Friday, January 25, 2008

Birding at Shoreline Lake in Mountain View

Back in early December, Sunday the 2nd to be exact, my birding buddy and I met at Palo Alto Baylands. I had not been there since June and I wanted to see what birds were there this time of year. Unfortunately, this was an extremely windy day which made it difficult and almost impossible to see many birds. So my friend suggested we could try Shoreline in Mountain View. So that's where we went. Wind was quite strong there, too. But there were a couple of spots around the lake where we could find a little protection standing next to some trees and tall shrubs. Below is a photo of Mount Hamilton in the distance from Shoreline Lake. I can't remember what birds were on the lake and flying around in this picture, but I thought this was a good shot as an overview of the area.
Here in a marshy area is a fairly good shot of a male mallard.
This photo shows a Clark's grebe and a surf scoter. I'm not positive about the grebe being a Clark's. The color of its bill says it's a Clark's, but the black on the top of its head seems to be below the eye, which would identify it as a Western grebe. But for now I'll call it a Clark's grebe. Seeing surf scoters on the lake was quite exciting. I had never seen one before - lifer! I can't seem to ID those other "ducks" in the background. You can click on any of the pix to get a larger view.
Here is another lifer - a common goldeneye. Isn't he a beauty? Take note of the choppy waters.
And here is a cutie-"pie." A pied-billed grebe. I think they are some of the cutest of all waterfowl. I think my favorite is the American Wigeon, and the pied-billed grebe is second.
Here is another shot of the pied-billed grebe with (I think) a lesser scaup in the background.
And here is one that is difficult (for me) to identify. The quality of the photo isn't very good, but looking in my guide it seems to look like a ruddy duck, yet its bill has the look of a norther shoveler. Maybe someone can help me identify this one.
Here is another shot of the surf scoter. Is that a female surf scoter next to the male?
Anyway, even though the wind was strong and it more or less shortened our birding time, I think we still had a fruitful afternoon. Other birds we saw were black-crowned night herons and snowy egrets back in the marsh. And we also saw a couple of double-crested cormorants and a few American coots.


Mary said...

Hi Mary, I wish I could help you with IDs. Honestly, most of your ducks would be lifers for me! I'm not very good at waterfowl.

I'd be thrilled to see them around here. Loved that Common Goldeneye.

Nice shots!

Mary C said...

Hi Mary - I should pose the same question to you as I did to Ruthie - that we would all have lots of lifers if we should ever visit each other. ;o) Even your backyard birds would be so cool - such as your chickadees, wrens, and nuthatches. Yes, I get chickadees and titmice, but they aren't the same species out here as they are back east.

Dorothy said...

Hi Mary,

Your western ducks are so pretty.
You are lucky to have a friend to go birding with. I miss a lot about California, I didn't notice a lot of birds though, when we lived in Irvine. I guess it was too citified of an area.

Thank you for revisiting my blog.
Winters here seem so dreadfully long and grey, and a garden seemed like just the thing to cure the midwinter blahs.

Hugs to you!

nina said...

Water birds are hard to photograph! All the boobing and diving--not to mention distance from them!
At least yours are recognizable--mine never are!

mon@rch said...

always love your photos and these are some great shots! Waterfowl never let me get close enough to such great photos!


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