Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On the Road Again

Today on my morning walk I ventured onto the road.  Adventure!  Well, okay, that might be a teeny bit of an exaggeration.  Still, it was cool!  Actually it was really quite hot.  Saw some cool stuff tho!  :-)

Once again, loads of flycatchers, also loads of white-winged doves.  They were plentiful, shade was scarce! I had great great looks at a troupial but my camera lens was still fogged up, so the pictures are crap.  Oh well, at least my eyes were happy!

Mystery Flycatchers

White-winged Dove

I was quite disturbed to see a smooshed scorpion on the road.  I should probably stay out of the grass/brush/forest.
Smooshed Scorpion
 Kestrel!  I wonder if it's the same one we saw yesterday.
American Kestrel
 Many of the trees were just loaded with nests along these lines.  And flycatchers were in many of the trees, so maybe the flycatcher nests look like this.  But there were so many of them!!!!
 From a bend in the road at the top of a hill, here is the view of the houses near our hotel and the ocean.  Maybe I've walked far enough for today!
Typical Road View
 These signs were along the side of the road every so often.  There was very little traffic here.

What a gorgeous little...... inlet?  Lagoon?  Doesn't it look like it would be a great spot to explore?  And what is that kestrel chasing?  Could it be a northern harrier?  Is that a white rump?  Some sort of hawk?  I can't tell.
Mystery Raptor and American Kestrel
 Another turkey vulture soaring overhead.
Turkey Vulture
 On the way back, passing the same pretty lagoon, another chase!  It still looks like the kestrel is after something, but what is it chasing?  Looks like a hawk to me, but there are not a lot of good candidates in my guide book.  They are all listed as uncommon or rare or vagrant, or don't match the picture somehow.  I waited for quite some time to see the hawk would come back around, but, no luck.
Mystery Hawk and American Kestrel
 "Dude, chill!  I'm going, I'm going!"
Mystery Hawk and American Kestrel
I also saw the kestrel hunting, and that's about when the truck stopped and one of the four guys in there talked to me.  Nervous!  But it turns out that they work for the forest reserve up the road, and they told me how to get to the trailhead that links up to this road.  Sweet!  It's further than I walked today but not too much further, and I don't have to go all the way around to the car entrance.  That's great news! Okay, adrenaline everywhere, take a breath and head back to the hotel.

 A different kind of mystery flycatcher.
Mystery Flycatcher
 The troupial is back!  Not as close and the light is not as good, but, hey, it's a troupial!
 Back to the hotel and a hearty breakfast which I feel I well and truly earned.  Then to the beach to watch the bird channel!
Little Blue Heron
 Green herons are funnier on windy days.
Green Heron
 This one decided to try out its fancy dance steps.  Yes, my toes are blocking a bit of the picture.  But I was so relaxed on my lounge chair in the shade and a nice breeze that I was just unwilling to move them out of the way.  :-)
Green Heron
 I got up enough energy to walk down to the birdier end of the beach and a ruddy turnstone came over.
Ruddy Turnstone
 This was as intense as the encounter got, then they just ignored each other.  The green heron did chase off other green herons though.  The high count of green herons was seven!  I mean I could stand on the beach in one spot and see seven different green herons just by turning my head.  It was awesome!
Ruddy Turnstone and Green Heron
 At lunch this iguana showed off its new skin.  Now that's bright!
 We walked on the beach to visit the killdeer.  You can't tell but this is a picture of killdeer copulating. Yes it is.  Yes it is!  See, that one vaguely white-with-black-marking blotch is the male killdeer.  THe female is underneath.  Yes she is!  Damn you autofocus!
 See?  There are two of them!  An awkward post-coital moment.........
 I was extremely proud of myself for spotting a land crab.  They are notoriously hard to catch out of their hidey-holes.  Then I saw that the pictures contain several other land crabs that I completely missed at the time, even though I thought I was looking carefully......  :-)
Land Crabs

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