Decided to test out my new BOGS (muck boots) while birding Granite Reef this morning. Rain last night, however, did not leave the long grasses very wet but the boots were comfortable while I walked for two hours. Also liked the added sense of security against bees and ants on the ground and snakes in the grass. Now that I know the boots are comfortable, I look forward to using them on an upcoming bird trip when a group of us will try to flush a Yellow Rail from a wet rice field. (Will let you know how that turns out!)
Today, I really wanted to catch up with the Bullock's Oriole and, hopefully, the Cassin's Vireo that birding friend, Jeanne saw and photographed yesterday.
Arriving at 6:45 a.m. was not early enough for a Saturday morning; fisherman were already in place; a young couple were posing for some serious photographs; and more cars streamed in. That's when I streamed out of the picnic area to the west, through the mesquite trees where the Lucy's and Yellow-rumped Warblers were singing. Birds were in no mood for their photos to be taken today. I worked long and hard for the few special ones I got.
These two were easier:
|Canvasback swimming alone, back and forth on the river|
|Yes, noisy Great-tailed Grackles (Male and partially hidden Female)|
This is a typical view (this morning) of the mature male Bullock's Oriole that I saw well several times with my binoculars.
|Male Bullock's Oriole|
|Walking along the berm, I got to look down on the grove of trees I had just emerged from|
|Sacred Datura, more commonly known as Jimson Weed; at west end|
Although there were several male Phainopeplas chasing each other all morning, this female perched up nicely.
Within the tamarisk (Salt Cedar) trees at the far west end, I was thrilled to find a Common Yellowthroat hanging out with a Yellow Warbler!
When I returned to the area where I had originally found the male Bullock's Oriole, I decided to get at least one record shot. What I discovered was that there were at least two and maybe three orioles present.
|Mature male is more orange than yellow with black throat|
|First-year male Bullock's Oriole|
|Same bird as above, different photo, shows darkish head and black feathers at the throat|
|Apparent first-year male with some black feathering at its throat and strong black eyeline already established|
(Another photo of same bird above)
Although I dipped on finding the Cassin's Vireo (a really good bird for this location), I heard Sora (rail) at two different locations in the reeds along the river, saw a mature Bald Eagle fly over, and enjoyed listening to several Bewick's Wrens.
Still, a great way to start the day! Must remember that sun rises at 6 a.m.!! I slept in today.
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View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S28831997