This morning I decided to make my "target" habitat instead of a particular bird . . . it worked!
Just east of Otter Slough CA on the north end, there is private property for a duck hunting club where there is still some water in their fields with a good concentration of ducks. Upon arriving this morning there I scanned through the waterfowl and immediately noticed 4 drake Northern Pintails preening alongside Mallards. As I scanned the remainder of the pool, also noticed two drake Blue-winged Teal feeding in the shallows.
I remained at the location for about 35 minutes scanning the pool then the skies. Heard calling were Least Sandpipers, while there was a visible lone Solitary Sandpiper feeding. Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons were also scattered about feeding in the field.
While near the west end of the field, I heard calling and visibly observed a single Lesser Yellowlegs flying by overhead. It was at about 7:30 a.m. that something caught my attention to my right. It was a Juvenile White Ibis moving behind some young willow trees.
After taking several photographs of the bird, it flew to the southern end of the pool of water, preened a bit and began feeding down there. Not-so-great image can be viewed here:
Continuing on around Otter Slough CA in a counterclockwise fashion, on the west side, a single calling Greater Yellowlegs flew overhead as well as several Black-necked Stilts.
After circumnavigating Otter Slough CA, I decided to check on the juv. White Ibis again before heading home, and at the location observe Bruce Beck looking over the field. He had not relocated the White Ibis but did observe the BW Teals, N. Pintails and a juv. Little Blue Heron.
Bruce and I spent about 30 minutes killing time while looking over the birds as they came and went and milled about. A lone Spotted Sandpiper was present feeding along the mud flats, and due to the rising temps in the direct sunlight, it seemed to prefer the cover of freestanding lily pads for shade.
A Mississippi Kite graced us with his presence over the field. This cause quite a stir among the shorebirds as 20-30 Killdeer took to wing along with ~22 calling Least Sandpipers and three Solitary Sandpipers.
Including one Am. Coot and a family of Pied-billed Grebes, 9 "waterfowl" species, and 7 shorebird species were observed.
All in all, it was a terrific morning to be out and about as summer
birding goes. I'll try to get full report on CACHE tonight . . . I have a leaking faucet that is calling my name right now!
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