Thursday, 2 April 2015

CALIFORNIA, ''BIRDS'', 14th - 22nd February, 2015, ''PART 2'' ...&... DAY 6

CALIFORNIA,  ''BIRDS'', 14th - 22nd  February, 2015,

''PART 2''     ''Birds'' (Gulls excluded from this post)

Day 5,   20/2/2015

Today, we start the return, the south bound leg of our trip back to LA.
We leave Petluna 07.00 hours
We head for San Francisco, first taking in Lake Merrit, Oaklands,
an hour and a half here, (let the rush hour go) before crossing the Oaklands Bay Bridge into San Francisco to visit San Francisco Golden Gate Park.
In the afternoon to be just south of San Francisco, back for an afternoon session with the Gulls at Venice State Beach, Half Moon Bay !
close of light, we travel further south to be at Monterey, ready for Day 6 start at Fisherman's Wharf.

Lake Merrit, Oaklands


Black-necked Grebe




Great Egret

Brown Pelican

Night Heron

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

American Robin

Ring-necked Duck

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe


Day 6,     20/2/2015

Monterey,  07.00 hours,  fog on the coast !    It's a ''no Gulls day''.

Plan B,
In Monterey, a Red-naped Sapsucker has been regularly reported seen. (Richard would like this for a tick),

08.30 hours, Monterey, Lagunita Mirada Park

Red-naped Sapsucker

Red-winged Blackbird

10.00 hours, a bit of travel involved now,
we have to head south to be in Santa Barbara tomorrow for Day 7 (our final day).

Richard has another couple of ticks he would like to see, en route, so we head inland and south east to take in the Pixlea National Wildlife Refuge, nr Earlimart,

The purpose at Pixlea is for Richard to see a

''Harris's Sparrow''.

Richard is driving, its going to be a long day in the car !
Some 200+ miles to Pixlea, to be followed by another 160 miles to Ventura, to be on location for Santa Barbara tomorrow for Day 7 (our final day).

Leaving the coast, as we cross mountains passes, Giant Redwood Trees, stopping at a couple of places for a bit of birding, then to agricultural plains of TEN's of THOUSANDS of Cherry Trees (fields the size of Kent !) This is vast, mile after mile ! Agriculture.

getting close to Pixlea, then the unexpected for me ! ! !

''Sandhill Crane'',
this has got to be MY nominate as the ''ONE of the BEST''  Bird encounter of the Trip !

First, on our left, we note a pair of Sandhill Crane,  ''stunning''

forward a few miles and we see 100's of Sandhill Crane ! !

There's a track off the road, a few trees for cover, careful positioning of car allowed a 30 minute, close view of Sandhill Crane, bonding session, the full Monty ! ! !

Sandhill Crane

***Pixlea is home to c6000 wintering Sandhill Crane***
A stunning encounter.

Next ! ! !

Pixlea National Wildlife Refuge, (Richard is off looking for his Harris's Sparrow) !

I am more interested in a showy Kildeer !


Of note, a Great Horned Owl, distant, sitting on tree, Snow Goose over and just 1,000's wildfowl and Geese.

I catch up with Richard, who has found his Harris's !

Harris's Sparrow

We head South , 160+ miles to Ventura,
20.00 hours, in Motel, the boys go shopping tonight !


Day 7,  Last day in California

Alice Keck Park, Santa Barbara

Mourning Dove

Californian Towhee


Mallard, (compulsory)

another look at Santa Barbara beach ! ! !

Snowy Egret

Black-necked Grebe


***another ''star bird'' of the Trip


Time up ! ! !
with a bit more birding en route, we head for LA airport ! ! !

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