Monday, November 22, 2010

More West Coast Birding Briefs

I finally figured out how to work around the photo upload glitch so here are some more photos from my fabulous west coast trip starting with water birds. I got 4 different grebes on this trip including many Pie-billed and Western grebes, a few Horned grebes, plus a Clarke's grebe. Here are some photos. Its hard to see the difference between Western and Clarke's grebe. You have to get a really good look at the eyes.

Western Grebe - notice how the black cap comes down to the eye

Clarke's Grebe - notice how the white surrounds the eye, no black

Horned Grebe - notice the point on the back of the head

Pie-billed Grebe - notice how darned cute it is

I also had good luck with Spotted Sandpiper on this trip. I practically tripped over this one several times. It just wouldn't run away from me. It finally popped out into the sunlight for this shot.
Spotted Sandpiper - notice the stout legs

And finally, this Kestral eating some sort of mouse on the top of a telephone pole. There was a guy flying a 'tethered airplane' about 50 feet away from the Kestral. The plane whirling by again and again. The Kestral was completely unphased.

American Kestral - notice the poor little mouse


mick said...

Your description and great clear photos make the ID look easy - which I'm sure it't not when you're out there watching them all!

Diane Widdop said...

I love the photo of the kestrel, and the way you centered the pole, making the bird slightly off center. And that bright blue sky!

And you're right. Poor little mouse. Circle of life...

Linda said...

Mick - the ID is difficult but this Clarke's grebe really had obvious white surrounding the eye. Thanks for the comment.

Patty said...

Excellent pictures. I love the grebes! You gotta tell me where you went. I also liked your Herring Gull with the starfish, but are you sure it is a Herring Gull?