Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Upper Truckee Marsh 10/27/09

On my return trip from a business trip to Fallon, NV I stopped to see what the winds had brought into Lake Tahoe. I felt the best spot to check would be at the end of Tahoe Keys Blvd in South Lake Tahoe at the delta of the Upper Truckee River. There was a strong, cold, and persistent wind the majority of my stay that left my hands numb. Snow put in a cameo appearance at one point and from the northeast I could see much more as it was engulfing that end of the lake.

A few birds were nice, if a bit unexpected...

A juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was hunting the meadow to the south of Vienna (the entrance road to the Tahoe Keys Marina).

2 AMERICAN AVOCETS looked very cold in the water just past the jetty.

A single HERRING GULL was in with California and Ring-billed Gulls.

This LARK SPARROW was foraging on the ground near the car as I returned. I'm not sure of the status of Lark Sparrow here but it looked a bit out of place sitting in an evergreen.

Other highlights included 2 BALD EAGLES (1 adult and 1 sub-adult), 1 NORTHERN HARRIER, 1 RED-TAILED HAWK, 12 HORNED LARKS on the shoreline, and a bevy of waterfowl-1 RUDDY DUCK, 4 AMERICAN WIGEON, 18 NORTHERN PINTAIL, 1 NORTHERN SHOVELER, 16 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, MALLARDS. To top it off were several BLACK-BILLED MAGPIES that are resident here.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Monterey Seabirds Trip 9/26/09

Pink-footed Shearwater

Had a great outing with Monterey Seabirds with the annual Sacramento Audubon Society chartered trip. Highlights included 1 TUFTED PUFFIN (a lifer!), 1 FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER, 1 adult SABINE'S GULL, a few BULLER'S SHEARWATER, BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, ASHY STORM-PETREL, BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER, PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER, COMMON TERN, POMERINE JAEGER, PARASITIC JAEGER, and NORTHERN FULMAR. On the marine mammal front we had some good looks at RISSO'S DOLPHIN, HUMPBACK WHALE, COMMON DOLPHIN, and PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN along with the ubiquitous CALIFORNIA SEA LION, HARBOR SEAL, and SEA OTTER.

Sabine's Gull

A Pomerine Jaeger raises hell with a Pink-footed Shearwater and a Heerman's Gull

Heerman's Gull

A pod of Risso's Dolphins

Tufted Puffin

Pink-footed Shearwater

Humpback Whale giving the boat a wave