Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. The San Diego area is one of the best places to see this species west of Texas, and is regular enough to be considered a local specialty. Thank god. I want to ruffle its rare golden head and tell it that it's doing a good job. Imperial Beach State Park.
Wow...my last 2 proper posts did not feature wild birds. Who does that???? How embarrassing.
Right...we must move on. As you may know, I have moved to San Diego, or as some of you think of it, "Whale's Vagina". This marks the first time since 2009 that I have worked in California...I have gone with the tradeoff of new and strange birds to something a little more familiar/convenient. As you all know, I am a cutting edge plover expert, and that is what has brought me here (Least Terns too).
That said, San Diego County is without a doubt one of the best birding areas in the state, due to its proximity to Mexico, numerous wetlands and parks, mountains and deserts, and a healthy birding scene. I've already been swimming in birds since I arrived last Sunday, banking year birds left and right, including the almost-endemic California Gnatcatcher, which I haven't seen in years.
From my time working in the Salton Sea, Gull-billed Tern has ascended to one of my favorite birds. Small numbers of them breed in the area. 7th Street, Imperial Beach, CA.
Although I have started my new job with the San Diego Zoo, I can't exactly say I've been slaving away so far. On day one I got to pet Victor The Echidna, who is over 60 years old and enjoys blowing snot bubbles. Petting an echidna is not something I'd ever thought I'd do, considering they are native to Australia, lay eggs, and resemble enormous hedgehogs. My one day in the field featured many Snowy Plovers, Horned Larks, Belding's Savannah Sparrows, and numerous tanks driving next to our study plot. The plovers are quite used to them, apparently.
Despite my clear affinity for the area's birdlife, I feel it necessary to declare my hatred for both the San Diego Padres and, especially, the San Diego Chargers. That is all.
Royal Terns are pretty common around these parts, which makes it sad that this photo is so piss poor. It's nice to see them with their fancy black caps though, rather than with the large bald spot that I am accustomed to. 7th Street, Imperial Beach, CA.
Awwwwwwww yeah, its a mediocre Belted Kingfisher shot! But since its a Belted Kingfisher, its amazing that I was even able to point a camera at it. You should know better, kingfisher. J Street Mudflats, Chula Vista, CA.
J Street is the one and only place I have found where Brant do not bark and yodel at you in fear. Apparently the aquatic plantlife here is so good and tasty that it is worth having to see the hideous humans at close range.
Brant, shorebirds, and shopping carts. What more could you ask for? J Street Mudflats.
Have you noticed that pretty much all the pictures I've posted today are backlit, too dark, or in harsh light? What's up with that? Am I losing my touch? Anyways...the feather ruffling here was too good to not post. Great Blue Herons are considered "freeloaders" at various exhibits at the San Diego Zoo, aka are wild birds but decide to spend their time amongst their exotic cousins.
"And now for my Long-billed Dowitcher impression..."
The sun being at the wrong angle worked in my favor here...I didn't just photoshop those waterdroplets, people.