Monday, July 2, 2007

Bulletin #5 - Monterey CA #4

David McDonald Photography
Friendswood Texas

Bulletin #5 – Monterey, California – part 4

Hello friends,

There are just a few more birds from the Monterey trip.

The first are 2 closely related grebes. In fact, there were considered a single species until about 10 years ago when they were split.

The first is the Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis). Notice that the black extends below the eye. The eye is surrounded by black. Also, the bill is yellow.

The other is the Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii). It is very similar, but notice that the black is above the eye. The eye is surrounded by white. The bill is orange on this bird.

These are both large birds – length of 25”.

Cormorants are long-necked water birds familiar to all of us. There are 2 common cormorants on the Monterey coast. These are Brandt’s and Pelagic.

The Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) is a communal nester on rocks and jetties. It has a distinctive bluish throat surrounded with beige feathers. Here is a close-up of the head and neck – showing the blue throat and blue eye.

Here is a nest with several downy young visible.

Here is the Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus). It has distinctive white patches on the rump which are visible when the bird if flying.

Scoters are a group of sea ducks that generally occur in colder oceans. Here is the male Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata). Notice the white patches on nape of neck and forehead. The bill is multicolored and he has a white eye.

There were several small miscellaneous passerines I photographed with my guide, Rick Fournier ( finding the birds for me.

Here is the White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) in a typical upside down on the tree trunk posture.

Here is the Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) a tiny mite of a bird that travels in small flocks. Like all active little birds, it is very difficult to get a good photo. However, with patience, I nabbed this guy in the open.

This newly fledged Wilson’s Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla) still has downy feathers on its breast. One can make out the darker cap on to of its head which is the ID mark for this bird.

Here is another mite of a bird, the Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus). The Latin name is longer than the bird!

His cousin is the Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens).

Well that wraps up the long list of bird photos that I got on my recent trip to the central California Coast.

My next bulletin will show photos from my trip to Miami, Florida 2 weeks ago. Miami is an exciting city for birders because of the profusion of exotic escaped and feral parrots and other strange non-native species. I had a guide there as well, so stay tuned for some unusual birds.

My birding guide in Monterey was Rick Fournier. His web site is Monterey Birding Adventures.
and his email is

All comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

Happy Birding,

David McDonald
photos copyright 2007 David McDonald

Note – photos with the name preceded by an asterisk were updated for this blog and the text was edited accordingly

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