Monday, January 11, 2016

First visit of the year to White Rock Lake

During my last meeting with Chuck Carlson he mentioned about the bird walks lead by Chris Runk at White Rock Lake fish hatchery area and he mentioned it would be a good walk to learn lot about the birds. The walk starts at around 7:30AM. The weather was pretty chilly and with wind too. It was challenge to bird near the Dam area because of the wind. We saw lot of Gulls and cormorants near the dam and huge batch of Bonaparte's gull flew by. It was my first sighting of this bird and size difference between Ring-billed and Bonaparte's was very obvious to the naked eye.

We saw lot of birds in the wooded area which include Woodpeckers, Flickers and sparrows. We also saw Wood ducks, Mallards and Shovelers in the wooded area. We came back to the dam after the sun was out and this time we saw lot of birds near the trees. We got very good looks of Golden-crowned Kinglet and ruby-crowned kinglets. We also saw Yellow-rumped warblers and orange-crowned warbler. We also saw a lone Sapsucker.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Northern Shoveler
After this me and Chuck went to TD hills area at White Rock lake to see the birds around. We saw Mallards, Coots and Shovelers here. But the highlight was seeing the number of Black-crowned night herons. We saw atleast 5 juveniles and atleast a dozen adult herons. I also saw few yellow-rumped warblers, field sparrow and monk parakeets here. Also saw both Neotropic and Double-crested cormorants. A very good place to observe the difference in these 2 cormorants. We also saw a lone Red-shouldered hawk and I saw crows chasing another Red-shouldered hawk here.

Northern Shoveler

Shoveler Beak pose

Double-crested Cormorant

Black-crowned Night Heron

Neotropic Cormorant

American Coot

Ring-billed Gull

White-winged Dove

Dark-eyed Junco

Song Sparrow?

Field Sparrow

Yellow-rumped Warble.
After this I decided to head towards the sunset bay area to try my luck with Buffleheads. Enroute on the lake I saw lot of Ruddy ducks. They had congregated at at 3 places and in total they were about 50 birds and all of them were kin of sleeping with the necks tucked inside :-). Really liked the way their tail feathers show up :-) Reached the sunset bay area and all I saw were Gulls, Coots and Mallards. There were lot of Cormorants on the lake too. Then I saw lone female Bufflehead and when I was trying to photograph it I saw all the cormorants took to air. And when we tried to see the reason for all this commotion I saw a big bird flying over this group and immediately took a photograph and looking at the bird I thought it had to be an eagle and when I reviewed the photo it was clear that it was a Bald Eagle, my first sighting of this bird:-) I had been waiting to see this bird for a long time. After this I headed back home with Bald Eagle flight running through my mind.

Rudy Duck

American Kestrel


Bald Eagle

Northern Mockingbird
Ebird lists for the day.

WRL Fish Hatchery area :
TD Hills area :
Sunset Bay area :

Birds seen during the day.

1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
2 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
3 Wood Duck
4 White-winged Dove
5 White-throated Sparrow
6 Tufted Titmouse
7 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
8 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
9 Ring-billed Gull
10 Red-winged Blackbird
11 Red-shouldered Hawk
12 Red-shouldered Hawk
13 Red-bellied Woodpecker
14 Pied-billed Grebe
15 Pied-billed Grebe
16 Orange-crowned Warbler
17 Northern Shoveler
18 Northern Mockingbird
19 Northern Flicker
20 Northern Cardinal
21 Neotropic Cormorant
22 Mourning Dove
23 Monk Parakeet
24 Mallard
25 Herring Gull
26 Hermit Thrush
27 Great Egret
28 Great Blue Heron
29 Golden-crowned Kinglet
30 Field Sparrow
31 European Starling
32 Eastern Phoebe
33 Eastern Bluebird
34 Downy Woodpecker
35 Double-crested Cormorant
36 Dark-eyed Junco
37 cormorant sp.
38 Carolina Chickadee
39 Bufflehead
40 Bonaparte's Gull
41 Blue Jay
42 Black-crowned Night-Heron
43 Black Vulture
44 Bald Eagle
45 American White Pelican
46 American Robin
47 American Kestrel
48 American Crow
49 American Coot

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