Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Visit to Famosa Slough

Since my Julian trip, life has been fairly quiet, except for my 8 year old grandson's baseball games.  Today, I walked to the Famosa Slough (San Diego) to see if I could find any migrating birds.  Instead, I was greeted with regulars, which of course are worth seeing.  It was a quiet respite.

When I arrived, the first bird I spotted was a  male Mallard, whose bill looked blue.  The photo of the male and female displays the male's bill as yellow.  The photo shown below on the left shows a bluish tint on the bill.  In every website I checked, experts said the male Mallard's bill is a bright yellow.  Each photo below is of the same male Mallard.  This pair was the only one at the Slough today.  The male Mallard's beautiful colors really stand out.

Male and Female Mallards

American Kestrel
The next bird I found was the American Kestrel, which is a small hawk.  It's head is well defined by two black stripes on each side of its head.  When attending a bird tour at the Slough, others more knowledgeable then I, can spot one faster.  So, today, I was happy it stayed in the same place long enough for me to get a few poses.  The photo to the right is the best.  My camera doesn't have that long a range, so this is what I get.  It's a very striking bird.

As I walked further into the property, there were some sparrows and finches.  I walked along the path and heard the call of a Song Sparrow.  I finally found it, but it was too far from me to get a good photo.

Before I started for home, I decided to cross West Point Loma Boulevard to see what I could see, so to speak.  I was hoping to see a Clapper Rail, a marsh bird that hangs out in the tall reeds.  On one of the tours I attended last fall, I was able to see one, but today, nothing.

As I was intently scanning the reeds with my eyes, I heard the familiar call of a Song Sparrow.  It was so loud it felt like the bird was sitting on my shoulder.  I turned and checked out a small tree behind me. It's flowers had died off for the most part, but there near the top was a Song Sparrow.

Song Sparrow

I did receive an email regarding the sighting of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron at the back of the property near the 8 (Highway).  Since it's far off the main road, I usually only go there when I'm with a bird tour.  It would be great if that bird would spend the month here, but I think it will be on the move.

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