Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bird Sightings

Yesterday I saw a California Thrasher; have never seen one before. It was foraging around the lighthouse gardens. (The interpretive rangers keep a garden there similar to the one the lighthouse keeper family grew in the 1800s. And no doubt face the same challenges: although nearly everyone kept a garden for growing food in those days, sandstone and rock -- with extreme coastal weather -- doesn't provide ideal growing conditions.)  It shot out of the brush in front of me, and from behind it looked like a roadrunner with that roadrunner-stride and those long tail feathers. Then it stopped and turned, and the bill gave it away; no other California bird has that combination of super-long tail and decurved bill.

I spent the day at the whale overlook, sculpting in clay, and a kite was hanging around all morning.

White-tailed Kite

(formerly Black-shouldered Kite)
Elanus caeruleus

Beautiful to watch in flight; at first glance you might think you're watching a gull fly (the wings do look like gull's wings, and they hold them the same way), but that bullet head and falcon-like body are the giveaway clues. A raptor in Art Deco design.

Everyday sightings when you spend a day at at the park: pelicans, gulls, cormorants, red-tail hawks, hummingbirds, scrub jays, towhees.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful! Nature is art too, isn't it? I always love to look for local flora and fauna when I'm exploring someplace new.