Sunday, November 11, 2012

SA Audubon Field Trip to Choke Canyon

Unfortunately, I forgot the camera today. Of course, there were a couple of great videos I missed. But, such is life.

Since I have no accompanying "illustrations", I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Birding was patchy, with areas of good birding interspersed with long periods of time with no apparent birds or birds giving chip calls, but not allowing us to see them.

The best birding areas today:
  • The parking lot near the swimming pool, giving us Couch's Kingbird, Great Kiskadee, Green Jays, Cooper's Hawk, and both listed Woodpeckers, among others.
  • The first part of the birding trail and then the second section (after the jog and just before where the wetlands used to be), with several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers.
  • 75 Acre Lake, especially scoping the far shores from the trail between the two bodies of water
 The non-birding highlights (which made me yearn for the camera) were:
  • Two Dung Beetles rolling their balls of dung. I love to watch these creatures using their rear legs, while doing their work head down.
  • We heard an unusual noise a bit down the trail. It was coming from a Cottontail Rabbit which had been nabbed by a large Indigo Snake. We watched with morbid fascination while the rabbit struggled and the snake worked against its struggle. I won't go into any more detail. The most interesting thing I saw during the struggle was the snake shaking its tail, as though it was a Rattlesnake. Avie has some video -- we just can't figure out how to get it off his phone.

All in all, not the best of days. But not too shabby either, with 47 species of birds.

Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Scaup sp.
Wild Turkey
Neotropic Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
White Ibis
White-faced Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Harris's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Crested Caracara
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Vermilion Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Couch's Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Green Jay
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird

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