san joaquin marsh 31 May 2010
- Visited the San Joaquin Marsh this morning. This was my first time seeing
fledgling American Avocets and Black-necked Stilts, in the pond nearest the
Audubon House. Highly recommended! It's extraordinary how accepting the
adults are of humans observing them from the benches, a mere 20 ft. away,
and yet how quickly they ward off crows, herons, and other large birds that
get within even 75 ft. of the nest sites.
What seemed like a couple of Killdeer parents were similarly warding off
some crows. It's hard to tell whether the crows are just minding their own
business, or if they are actually after the chicks and/or eggs, though there
is little doubt in my mind they would eat them if given the chance.
14 or so White-faced Ibises arrived in one of the nearby ponds. They
descended from flight, and landed in the shallows, in such an erratic
fashion; I assume this is usual for them. None had breeding plumage (at
least from what I saw). Looking back at previous reports, it seems they are
relatively common at the marsh. Still, a pleasant surprise for me. When I
first started birding a few years ago, I recall several more experienced
birders being quite excited to see them in the Santa Ana River near Yorba
Regional Park. I love their iridescent tail feathers.
San Joaquin Marsh, ~10am, 5/31/2010
American Crows, seen & heard, juveniles harassing/begging for food, others
being chased by American Avocets from avocet nesting area.
Song Sparrows, heard.
Anna's Hummingbirds, seen & heard.
Black-necked Stilts, and fledglings
American Avocets, and fledglings
Sandpiper, undetermined species
Common Yellowthroats, heard
Great Blue Heron, at some points chased away by American Avocets
Spotted Towhee, heard.
Black Phoebe, seen.
House Finches, male and female, seen and heard.
Killdeer, seen, interacting (distracting?) with American Crow
Tree Swallows, seen
Cinnamon Teals, males and females, seen
White-faced Ibis, about 14 came in for a landing, very erratic landing
flight, none seemed to have the adult breeding plumage
Ruddy Ducks, males and females, seen
Mallards, males and females, seen and heard. No chicks seen. Some of the
males looked like they were molting (may be young adults?)
some kind of Heron, juvenile... at first thought it was a Bittern or Rail.
Red eye, light brown and white streaky plumage (brown dominant)
Canada Geese, with chick
Western Fence Lizard
Some kind of lupine
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