Thursday, July 9, 2009

Golden Gate Audubon Bird Walk

I went on my first bird walk with the Golden Gate Audubon Society last week. Pamela Lewellyn led us through some of the restricted access breeding areas at the Hayward Regional Shoreline. She was decked out with her Leica spotting scope on a Gitzo tripod. Mmmm... gear. Not exactly my flavor, but it's still gear.

It was cool getting to go beyond the locked gates. There were quite a few birds I'd never seen before, like a Ruddy Duck (who knew?), Killdeer and Black Skimmers. There were also lots of shorebirds. I think we saw Avocets, Godwits, Curlews and Dowitchers.

Female Red-winged Blackbirds

Marsh Wren nest

Female Great-Tailed Grackle

American White Pelican

Most of the birds' nests were on these islands.

Colony of Forster's Terns
There were lots of Tern and Avocet chicks on these islands.

Forster's Tern in flight

Black Skimmer flying with terns Black Skimmers are supposed to be rare in the San Francisco area, so this was a real treat.

2 Black Skimmers in flight - The most we saw.

Black Skimmer

Killdeer Parent & Chick

I had a photo of one from the trip, but I can't seem to get it into the blog post for some reason. I didn't get any shots of American Avocet chicks, so here are some from another time.

Snowy Egret


Anonymous said...

Rene, super photos as always. Getting a closer view on the walk, must have been a treat.

Chris Petrak said...

Nice set of photos - in May I had great fun in Cape May watching Marsh Wren building several nests, singing for a mate, and driving off intruders like me. (I think there are a couple of photos in a May post). I wonder about the grackle - not much tail for a great-tailed - perhaps molting, or a young? I sometimes wish I were closer to the shore so I could take advantage of those times when you can get into the restricted areas.

Shellmo said...

Those killdeer photos were just my absolute favorite - beautiful!!!

Ingrid said...

Beautiful images and amazing variety! I haven't seen any of the Bay Area Grackles yet -- only in places like Texas and Arizona. I'm not sure I would have recognized that female, so thanks for the visual.

Kelly said...

Wow! Great place to bird. I love the Black Simmers...beautiful flight photos, and how lucky to find the Marsh Wren nest. I always love looking at nests.

Ratty said...

Great bird pictures. That must have been a great trip. I really like the pelicans.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures. I particularly liked the Black Skimmer.

dAwN said...

Great photos..too bad you couldnt get the Kildeer and chicks photo to load..but the Avocet and chick shot was excellent.

Andor Marton said...

The killdeer chick is so cute, it was a great walk.