Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another visit to Palo Alto Baylands - part 2

As mentioned in my previous post, this little trip to the Palo Alto Baylands took place in early October. The previous post showed all the scenic landscape in the area and around the Bay Area. This post is strictly the photos I have of the birds Red and I saw. Red will be posting her photos very soon, and you will want to visit her blog since she has better quality photos.
Typical of what one would see at the Baylands, especially around the Duck Pond, are Canada Geese, mallards, even hybrid mallards, and lots of coots and gulls. Above is my one shot of the all too "common" Canada Goose. Below are some hybrid geese found near the snowy egrets. If you look closely you can also see a male mallard in this hybrid geese photo.
(Don't forget to click on the images)
This shot of the male mallard and American coot was also taken at the Duck Pond. This area is well visited and many of these birds are looking for a handout from the clueless folks who visit. There are signs posted all over asking people to not feed the animals, but nobody pays attention to the signs.
This pair of male mallards was taken along the trail, away from the Duck Pond. I so love seeing their bright green heads and dark curly "tails."
I felt like this snowy egret was sitting there posing for me.
Farther down the trail Red and I saw several different water birds. This photo has a mixture of American Avocets in their winter plumage and marbled godwits.
All marbled godwits here except for the one American Avocet. This was taken just about twenty feet away from the previous photo.
And then we saw Northern Shovelers, and I think the other birds are western sandpipers. If any experts out there can tell me differently, I would welcome the correction.
Here's another shot of Northern shovelers found on the opposite side of the trail.
Here are a couple of long-billed curlews offset by more American Avocets.
I would certainly say we had a very varied birdy experience for being there for just a few hours. Along with the beautiful sunsets and alpenglow of the hills around the Bay and seeing a good variety of bird species we "done good!"


Linda in Erie said...

It must have been quite satisfying to see so many different birds on your outing. I think the Mallards are gorgeous and love that metallic green color they have. The Snowy Egret is such a pretty bird!

Lynne said...

Looks like a fun time. Canada geese are oh-so-common here too but I still think they are handsome birds.

Leedra said...

It appears you had a great trip. My favoirite is the Mallard pair.

Anonymous said...

The shorebirds w/the Northern Shovelers are Willets - Western Sandpipers are verrry small. Willets in basic plumage are notable for their near-total lack of notable details :)

Looks like you had a fine walk - I need to get back there (and birding generally) soon!

Red said...

Ah... I agree with Adam :) I don't know what that one bird is between the Willet on the left and the Northern Shovelers in the back, but I don't think it's also a Willet. That one does have sandpiper-ish feathers, but clearly the blah gray birds are willets... the one in the middle front is showing a bit of black giving a hint of it's odd b/w pattern in flight.

Yep, a nice birdy day... didn't seem to be that much variety at the time, but pictures sure help to record and ID more.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Great pictures.The variety of birds must have made for a good day.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that is a good location for birding, but I've never had a chance to visit it in person.

Does the coot know it's in a DUCK pond? Does it care? :)

Mary C said...

Thanks, Linda. It sounds like you like the mallards for the same reason I do - their color.

Thanks, Lynne. I feel the same way about the Canada geese. There's something that attracts me to watch these birds.

Leedra, thank you. Those green shiny heads are so attractive. Aren't they?

Adam, thank you so much for the correction. I should have known I could count on you. As you said: "I need to get back there (and birding generally) soon!" I would love to have you and Sarah join me and Red one of these days. But I see from your web site that wedding bells are quickly approaching. I'm so happy for both of you. I will be out of town at that time (Crane Festival in New Mexico), but I hope that later in the year or early in 2009 we can meet at Baylands or even Shoreline.

Red, I pulled up my original image on that photo and after zooming in still can't tell what it is since its head is missing. I guess we'll have to forego that ID - not enough to go on.

Thanks, Ruth. It really was a more birdy day than what we originally realized. The Baylands seem to host quite a variety of water and shorebirds which makes it quite attractive for birding visitors.

Hi Wren - I loved your question. Actually, there are always all kinds of birds in that duck pond - sometimes the other species outnumber the ducks! ;o) BTW, the Baylands and Shoreline are great places for birding. If you should ever visit, let me know. It would be fun to bird there together.

Shellmo said...

A great variety! I just loved the green in those mallard's heads!

nina said...

The first photo of the "common" goose is beautiful.
Even commoners look nice reflected on water!

Mary C said...

Hi Shelley - thanks. I'm glad you liked those male mallards. I think that green is so iridescent.

Hi Nina - yes, even commoners can have beautiful reflections on water.

Kathiesbirds said...

Yes you did! I used to see the long-billed curlews at the Bear River Miratory Refuge in Utah. They are so cool!


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