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Masked Booby (and other goodies) Hunt

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Thought today would be a good day for a rarity hunt , so with birding buddies Joan Mentze and Shari Sitko, we all headed off for La Jolla Cove in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2002
      Hi, all!

      Thought today would be a good day for a "rarity hunt", so with birding
      buddies Joan Mentze and Shari Sitko, we all headed off for La Jolla Cove in
      search of the consistent but elusive (for me) Masked Booby. As expected,
      parking was tight when we got there around nine, so I let them off and
      finally found a parking spot almost down to Children's Cove. I meandered
      along the walkway, adding the common gulls and cormorants plus Ruddy
      Turnstone, running into Richard Bledsoe who said the booby left around eight.
      I kinda shrugged and figured, "Well, maybe he'll come back." Made it up to
      where the girls were, and Joan suggested we go up on the Coast Walk, just to
      see some of the other birds. On the way I happened to be looking at the rock
      when this white torpedo with black flight feathers went sailing by: the
      booby! I screamed at everyone within earshot as the thing landed on the
      opposite side of the rock, and we continued up the trail past the Cave Shop
      (and past the overlook), where we got excellent looks of the now preening
      bird on the rock! Unfortunately you couldn't see the bird from the overlook,
      and people were still walking out past the "Area Closed" signs to get a
      better look (we really thought a couple of people were gonna go into the
      drink). But the lighting was perfect from the trail, especially if you had a
      scope! We also heard the Summer Tanager from that spot, but he (she?)
      wouldn't show himself. There were a lot of happy campers up on that trail!
      From there we headed back along the shore to the car, and picked up both
      turnstones, and both Spotted Sandpiper and Wandering Tattler in the same
      field of view, which was a good comparison.

      Next stop was east Mission Bay where the gull flock was; I took some bread
      heels with me and was able to have a mini gull class on the spot! Several
      adult Herrings were there, as well as two Glaucous-winged, a lifer for Joan.
      The Thayer's wasn't around, but Shari spotted the Harlequin Duck sitting on a
      buoy, so we trudged down the beach to where Joan could get a better look:
      lifer #3! On the way back the Thayer's Gull had joined the crowd, but Joan
      was hesitant to count it because she wasn't sure she could ID it on her own
      next time! (I think a lot of people feel that way...) At any rate, that was
      Lifer #4 for her.

      We poked down East Mission Bay Drive looking for the Ross' Goose, but didn't
      see him, so took a quick peek in Tecolote Creek; all looked like Lesser Scaup
      to me. From there I think we went to lunch, but eventually made it over to
      Kendalfrost Marsh. Shari suggested we pull into the parking area before the
      marsh just in case the goose was hanging out there, and as we turned a
      corner, there was the Ross' right next to the car drinking from a little
      puddle by one of the planted trees in the middle of the lot! But right in
      front of him was a Greater White-fronted Goose to boot! The latter seemed to
      be injured as he was limping, but they were both antsy and eventually flew.
      Lifers #s 5 and 6! From there we scoped the shore where we picked out a
      Clark's Grebe from among the Westerns, and then went to the "overlook" from
      the main street; picked up a kingfisher and lots of Brant out in the bay.
      Skimmers had been on the beach on the way in.

      From there we went to Robb Field where we had TONS of shorebirds of all
      kinds, including a handful of Red Knot. Two Reddish Egrets danced on the
      west end, and a group of WHITE Pelicans were way out on a sandbar! A flock
      of Red-breasted Mergansers churned up the water as they followed a school of
      fish. From there we went to Famosa Slough where the Little Blue Heron was
      the first thing we saw stepping out of the car. From the bench at the end of
      the trail we got in your face looks at the colorful ducks, including the
      resident Blue-winged Teals. Another interesting bird was a Cattle Egret
      strutting about in the vegetation, while a Say's Phoebe flopped around him.

      Last stop was the Flood Control Channel across from Sea World, where we
      dipped on any Burrowing Owls but got an Osprey with a HUGE fish (followed
      closely by three greedy Western Gulls) instead! A Whimbrel was down on the
      rocks, and tons of Redheads were out in the channel. Nothing out of the
      ordinary, although there WERE lots of birds there, and we added Green-winged
      Teal to the list. No sign of the Long-tailed Duck or Eurasian Wigeon.

      Headed home after a successful day (hey, after the booby, everything was
      gravy!) Bird List:

      Common Loon Gavia immer
      Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
      Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
      Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
      Clark's Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii
      American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
      Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
      Masked Booby Sula dactylatra
      Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
      Brandt's Cormorant Phalacrocorax penicillatus
      Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus
      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens
      Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
      Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
      Ross' Goose Chen rossii
      Brant Branta bernicla
      American Wigeon Anas americana
      Gadwall Anas strepera
      Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Northern Pintail Anas acuta
      Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
      Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
      Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
      Redhead Aythya americana
      Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
      Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Osprey Pandion haliaetus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
      American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
      Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
      Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
      Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
      Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
      Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
      Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
      Wandering Tattler Heterosceles incanus
      Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
      Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
      Black Turnstone Arenaria melanocephala
      Red Knot Calidris canutus
      Sanderling Calidris alba
      Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
      Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni
      Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
      California Gull Larus californicus
      Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens
      Western Gull Larus occidentalis
      Thayer's Gull Larus thayeri
      Herring Gull Larus argentatus
      Royal Tern Sterna maxima
      Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
      Black Skimmer Rynchops niger
      Rock Dove Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus

      86 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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