I swung by the Baylands on Wednesday evening, having not been there in a few weeks. It was a mild, but very windy day, which I suspect kept the bird numbers down a little. Good variety, but low counts.
“Typical” Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
At the Duck Pond, among the flock of “Bicolored” Red-winged Blackbirds (by far the most common sub-species of this bird in this area) was a single individual of the “Typical” sub-species. The two differ in that the “typical” has both red and light-red patches on its shoulder, while the “bicolored” has solid red.
Many small squirrels scurried about, presumably young ones from this year’s brood, and large numbers of Snowy Egret fledglings were still visible in the palms, with a single Great Egret chick begging noisily from its parents, spreading its wings, and looking like nothing so much as a dinosaur with its gaping beak and gangly wings.
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
By the abandoned yacht house, a male Ring-necked Pheasant foraged and let me get very close – although introduced from Asia as game birds, they’re really quite striking. Well, the males are anyways – the females look very much like chickens.
Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) with a “bonus” Avocet
The slough wasn’t exactly hopping with bird life, but I did see several Long-billed Curlews among the Ring-billed Gulls and American Avocets. A few Willets and Marbled Godwits foraged at the south end of the shore, but it was otherwise pretty quiet, with not even a single duck to be seen.
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Perhaps a half-dozen Killdeer foraged in the muddy banks of the slough. One had very pale colorings – I suppose it is a juvenile, or perhaps mildly leucistic. A lone Forster’s Tern hunted (unsuccessfully) overhead as I made my way towards the marshes on the east side of the parking lot by the interpretive center.
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
Still hoping for Avocet or Stilt chicks, I scanned the area. Although both birds were numerous, I didn’t see any young ‘uns. Several Avocets appeared to be nesting, however, so perhaps there will be some soon’ish.
I walked back to the car, seeing nothing else of note. The many Black-crowned Night Heron nests by the ranger’s house are all but empty now, the young lurking on the shores of the Duck Pond.
Another fine day out, with a good list of birds!
Birds seen: (26 species)
– American Avocet
– American Coot
– Barn Swallow
– Black Phoebe
– Black-crowned Night Heron
– Black-necked Stilt
– Brewer’s Blackbird
– Canada Goose
– Cliff Swallow
– Dowitcher sp.
– European Starling
– Forster’s Tern
– Great Egret
– House Sparrow
– Long-billed Curlew
– Marbled Godwit
– Marsh Wren (heard)
– Red-winged Blackbird (both “typical” and “bicolored”)
– Ring-billed Gull
– Ring-necked Pheasant
– Rock Pigeon
– Scaup sp.
– Snowy Egret