Monday, January 28, 2013

Famosa Slough in late January

With the cold weather, other than my daily walk and exercise, my ventures have been limited.  I certainly hibernated during last week's rains.  I don't like heavy rain.  In fact, I don't like rain at all.  With the rains gone on Sunday, I took a walk to the Famosa Slough, a wetland in San Diego.  While it was quiet, there were a number of birds just hanging out, so to speak.

In the picture shown above, American Avocets look stately as they cruise along.  As you can see, the heads of some of the birds show that breeding season is near.  Their winter plumage changes to a pinkish tan color.  Both male and female take turns incubating the eggs.  The American Avocet is a beautiful bird.

Below are two pictures of a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron.  I published a picture the first time I saw a juvenile, in a post in July.  (  The juvenile shown below was in the exact same spot as I found him in July.  However, if it is the same bird, he now has white spots on his back.  I took these picture from two different positions through a chain link fence about five feet from where he was perched.  Other than occasionally looking around, he never flinched at the click of the shutter.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

The Mallards came near.  The Northern Pintail looks regal, at least, in my opinion.  When they're foraging for food, all you see is their bottoms with the long pintail sticking up in the air.  It is a curious sight.  The center picture shows an American Wigeon on the edge of the island in the middle of the property.  There were also some Killdeer on the same island, but my camera range was not sufficient. If the Kildeer is facing you, it looks like the bird is wearing a turtle-neck sweater due to black stripes across its breast.  If a predator is near, the Kildeer will feign a broken wing to lure the predator away from the nest.  It is a cute bird.

Northern Pintail

American Wigeon

As I was preparing to leave the Slough, I spotted another bird.  It flew from bush to bush about 20 feet away.  I took some pictures and then, later last night, (since I'm so new at this) compared them to bird pictures on the Internet.  Then I verified it with a birding expert.  The bird shown below is a Say's Phoebe, a flycatcher.  It winters in California, but it was the first time I'd seen it.

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