Where are our Baja Song Birds?

 

Does anyone have any Baja birds in their backyards?  We are almost dumbfounded by the lack of birds in our backyard.  Ok, maybe it’s because we haven’t had feeders out in 6 months?  Maybe the fall migration has not ended?  Has anyone seen any Black Grosbeaks yet?  I would be interested to know what birds you see in your Baja backyard.  Let us know by using the “comment” section at the end of this post, ok?

We are starting to see a few birds but not nearly as many as usual this time of year.  We do have several Costa’s and a few Zantus’s hummingbirds but no song sparrows to speak of.

Chris went up the arroyo where we normally see many birds and he came back really rejected as he did not see a thing!

So, we’ve been hunting at all our “usual” spots where there is normally lots of birds.  We kept striking out until we went to one of our favorite spots, the lagoons.  We were not disappointed.

I was a little reluctant to go to the lagoons because I have just gotten out of 4 months of chemotherapy, the toughest round I have been through in the last 8 years and 4 chemo sessions.  But, I feel good now and just have to get my strength back.  However, I tire easily.

So, when Chris asked me if I wanted to go, I almost said no.  Then I said, if I go I don’t want to stay too long.  Well, we ended up staying longer than just a little while.

We are full of anticipation as we turn onto the dirt road that leads to the lagoons.  What are we going to see?  Anything new?  Anything at all?  A smile comes to our faces and our eyes widen.

Double Crested Cormorants

These Double Crested Cormorants were resting after feeding.  It is interesting that you just see them feeding in the Sea of Cortez but you do not see them feeding much if at all in the lagoon itself, even tho it is full of little fish.

We sometimes see locals there fishing.  The last time we were at the lagoons, we met a young man from Guatemala fishing there.  I asked him what he did with the fish and he said he cooks them over a fire and eats them.  I thought he may have been fishing for them to use as bait for bigger fish.

Redhead Ducks and Pied Billed Grebe in right front

 

These ducks were pretty far away so they were a little hard for us to identify but Chris submitted them to his trusty internet birding gurus on WhatBird.com and they came back with the id’s of Redhead Ducks and Pied Billed Grebe.

There are not usually a lot of ducks on the lagoon.  Maybe 2 to 5 at a time and they are always pretty skittish.

 

Spotted Sandpiper

 

This little guy, a Spotted Sandpiper got my attention by sound.  I heard his little peeps before I saw him.

I love the quiet that is only broken by bird song, the tranquil Sea of Cortez waves washing onshore and when the wind picks up a little, the water lapping in the lagoon.

 

 

Often we identify our Baja birds by sound and then try to spot them.  Sometimes we just can’t see them but we know they were here!

Great Egret

 

We normally always see the Great Egret at the lagoon and other areas but I never tire of seeing this elegant bird.

 

Snowy Egret

 

 

The Snowy Egret is the Great Egrets smaller cousin.  The Cattle Egret is the smallest and may be seen here in Baja.  Has anyone seen them here?

Here are some more shots as he was really showing off for me.

Snowy Egret

 

It’s almost as tho he was dancing for but I’m sure he was trying to catch lunch! He was doing a good job of it but I just couldn’t catch him with a fish in his bill before he flew off in to the wild blue yonder…probably the next lagoon for better luck!

Does anyone know what the white is that extends into the water?  I can’t quite figure that out!  If looks as tho his left leg is covered with feathers!  ??

 

 

Snowy Egret in flight

 

I’m always trying to improve on my “in flight” shots.  It’s a real challenge to me and I love the gracefulness if captured just right.

You can tell the Snowy Egret by his black bill and yellow slippers as opposed to the Great Egret’s yellow bill and black legs and feet.  Interesting play on color, don’t you think?  Who did that?

 

 

Blue Winged Teal

 

 

I happened to catch these Blue Winged Teal as they flew past over the sand between the Sea of Cortez and the lagoon.  I did not see them in the lagoon.

 

 

Great Blue Heron

 

This is another bird I never tire of seeing and photographing, the Great Blue Heron.  So graceful in flight and so awkward on land.  He did a little jig for me too.

 

 

Yellow Footed Gull

 

 

Not too many gulls around but did spot this Yellow Footed Gull.  Did you know that most people say “Seagull” instead of “Gull”?  There are no such birds as “Seagulls”.

 

 

 

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican flies in to take a rest from fishing.

 

Greater Yellowlegs

 

 

Greater Yellowlegs in the foreground.  There were several flocks around.

 

 

We were only at the lagoons and hour or hour and a half.  Pretty amazing to see so much wildlife in that amount of time, huh?

Northern Mockingbird

On our way out I snapped some shots of a few song birds.  The Northern Mockingbird lives up to it’s name.  It’s totally amazing how many different songs come out of this bird!

 

European Starling

 

 

This European Starling was a loaner.  Normally you see more than just one.  We have begun to see more European Starling’s in Baja.

 

 

 

Cassin’s Kingbird

 

 

 

This Cassin’s Kingbird finished off my shoot for the day.  Not a bad day!

 

 

I hope to bring you a surprise in my next post as we are taking an adventure tomorrow that we have never done before.  We hope, as all Baja Birders hope, that we will get a new lifer!  Maybe even a new species!  Wouldn’t that be great?  Stay tuned…

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2 Responses to Where are our Baja Song Birds?

  1. Oly says:

    Hi melnbaja, I have been participating in a month-long, world-wide backyard birdcount for the good of birds. We’ve been back in LB for 2 weeks and have photographed and logged 46 different species in our backyard, flybys count. Our records show this number show be closer to 65 or 70. No one can be sure but I think, along with another member, that the drought-breaking rains this year has the birds going elsewhere for now. Maybe up in the mountains?????

  2. melnbaja says:

    We are on the hill above Hotel Los Pescadores. This year so far all we have are zillions of moths and butterflies. Maybe a hummer once a week.

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