Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another bird survey done.

When the sun had risen and the temperature had increased a few degrees, I headed over to Shoveler Pond to do another bird survey.  What a difference a week makes.  It looked as if someone had pulled the plug on the pond like pulling a plug on a bath tub.  Not all the water was gone, but much of it was which resulted in several huge mudflats.  Instead of a variety of ducks swimming around, there were large flocks of shorebirds working the mud flats for tasty morsels.  I counted 350 long billed dowitchers, plenty of killdeer, and several flocks of least sandpipers.  They were far enough away, that pictures were out of the question.  I was kept pretty busy using my scope attached to the driver's side window.

There were also plenty of wading birds in the outer trench around the drive where there was still water.

Finally, a great blue heron stayed still long enough for me to get a shot.  He was resting with his long neck tucked in.

I couldn't resist another shot.  The herons usually fly away as soon as I approach.  Here he began to uncurl his neck.

The great egret is another bird that usually is skittish when approached. 

Both the great egret and the great blue heron are about four feet tall and have big sharp beaks.  I wouldn't want to get poked by them!  I also wouldn't want to be them if I got a sore throat.  ;)

As you can see, much of the inner portion of Shoveler Pond has tall reeds and grasses.  Because of the drop in water level, today was an excellent day to see many little birds foraging around in the mud.  I was surprised to see a sedge wren, common yellowthroats, and an orange-crowned warbler taking advantage of the exposed pond bottom.

All in all, it was a good survey day that was topped off with a wonderful view of the first white tailed hawk of the season.  Of course, I think any day spent birding is a good day.  :)  Only one more night of temps in the low twenties to deal with, and then things are supposed to improve.  I look forward to that.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

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