Patty

Patty's Year

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I had better luck on Saturday at the Carmel River State Beach lagoon. This series of beaches stretch from the southern end of Carmel to Point Lobos State Reserve. The lagoon is located on the northern end. Some winters the Carmel River breaches the lagoon sandbar and flows into the Pacific Ocean. By summer the sandbar builds back up. This year the county manually breached the sandbar in January due to El Nino rains flooding the nearby neighborhood (a controversial move due to the steelhead trout). In June the county put the sandbar back.

 

Sandbar with the Pacific Ocean on the left and lagoon on the right.

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Lagoon side

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Ocean side

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On the far left some smoke from the Sobranes fire is visible. The plume became much larger by afternoon. Jutting out into the ocean on the left is Point Lobos.

 

Finally on to new birds!

 

119) Greater(?) yellowlegs on the right (with a willet on the left)

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120) Western(?) sandpiper

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121) American avocet

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122) Snowy plover

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I didn´t know there was an American Avocet - its general shape is very much like that of its Eurasian cousin, but it looks very different.

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Posted (edited)

Another pano of Carmel River State Beach

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There are trails connecting the beaches and up a hill where this was taken. You can see Pebble Beach jutting out on the right in the distance.

 

I'm waiting for a scene like this to return in the fall (oops, I violated rule #3)

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Edited by Patty
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Posted (edited)

A walk around my neighborhood this afternoon produced a new species.

 

123) Band-tailed pigeon

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To avoid looking like a weirdo, I pretended to be taking pictures of the smoke.

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Edited by Patty
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@@Patty

Amazing how we have turned into the sort of people who take pictures of birds!

I also didn't know there was an American avocet - great to see it.

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Posted (edited)

This morning I headed to the Elkhorn Slough/Moss Landing area.

 

The upper part of the slough is part of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve with trails open to the public Wednesday through Sunday on former dairy land.

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But today we headed to the lower part of the slough which is part of Moss Landing State Beach.

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This is also where rafts of otters congregate (I'll put up another post under the otter thread).

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Today's weather was quite different and challenging but I did manage to find 4 new species. Perhaps I could've found more if I could see far enough! Or hadn't been distracted by otters!

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124) Brant goose

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125) Elegant tern

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126) Brown pelican

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127) Black-bellied plover

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Edited by Patty
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Posted (edited)

My favorite place to visit locally is Point Lobos State Reserve. I've been enjoying following the chicks and fledglings there.

 

At the southern end of the park is Bird Island where there are nesting cormorants, night herons, oystercatchers, gulls and a peregrine falcon pair is nearby.

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Brandt's cormorants

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At the north end is Whalers Cove, sometimes quite literally :)

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It's often foggy on the coast here which I think just adds to the beauty.

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At the north end of Whalers Cove are three pairs of nesting great blue herons. See I know where every individual bird is now ;)

 

Great blue heron fledglings

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I had hoped to return this week to check on their progress but the park closed due to the fire today and it doesn't look like I'll be able to get back any time soon.

Edited by Patty
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To avoid looking like a weirdo, I pretended to be taking pictures of the smoke.

 

You could avoid this by telling people who ask that you are taking pictures of perches and that it is by sure coincidence that a bird happened to choose that perch at the exact time you took the photo.

 

Isn't "birder" denial great !? :)

 

Great pics by the way. I love that whales were actually in Whalers Cove!

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Posted (edited)

This is what brown pelicans look like when not enveloped by fog :)

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Edited by Patty
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A coastal recreational trail runs the entire length of the shoreline in the cities of Pacific Grove and Monterey.

 

Hopkins Beach next to the Stanford University Hopkins Marine Station is the largest of the harbor seal pupping beaches on the Monterey Peninsula.

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Pacific Grove shoreline in the fog

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Sand dunes at Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove

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Monterey harbor

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My last two birds of July (it's gotten a bit too smoky to go outside)!

 

128) Black-footed albatross

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129) Surfbird (to the right of the black oystercatcher)

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Isn't "birder" denial great !? :)

 

I asked Mark what I should do about this affliction and his reply was get better camera gear!

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Now that's a great spouse. Who are you to argue with that logic!

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Going through some older photos, I came across this one which I had previously misidentified as a western gull.

 

130) California gull, Roberts Lake

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Posted (edited)

Our resident flock of Canada geese now includes two white domestic geese. In spring I had wondered if they could produce offspring and found my answer on Thursday.

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But more importantly, does it count as a new species? ;)

Edited by Patty
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Not yet, give the Patty Geese a few hundred years to establish themselves. :-)

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I barely made it out last month but a trip to river beach did produce two new species.

 

131) California thrasher

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132) Pied-billed grebe

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Now that the fire is farther south and the smoke has cleared (at least in the northern part of Big Sur), I may head down that way to look for condors again.

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@@Patty great that you are still discovering new species in your neighbourhood.

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Another slow month for me but an early morning hike at Palo Corona turned out to be productive for raptors and I added 2 new species.

 

Palo Corona Regional Park is former ranch land turned park.

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It's still used for cattle grazing so you occasionally share the trails with cows and see activities such as cattle branding.

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The view from Inspiration Point is supposed to stretch from Point Lobos to Pebble Beach.

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However the first time we hiked up to the point this is what we saw from the top.

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On to my barely identifiable raptors :P

 

133) White-tailed kite

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134) American kestrel

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I'm going on an owl walk at Garland Ranch in Carmel Valley this evening and tomorrow we leave for a trip to Glacier National Park and the Pacific Northwest so I'm hoping to add to my total.

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Have a great time on your trip Patty. I haven't checked lately but I hope there are no fires around Glacier to obscure the views. We couldn't see anything last year in August when we went due to all the smoke.

 

I look forward to seeing your big year list grow and to a detailed TR as well of course :).

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Thanks Alan! We had a great week here in Glacier and are leaving for Sandpoint tomorrow. The closest wildfire was near Thompson Falls and it was mostly out by the time we got here. We hiked through areas of the Reynolds Creek fire last year. The weather forecast looked iffy for our week but we dodged most of it with just some rain showers here and there and have been able to hike every day. We had really good views of a grizzly sow and cub at Many Glacier, 5 moose at Fisher Cap Lake, bighorn sheep at a distance and several goat sightings (mostly from a distance) with one very cooperative goat near the Hidden Lake Overlook.

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Last bird from September -

 

135) Eared grebe, Redfish Lake, Idaho

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October

 

136) Black-backed woodpecker, Glacier NP, Montana

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137) Spruce grouse, Glacier NP, Montana

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138) Hooded merganser, Whitefish Lake, Montana

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139) Glaucous-winged gull, San Juan Islands, Washington

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140) Thayer's Gull, San Juan Islands, Washington

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141) Mew gull, San Juan Islands, Washington

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142) Hairy woodpecker, San Juan Islands, Washington

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143) Mountain chickadee, Lassen NP, California

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Posted (edited)

@@Patty

Good to see that you are still getting more new birds. The Black-backed Woodpecker is a beauty!

Edited by TonyQ
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Nice pics Patty. At first I thought the gulls were from Montana and I was like..."Whaaaaat?" Looks like you have had some good adventures this fall. Any plans for a TR? :)

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@@Patty, I too will be looking out for a Glacier TR, sounds like some great sightings. Seems there's a great variety of Woodpeckers about the US.

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