7.22.2015

Birds of Newport and Huntington Beach

This post is devoted to my feathered friends who bring so much joy to my heart, fill me with wonder and make me squeal with delight when we are near each other. Over the last several years I have been attempting to photograph as many birds as possible. If I had a mega lens this post would be much longer and better but I'm grateful for the lens I have and for shots I've gotten. There have been so many days when I didn't have my camera and  have spotted some amazing birds. At this point I almost never leave home without it because you never know what might fly by!

We will begin this journey at Newport Back Bay. Upper Newport Bay is home to approximately 200 species of birds. In the winter, when migrating birds from Alaska and Canada are there the bay becomes home to up to 30,000 birds!
Below is a collage I made to give you an idea of what a section of it looks like.
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Willet
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White-crowned Sparrow
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The next three are either Anna's or Allen's hummingbirds.
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House Finch
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Our next stop will be Talbert Nature Preserve. We live next to a section of this large park and I frequent it almost daily.
Red-tailed Hawk
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Northern Harrier
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Least Bittern
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Common Yellowthroat
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Great Blue Heron
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Osprey
We watched this female soar from her nest in search of food.
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Great Egret
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Turkey Vulture
We see many of these daily but on one special afternoon as the kids and I were walking to the car we spotted one on the neighbors lawn. It was eating a rat and we watched until it was finished. The kids were all at once disgusted and fascinated. They still talk about it often and don't think they'll ever forget it. Neither will I!
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Least Tern
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Spotted Towhee
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Now we will head a few miles up PCH to Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach.
Snowy Egret
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Clapper Rail
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Least Tern
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Stilt Sandpiper????
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Double-crested Cormorant
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Least Sandpiper
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This last section of pictures are from right around my home.
Hooded Oriole
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House Finch
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Lesser Goldfinch
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Mourning Dove
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Brown Pelican on the peir
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I saved my most memorable sighting for last. I've seen owls swoop by a couple times, I have found and dissected owl pellets but this was the only time I saw an owl perched in the daytime. Of course I only had my phone which explains the terrible photo but it was so awesome to be so close and observe this fascinating creature for several minutes. This was taken about four years ago and although I keep an eye for owls every day I've yet to see another one.
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Phew! Did you make it to the end of this? Do you have a favorite bird? Did you find this interesting or incredibly boring? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

I want to add that I am a birding novice so if I've incorrectly identified one of these, please feel free to let me know.

I found the wonderful site Natural History of Orange County to be very helpful in helping me to identify some of the birds. Thank you for such a great website!

♥ anne

7 comments :

  1. these are wonderful! kudos to identifying them as well!

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  2. I've been having trouble commenting, but I just wanna say that I love this project. Which book are you using? <3

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    1. Oh no :( that stinks. Hopefully it was just some sort of glich and not anything major.

      Thanks! I'm using a field guide for Newport Beach. It's been extremely helpful because it narrows things down. I wouldn't have even known where to begin without it :)

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  3. love! birds of a feather and all that ;)

    i have so many of those "Doh! Why didn't I bring my camera?!?" moments. And it's always when you don't have it that the super magic thing happens. Then you end up telling tales that sound like "the one that got away" fish story. but we both know they're true. i got your back.

    look forward to bird watching with you some day. and my vote is for more awesome bird pics.

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  4. Haha! It's totally the one that got away! "It was THIS BIG." I'm happy you enjoyed it because I always love your bird pictures!

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thank you so much for stopping by. please feel free to leave a comment! i love reading them :)


anne