Birdwatching – 09-25-2009

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

Today we went birdwatching and ended up at three different places. Our intention was to go to Lake Hollingsworth, one of our favorite places to bird watch. I started my list as we were riding and saw about 20 Muscovy ducks (they are very prolific here), Morning Dove, Osprey, Black and Turkey Vultures, and a pair of Northern Harrier sitting on one of the light arms along the toll road.

It was clear today and about  79° when we arrived at Lake Hollingsworth at 8:35 am. We have been having some rain lately and the lake was really up. I spotted a Great Blue Heron, White Ibises, Mallards, some more vultures, and a Great Egret. What I didn’t spot were very many birds or a parking spot. So, we decided to go to Lake Morton instead. Good choice.

We were there by about 8:50 am and saw lots of birds being fed by a little girl and here father. She was the center of attention of the local clientele. I attempted to take her picture and the birds, but we had had our cameras and our eyeglasses in the car with the air conditioner running. After my glasses un-fogged, I looked through my lens and it was foggy. Needless to say, it was humid! Next time the camera will be in the trunk.

Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee

Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee

Anyway, it was a great day for pictures and I even took several videos (with my regular camera), fed the critters, and here is what we observed:  Wood Ducks (12+), Mallards, Wood Storks (I practically hand fed them), White Ibises, Black Swans, Mute Swans, Geese, Double-crested Cormorants, Laughing Gull, Anhinga, Muscovy Ducks, Bald Eagle (3rd one I’ve seen this week-there coming back!), Unknown terns, Limpkin, Rock Pigeons, Green Heron, Snowy Egret and a Great Blue Heron.

My highlight of being there was getting so close to the Wood Storks. I have never seen them that friendly before. Had I been brave enough to hold the bread (I know, you are not to feed wildlife, but everyone does at that lake and Hollingsworth), they would have ate right out of my hand. I tossed it to them and they were catching it and making a loud snap as that big beak closed. (The reason I didn’t hand feed. I need those fingers to snap photos with.) Also, the storks were sitting different than I had seen. Got a video of that also. The other highlight was I was videoing when a Bald Eagle flew over. I swung the camera up and caught him as he was flying off. You can hear my excitement in the video. I love eagles and had just wrote about them on yesterday’s blog.

We left there and had a small bite to eat and then on the way home decided to stop in at Circle B Bar Reserve to see what might be up near the entrance. By now it was 10:45 and most of the birds were resting somewhere, but not in sight. We heard a Blue Jay, Carolina Wren, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse and Blue-grey Gnatcatchers. Overhead we saw more Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures, and Wood Storks and then a Wood Stork flew low past us. Knowing bird sounds helps tremendously when you are in the woods and don’t always get to see the birds. I need to practice up much more myself. It counts when you are making list if they are heard.

The Lord provided a beautiful morning to watch His critters and just enjoy being out and about.

This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:23-24 KJV)

This first video is just looking around at the ducks and then spotting an eagle flying by.

The second video is of the stork bending its legs and sitting down.

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For other birdwatching trips to the Circle B Bar Reserve


2 thoughts on “Birdwatching – 09-25-2009

  1. Ah, the memories this brought up! For many years I drove my kids to Santa Barbara to feed the ducks. They always got such a kick out of feeding each one, watching the ducks race to the food, and then felt sorry for the one duck who didn’t get anything. You learn a lot about your kids in how they empathize with the slowest duck!

    Beautiful videos and slide pictures, girlfriend!


    • I was and still am one who empathizes with the slowest duck. That mixed duck is smaller and slower, but he(or she) was battling with the others and trying. Of course, I started tossing bread right to it eventually. Lake Morton and Lake Hollingsworth are the only places we feed them. Thanks for stopping by, girlfriend!


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