Harlequin Duck at Mission Bay


Laguna Mts. & San Diego
Nov 22, 2003, cool & sunny
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

Al & Helga and I took a day trip to the coast to see if we could spot some new birds!  
species total

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

We started out at 5:30a.m. and made it to Jacumba at the break of dawn.  After some hunting, we found Tri-colored Blackbirds, a Nutall's Woodpecker, California Thrashers, and California Towhees.

Al & Helga on the Ocean Beach Pier

Western Scrub Jay

A little farther down the road at Live Oak Springs we saw a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks, Oak Titmice, Lesser Goldfinches, lots of sparrows, and this Western Scrub Jay
Our first stop in San Diego was at Mission Bay, where we saw Brant and this beautiful male Harlequin Duck!

Harlequin Duck

Heerman's Gull

At the flood control channel of the San Diego River we found many varieties of shorebirds, and on a return trip in the late afternoon we scored with the Eurasian Wigeon.  

Marbled Godwit 

Along the coast at Ocean Beach we were treated to close views of this Marbled Godwit, Black-bellied Plovers, and lots of gulls, including the handsome Heerman's Gull. 

At the end of the Ocean Beach Pier we found our prize - eleven dark-phase Northern Fulmars and one light-phase Northern Fulmar.  It was great watching these pelagic birds swimming and flying about, from our vantage point 30' above them on the pier.  These birds have learned the art of stealing bait and fish from the fishing lines. 

Northern Fulmar

Hermit Thrush

From there we went to the "Drip" at Coronado National Monument on Point Loma, where we spent a little while watching Golden-crowned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, and this Hermit Thrush.

Our final stop for the day was at Quivera Basin and the mouth of Mission Bay, where we spotted a Red-throated Loon.  And then we drove home to Yuma, reflecting on all the great birds we had seen!


Al on Mission Bay

Laguna Mts. and San Diego, 22 Nov 2003
# Species
1 Red-throated Loon
2 Pacific Loon
3 Pied-billed Grebe
4 Horned Grebe
5 Eared Grebe
6 Western Grebe
7 Northern Fulmar
8 Brown Pelican
9 Brandt's Cormorant
10 Double-crested Cormorant
11 Pelagic Cormorant
12 Great Blue Heron
13 Great Egret
14 Snowy Egret
15 Little Blue Heron
16 Brant
17 Gadwall
18 Eurasian Wigeon
19 American Wigeon
20 Blue-winged Teal
21 Mallard
22 Cinnamon Teal
23 Northern Shoveler
24 Northern Pintail
25 Green-winged Teal
26 Canvasback
27 Redhead
28 Lesser Scaup
29 Harlequin Duck
30 Surf Scoter
31 Bufflehead
32 Ruddy Duck
33 Osprey
34 Red-shouldered Hawk
35 Red-tailed Hawk
36 American Kestrel
37 California Quail
38 American Coot
39 Black-bellied Plover
40 Semipalmated Plover
41 Killdeer
42 Greater Yellowlegs
43 Willet
44 Spotted Sandpiper
45 Whimbrel
46 Marbled Godwit
47 Black Turnstone
48 Sanderling
49 Least Sandpiper
50 Long-billed Dowitcher
# Species
51 Turkey Vulture
52 Bonaparte's Gull
53 Heerman's Gull
54 Ring-billed Gull
55 California Gull
56 Western Gull
57 Caspian Tern
58 Forster's Tern
59 Rock Pigeon
60 Mourning Dove
61 Anna's Hummingbird
62 Belted Kingfisher
63 Acorn Woodpecker
64 Nuttal's Woodpecker
65 Northern Flicker
66 Black Phoebe
67 Say's Phoebe
68 Western Scrub Jay
69 American Crow
70 Common Raven
71 Oak Titmouse
72 White-breasted Nuthatch
73 Bewick's Wren
74 House Wren
75 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
76 Western Bluebird
77 Hermit Thrush
78 American Robin
79 Northern Mockingbird
80 California Thrasher
81 European Starling
82 American Pipit
83 Cedar Waxwing
84 Phainopepla
85 Orange-crowned Warbler
86 Yellow-rumped Warbler
87 Spotted Towhee
88 California Towhee
89 Fox Sparrow
90 Song Sparrow
91 Lincoln's Sparrow
92 White-crowned Sparrow
93 Golden-crowned Sparrow
94 Dark-eyed Junco
95 Red-winged Blackbird
96 Tricolored Blackbird
97 Brewer's Blackbird
98 House Finch
99 Lesser Goldfinch
100 House Sparrow

Photos Henry D. Detwiler