A little “ducky” in La Ribera today.
Sunny, clear and calm today. Weather looks great for some estuary birding. Yes, me myself and I. After loosing Debbie to cancer, here goes some little steps forward. Upon arrival the estuary looks like it was hit by a flooding, rip-roaring tornado. I don’t even recognize most of it. At least most of the man-made debris is gone. Birds all over the place but they are very shy. Extremely difficult, even for stalking expert (yah right) me, to get close for good photography but here goes…
I do my best to sneak up and get a close shot of these ducks but they are nervous and soon fly off. Two scaup species live in North America: the Greater Scaup prefers salt water and is found in America and Eurasia, while the Lesser Scaup prefers freshwater and is found only in North America. The Lesser Scaup is one of the most abundant and widespread of the diving ducks in North America. I’m sorry that I scared them off, certainly not my intention. I see some more ducks ahead and decide to settle for further off photos of them today. Okay, I can see this is a Ring-necked Duck.
You can see for yourself how alert this bird is. The male Ring-necked Duck is a sharply marked bird of gleaming black, gray, and white. Females are rich brown with a delicate face pattern. At distance, look for this species’ distinctive, peaked head to help you identify it. Even though this species dives for its food, you can find it in shallow wetlands such as beaver swamps, ponds, and bays. Of all the diving duck species, the Ring-necked Duck is most likely to drop into small ponds during migration. I see another small flocks of ducks swimming quickly away from nosy me. With that crescent stuck on the male Blue-winged Teal’s face, this is an easy bird to I.D.
Pairs and small groups of this tiny dabbling duck inhabit shallow ponds and wetlands across much of North America. Blue-winged Teal are long distance migrants, with some birds heading all the way to South America for the winter. Therefore, they take off early on spring and fall migration, leaving their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada well before other species in the fall. I hear a sandpiper I’m familiar with and looking ahead, out in the shallow water I see a pair of Greater Yellowlegs.
Long, yellow legs. We can see where this bird gets it’s name. There is a Lesser Yellowlegs but they are seldom seen in Baja Sur. A common, tall, long-legged shorebird of freshwater ponds and tidal marshes, the Greater Yellowlegs frequently announces its presence by its piercing alarm calls. Up ahead is one of my favorite shorebirds. The busy Spotted sandpiper.
The dapper Spotted Sandpiper makes a great ambassador for the notoriously difficult-to-identify shorebirds. They occur all across North America, they are distinctive in both looks and actions, and they’re handsome. They also have intriguing social lives in which females take the lead and males raise the young. With their richly spotted breeding plumage, teetering gait, stuttering wingbeats, and showy courtship dances, this bird is among the most notable and memorable shorebirds in North America. Up ahead I see what looks like mice running all over the sand but I know what’s going on. These are the always pretty and wary Semipalmated Plovers.
Now it’s time for me to fly off somewhere for the rest of the day. Hope you enjoyed todays blog. I still haven’t fixed my new email to this site. Feel free to contact me direct if you want—firstname.lastname@example.org