Tuesday, 16 June 2009:
I swung by the Radio Road ponds after work, ummm, 2.5 months ago (what? me behind on photos? nahh!), hopeful to see a reported Caspian Tern fledgling.
Northern Pintail / Anas acuta
There were, as usual, many Forster’s Terns, flying around noisily.
Forster’s Terns / Sterna forsteri
Also typical for the time of year, a family of Mallards floated by.
Mallard / Anas platyrhynchos family
Atypically, they were the only family I saw. Other early summer visits here have turned up literally dozens of ducks with young ‘uns.
Black Skimmer / Rynchops niger
A lone Black Skimmer shared a narrow island-let with several American Avocet, and stayed there throughout my visit – too bad, as they’re fun birds to watch when they’re foraging, with their long, jutting mandible and colorful bills.
American Avocet / Recurvirostra americana
To my collection of thousands of American Avocet photographs, I added a few more. They’re extremely common year-round here, but I never get tired of them, especially when they’re in alternate plumage (ie. buffy-headed), as they are in early summer.
Caspian Tern / Sterna caspia with food
I saw a Caspian Tern dive and come up with a fish, which it brought to an island, but no young ‘un emerged to eat it. The adult seemed agitated, and I wondered if its offspring had become heron food. Most likely so, as the pen-bird email list reported many attempted sightings of the chick, but none successful.
American Avocets / Recurvirostra americana
Sure, more Avocets. Why not?
Gadwall / Anas strepera
Somewhat less common was a solitary Gadwall, unremarkable save for its black derierre.
Marbled Godwit / Limosa fedoa
Amid the numerous Avocets was a Marbled Godwit, doing a very poor job of blending in.
Forster’s Terns / Sterna forsteri
The Forster’s flock took off noisily, did a few laps around the ponds, and then settled back down onto their island.
Ruddy Duck / Oxyura jamaicensis
A male Ruddy Duck in spiffy alternate plumage and a baby-blue bill hung out by a levee, and then it was about time for me to head homeward.
Common Raven / Corvus corax
But I couldn’t resist one last stop to photograph a Raven that pecked by the side of the road.
This was a nice short outing (not even really an outing, as I stayed in my car as I drove along the ponds, since that startles birds less than walking around does), which is exactly what Radio Road is best suited for. That I picked up a few year birds is testament to the fact that I haven’t been birding very much on the SF peninsula lately, rather than the rarity of anything I saw.
Location: Redwood Shores Observation date: 6/16/09 Number of species: 18 Canada Goose - Branta canadensis 5 Gadwall - Anas strepera 3 Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos 10 + Northern Pintail - Anas acuta 2 Ruddy Duck - Oxyura jamaicensis 6 Snowy Egret - Egretta thula 5 Black-crowned Night-Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax 5 Killdeer - Charadrius vociferus 2 Black-necked Stilt - Himantopus mexicanus 4 American Avocet - Recurvirostra americana 20 Willet - Tringa semipalmata 5 Ring-billed Gull - Larus delawarensis 7 Caspian Tern - Hydroprogne caspia 2 + Forster's Tern - Sterna forsteri 20 + Black Skimmer - Rynchops niger 1 American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos 5 Song Sparrow - Melospiza melodia 1 Brewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalus 10 + = year bird This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)