Off to the LaGoons at La Ribera again. Todays events actually began last night. My darling Debbie and I noticed the weather was supposed to be outstanding this day so we made plans. We decided to get going early by having the coffee ready to perk and making sure there were bananas to take with us to eat on the way. Water-check, cameras, back-up batteries, iPod and external speaker, check,check,check. We like to take the back-road in which is about 15 miles. First thing we noticed is the dunes were already forming after hurricane Odile. Remember the pic I showed you of the shore-line there a few blogs ago?
Look now, the fore-dunes are a good 4-5feet or so higher . All that brush that had piled up held the sand so the estuary could be better protected from the ocean’s surge.
As usual, Debbie heads one way and I go the other. I guess we cover more ground that way. First thing I notice is this Whimbrel flying by and lots of geese-looking birds in the LaGoon ahead ahead.
What the heck? I began my stealthful stalk towards these birds trying to be sneaky. The sun is back-lighting the subject but with my super-duper Endeavor 8X42 waterproof binos I can tell that the birds are actually geese, these birds are Brant. If you click on the link you will see that Brant don’t belong on this part of the planet. I submitted this photo to eBird, the ornithology experts, and they agreed this is a rare bird for Baja Sur.
After I get over this amazing discovery I slap myself and move along. Just ahead I see a few Black-bellied Plover socializing. These birds are in winter plumage so the males are not as striking in appearance as they can be.
This bird is regulating it’s own temperature by standing on one leg. Ahead I see a gull. Smallish, very light-colored and with a small dot on the side of it’s head. This is a photo op. as I have never shot this bird before. This is a Bonaparte’s Gull.
Moving along I am pleased to have the privilege to see an elegant-looking Willet napping. (smiles)
A Reddish Egret is hunting in the Shallows. If you ever have the chance, watch these birds chase little fish all over the shallows.
And I’m off in a different direction. Debbie shows up and sees the Brant. Maybe she’ll get some better photos than I could (she often does). I go up the road and into the brush. Taking a break from all this stumbling around in the fluffy sand, I pull out my iPod. I begin playing the call of a Northern Pygmy Owl. From experience I’ve found that many birds are attracted to this bird’s call. When they do show up they’re ready for action, jumping all around to chase the owl away. So I settle in the shade of a Mexican Palm. Orange-crowned Warblers are first to appear, many, many of them. Then I see a bird that the sight of which makes my heart jump! The bird is back-lit by the sun but I can see a stripped bird with a bright yellow throat. I wasn’t sure what it was but I had seen a bird something like this in Cuba. This is a Yellow-throated Warbler!!!!!!!!! Now I’m really excited! I ‘m doing my best to get a good photo but this palm where the bird insists on hopping around in is surrounded by plants with thorns and teeth. I take a few photos and the bird is gone. Later, back at camp (our casa) I submit the photo to eBird and I get flagged. Another rare bird for Baja Sur. This is a Warbler of the eastern U.S.
I think I need to take a nap after all of this. This Merlin flew over as we left, Happy Birding from Chris and Debbie.