Monday, March 26, 2012

Famosa Slough Visit

I visited the Famosa Slough here in San Diego last week.  Since it's a wetlands frequented by resident and migratory birds, I like to check out any new birds that might stop by.  I've photographed the Snowy Egret a number of times, but to have seen it getting its meal was quite a coup.

Snowy Egret Fishing for Lunch
Snowy Egret Owns the Place

Little Blue Heron with Lunch
A Little Blue Heron came by for his lunch but he had to work harder.  Apparently after the Little Blue Heron succeeded in getting lunch, the Snowy Egret came to remind him whose yard it was.

A Great Blue Heron was quite a distance from me, but I was able to get a picture as it took off.

Great Blue Heron Taking off for the Day

In an earlier article about the Cabrillo National Monument, I identified a little bird as a Pacific-slope Flycatcher.  I compare my pictures with since I'm learning.  Later, I decided to re-check with the Friends of Famosa Slough. An e-mail with my photograph was sent to other birders and they responded that it looked more like a Lesser Goldfinch.  These people are very gracious and helpful to a newbie. 

Please feel free to share a comment

Check out my photos

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cabrillo National Monument

On Thursday, my daughter and I had an hour to spare, so we drove to the Cabrillo National Monument.  The Old Point Loma Lighthouse (shown on left) was built in 1854.  It has been replaced by a newer one on the water's edge (on the right).

When I attended a Birdwatchers Tour
at the Formosa Slough last month, I heard some of the people speaking about the "Drip."  I asked what the "Drip" was and the people told me it was a place where birds were seen at the Cabrillo National Monument.  My curiosity was piqued.  I did ask for directions on Thursday, but ran out of time.  However, I did spot a California Towhee near the Visitor's Center.  The terrace in back of the Visitor's Center provides a great view of the City of San Diego.  On the terrace, you can also find a statue of Juan Cabrillo, who came to San Diego in 1542.   From that spot, we watched the USS Chief leaving San Diego Bay. 

On Thursday's eleven o'clock news, the meteorologist stated that today would be perfect with great visibility.  So, I decided to return to the Monument to look for the "Drip."  I had difficulty finding it, but after walking around, I found a Ranger speaking with an artist who was in the process of completing a beautiful painting of the old lighthouse.  The Ranger offered to walk me directly to the "Drip" while telling me that he thought I would be disappointed.  That day crews had been cutting down some trees because they were infected with a parasite and the Ranger didn't expect birds to be frequenting the spot due to the noise.  I also passed by the same area not realizing that the site was exactly where I wanted to go.

After the Ranger left me in what probably was a small grove of trees previous to being cut down, I did spot a little bird stopping by for a little water. 

The "Drip" was a medium container of water that had a solar panel providing electricity for the drip of water.  Of course, this explanation is in layman's terms and supposition on my part.  Anyway, the little bird was yellow and after comparing pictures on the Internet, I think it was a Pacific-slope Flycatcher.  For me, it was quite a find.  Then, another Ranger spotted me and ordered me off the area, stating the "Drip" had no permit.  Oh well.

While there, I took the opportunity to take another photograph the Old Point Loma Lighthouse with the backdrop of a beautiful blue sky.

I plan to return to walk the Bayside trail and visit the tidepools with the grandchildren.  It should be fun.