Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Backstroking Through Knob Creek

I have forgotten that work really gets in the way of blogging. And that's on top of birding, which ironically also gets in the way of blogging. I don't think bourbon consumption really helps or impedes the blog though, it's just necessary for my well-being. Should I take a dip in good old Knob Creek* tonight?

Oh. I also should be writing my Mother's Day card. So much to do!

Birding in San Diego has, of course, been good lately. Where else can you see Black Storm-Petrel and Prothonotary Warbler in the same day? I only have a couple scattered days off in the next couple of weeks, but then its time for my first pelagic trip of the year. I fiend for seabirds, so am looking forward to it. All these bright, flashy birds leave me yearning a certain Economy of Style.

Speaking of which, BB&B offers some more subdued birds today.

* = Knob Creek is a tasty bourbon, not an obscure birding spot where bad things happen in the bushes.

Watching avocets feeding is unusually pleasing, especially when they are sync'd up. Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, CA.

Surface scum-dwellers recoil in horror at the thought of their finely upturned bills.

The spring migration shorebird medley continues to pass through the area on it's way north. This has resulted in me seeing a lot more Red Knots (whom some have variously/nerdily described as a "glut" or a "slug"), although I am still an abject failure when it comes to photographing them. Instead, I have to make do with species like Western Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit and Dunlin. Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge.

Here the medley is further medlied by the addition of something that resembles a Short-billed Dowitcher. So meddlesome.

Although they don't turn any redder, blacker or whiter in spring like many shorebirds, Whimbrels are at least noticeably more common this time of year. We applaud their presence, simply because sharply-decurved bills are laudable facial features. Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA.

A few Brant still linger and yodel and bark down south with us. Many of them have made it to their Alaskan breeding areas by now. J Street Mudflats, Chula Vista, CA.

This Gadwall is particularly well-marked for a species infamous for dwelling in comparitive mediocrity. Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge.

This Northern Rough-winged Swallow looks very strong. Look at those bulging breast can probably migrate around the whole world without stopping. Tijuana Bird and Butterfly Garden, CA.

A Song Sparrow belts it out at the San Diego Zoo. You gotta sing your heart out there if you want to drown out the peacocks.

San Diego is infamous for it's exotic species...for good or ill, this kind is still confined to aviaries. This uneconomically-styled hornbill (anyone know what kind?) resides at the San Diego Zoo. Such dainty eyelashes! 


  1. Nice sequence Seagull. If it's the bourbon to thanks, then drink yourself silly up Knob hill!

    Love the shorebird medley. The half-gorwn plumages, the gangly-ness, the jockeying for social reminds me a lot of high school.

  2. Awesome photos! The shot of the lone godwit with dunlin looks like an Attack of the 50 Foot Woman-type scenario, with an oversized specimen terrorizing the villagers.

    The hornbill appears to be a long-tailed hornbill (Tropicranus albocristatus). At least according to the zoo website

  3. Great photos! The Avocets are quite enjoyable.