first, we had to GET there without finding good birds.  We were unsuccessful.  We were zipping along at 60+ mph when I saw a kingbird on the power lines.  Knowing I should follow my instinct on those, I swung around to find that it was a CASSIN'S KINGBIRD.  Although they aren't rare here in the summer, having this one in January is quite surprising: 

Once we got to the harbor, there were tons of tame things to take pictures of.  Let's start with this WESTERN GREBE:

We saw 4 species of loons on our visit including this RED-THROATED LOON:

... and several COMMON LOONS:

HORNED GREBES were no surprise either:

Whether this is an evil, ice-walker from GOT or just a bird with an amazingly blue eye, I took a picture of it all the same:

The WESTERN GULLS here were some of the tamest I've seen.  So if you think this is a wonderful picture, go there with your own point-and-shoot camera and get your own!

Not all the gulls there were huge.  There were many MEW GULLS as well:

It was interesting to see some inshore NORTHERN FULMARS too, this one just swimming around the jetty (yeah, it's pretty distant, just a gray blob on the water):

The purpose of our trip though was to see the continuing ARCTIC LOON.  This worked out nicely:


I've been doing some additional shorebird capture for work lately.  Of course I usually end up taking pictures of things that AREN'T shorebirds, like this LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE:

I generally dislike all coots.  However, when I caught one in one of my noose-mats... well, I still dislike coots:

We ventured up to the American River the other day to chase a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE.  Although we only heard the TOSO, it was worth it (it's a good county bird among other things).  While there, I had to take pictures of something so this CALIFORNIA GULL got things started off:

Even this OAK TITMOUSE wanted in on some of the action:

Back near home, we're continuing to do more local birding instead of chasing.  At one of our local patches this NORTHERN HARRIER flew by:

It HAS been interesting seeing FERRUGINOUS HAWKS so often now; this one at one of our local patches near the Stone Lakes NWR.  At this rate, I expect I could find one from my yard.

One of the most abundant species, a BREWER'S BLACKBIRD:

I'll leave you with some pictures from our local neighborhood lake.  For some reason it continues to host great numbers of ducks:

... and this female BARROW'S GOLDNEYE is nary a surprise anymore:

RUDDY DUCKS are the most numerous currently:

 ... and this is a LESSER SCAUP: