Thursday, June 7, 2007

Bulletin #2 - Monterey CA #1

David McDonald Photography
Friendswood Texas

Bulletin #2 – Monterey California – part 1

Hello friends,

I had the pleasure of a trip to Monterey CA over the week of Memorial Day. I did a lot of photography by myself, but also had an excellent guide for a day who, showed me many more birds than I could ever have found myself in a whole week. His name is Rick Fournier(website and email at end of bulletin) if anyone needs a good guide out there.

There were very few late migrants still there, so I concentrated on the summer resident birds.

Here is the Violet-green Swallow (male). In my opinion it is the most beautiful North American Swallow.

A California endemic is the Yellow-billed Magpie. I’m sure many of you have seen the Black-billed Magpie in the Rockies, but this bird in confined to central California. Also note the patch of bare yellow skin below the eye.

Another local specialty is the Tricolored Blackbird. It is similar to our Red-winged Blackbird (RWB), but it has a white wingbar below the red. The male has a ‘milk white’ strip on his wing and the red epaulet is usually hidden. The female is much darker than the female RWB.

There are also a pair of orioles resident there. The first is the Bullock’s Oriole. This is the bird that was once lumped with our eastern Baltimore Oriole(BO) as the Northern Oriole. It was later split again. Notice the mostly orange head and the large white wing patch on the male. I didn’t get photos of the female. This male is very different than the male BO.

The other local oriole is the Hooded Oriole. It is known for nesting in palm trees. I did manage to get 3 different plumages in photos. The male is first.

The second is the 1st year male which is similar to the 1st year male Orchard Oriole with the black throat patch. Here he is in a palm tree!

And lastly, the plain female resembles other female orioles.

My excellent guide was Rick Fournier. His web site is Monterey Birding Adventures.

and his email is

Happy Birding,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2007 David McDonald

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