Friday, October 15, 2010

Monterey Bay Birding Festival - part 2

My husband and I visited the Ventana Wildlife Society on Friday the 24th. This place is located at Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur. The event was an all-day session where we were to see bird banding demonstrations in the morning and searching for California Condors in the afternoon. I was so fascinated with the bird banding that I failed to get photos of the birds that were caught and banded. It's amazing how small the birds look when they are held in one's hand. Some of the species caught and banded were lesser goldfinches, white crowned sparrows, Lincoln's sparrows, Wilson's warblers, and wrentits. We even hiked to the areas where the mist nets were to see how the birds are carefully taken out of the nets and placed in cloth bags, then taken back to the banding area where the birds would be checked over for molt or worn feathers, weighed and banded, then released. Afterwards, lunch was provided. And then it was time to caravan to several locations south of Big Sur to try to locate the condors. Sad to say, we only saw a brief glimpse of one lone female condor who flew to one of her favorite trees to perch, according to the condor expert. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos taken on Friday, but it still was lots of fun.
Saturday's activity was a half-day field trip to Natural Bridges State Beach. Our leader was Jennifer Rycenga, who has been a birder for quite some time and has been a leader in the past for the festival. We had the opportunity of hiking on a trail which took us from a wooded area to the beach. But the best location for taking photos was at the beach.

A whimbrel on the rock.

More whimbrels -- they are so photogenic.
Here's a black phoebe perched on the rock. The background seems so out of place for a black phoebe. Well, at least to me it seems out of place.
These dark colored gulls are Heermann's gulls, with a few more whimbrels thrown in.
And on this rock there were mostly cormorants, one brown pelican, and another gull.
And I couldn't resist to get this photo of a cormorant sunning himself.


Erie's Argonaut said...

The birding festival must have been fun. I helped with bird banding a few times and the tiny birds get in those nets and such care has to be taken to get them out. It was surprising to see these birds in hand and be able to really look them over and see their features. We lose most of our birds for such a long time during the winter her in the NE. Your photos are awesome. Lucky you living so close to the ocean!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Sounds like fun.I have found that any time birders get together they enjoy each other and the birds.

Mary C said...

Hi Linda - yes, we're only about 35-40 minutes from the ocean, and about 1-1/2 hours from Monterey. It's one of my favorite places to visit and bird. You must have some fierce winters if all the birds in your area disappear. Not even cardinals who supposedly like winters?

Mary C said...

Hi Ruth - so glad you visited. I sure hope Jake is doing better. I enjoy attending festivals two or three times a year. I feel I learn so much from others who know their birds. But I also enjoy walking around by myself at times just to enjoy watching and listening to the birds, even if I can't identify them.


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