Hola Birding Enthusiasts. Our Birding Group outing last week was a bit different. We were invited to homes in Bahía Encanto and Costa Bella to view the birdlife. Special thanks to Cathy Henkel and to Gary and Debbie Wild for graciously hosting our group of 22 birders. Cathy’s place in Bahía Encanto was high and against the mountain. It was fun observing swallows from above instead of the usual tummy view. We also had nice viewings of the American Kestrel and a Canyon Wren.
Gary and Debbie Wild’s beautiful home sits above the Bahia Algodones. While we had fun observing the shore birds, we were totally distracted by the great viewings we had of whales. We watched them for over an hour. Spectacular! We finished our outing observing the shorebirds during lunch at the Esterito Cafe.
This week’s Bird of the Week is the American Avocet. The photo was taken by Darwin Park at the Estero Soldado this past Friday. The Avocet is a long-legged shorebird with a long distinctive upcurved bill. It winters here and has just gone into its breeding plumage which is shown in the photo. While they are a striking bird even in winter, the summer (breeding) plumage adds a lovely rust color to their heads and necks. Now is the time to head to estuaries to see them because they will soon be heading home to their breeding grounds in the US and Canada. They are usually in groups and feed by sweeping their bills from side to side.
Fun fact from iBird Pro: the chicks leave the nest within 24 hours after hatching. The day old chicks can walk, swim, and even dive to escape predators.
The Birding group will meet this Thursday as usual at 8:00am at the Esterito Cafe. I haven´t firmed up plans yet, but we will probably head to the Estero Soldado to find those Avocets.
by Mary Tannehill