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Morning run - Brush Creek Ranch

Monday, April 11, 2022

Very Birdy

My world has been very birdy of late. 

Two days ago we had a northern flicker braying its fabulous squawk in our jacaranda tree off the living room. 

I couldn't even take a decent cell phone picture on account of the screen door as the cat was very interested in seeing the bird as well. 

Here is a flicker shot from my files.

They are a magnificent bird and their presence always puts a smile on my face.

Later that day Leslie says that she saw a yellow hummingbird in the yard. 

I asked her if it could have been a Rufous or an Allen's which are more orange in color and she said no, it was a yellow green. 

This has me stumped.

There is a yellow hummingbird but it lives in the Andes and I think that it is probably a bit too far away so the mystery continues.

Anyway Friday afternoon I am driving west on Alvarado and Main when I see a blue parakeet land on the car in front of me. 

That is certainly a first. Parrots, yes, parakeets, no.

A woman nearby tried to get it to fly into a basket, not sure if she was successful.

Saturday evening I floated the idea to my NextDoor bird group followers that we could have a birdwatching meetup in Cardiff at San Elijo Lagoon.

I posted a time and said meet me there at 7:45 a.m. I had forgotten to bring a strap for the heavy telephoto rig so I needed to go to my shop and pick it up.

So basically I was up at five o' clock and rolling.

Arriving very early, parking lot gate closed, I drove over to Einstein's in Solana Beach for a coffee. I like their coffee better than Starbucks.

I ordered a sesame bagel with a lox shmear. Guess what? No dice. They no longer sell the cream cheese / lox mixture. You can buy jalapeno salso or honey almond but you can no longer buy lox.

That is the problem with Einstein's. They sell chocolate chip bagels but you can't procure a simple lox spread. You have heard of gentrification? Plainly this is gentilefrication.

I made it to San Elijo and saw that I would be accompanied by exactly zero people on this outing, which was actually fine with me. 

It was still pretty dark and gloomy when I left but I managed to snag this hummer. It turned out to be an excellent day for shooting hummingbirds. At left is a rather peripatetic Anna's.

Soon after I found this Allen's darting around.

Mostly perfunctory morning, species wise but a great hike out to the bench which I really needed.

The usual suspects.


I am no Einstein on shorebirds but believe this fellow to my left is a Willet.


A mallard doing his thing amongst the reeds.


I am guessing that this is a Savannah Sparrow. Sparrows are not exactly my bag.


If I had to make a guess I would say this is a marbled godwit.

A pair of stilts cavorting.


There are some pretty spots in the lagoon if you know where to look. The hummers were definitely enamored with the echium spikes.

I made my way out to the bench, calculating my remaining time very carefully as I had a brunch date in Coronado to consider and I am quite obsessive about being punctual.

Caught this egret flying by on my cell phone.


Just an odd day. No peregrines, only one lone hawk, a dull male hooded oriole not really worth taking a picture of.  Honestly hardly ever see orioles out there.

Lots of hummers. 

Like this Anna's.

Nothing to write home about. Would take a month of Sundays to process all the hummingbird shots.

A great, vigorous walk in shoes that don't fit quite right. I still haven't washed the comfy pair that got doused with insecticide.

So I walk back to the farthest bridge. A thirty something woman in deep conversation with a man is sporting a horrific tattooed shield on her chest.

I thought of telling her how sorry I was for her misfortune when I had the sudden realization that the disfigurement was self inflicted. 

What possesses people?

Anyway, I made my way back to the nature center when I hit visual paydirt.

I saw this small Allen's hummingbird on a branch. I had no idea what was coming up next.


I think in aviation they call it "coming in hot." The bird started buzzing like a Tasmanian devil and fired up its feathers for the greatest tail display I have ever seen. 


It was unbelievable.


I have never seen a more beautiful hummingbird.


I honestly feel very privileged to have witnessed this.


I made my way to Coronado at the appointed hour, dined on excellent swordfish tacos at Miguel's Cocina with Kip and Chip. 

Had a nice listening session afterward with my two great audiophile friends, culminating with a nice listen on vinyl of Zappa's seminal Burnt Weeny Sandwich.

I hightailed it over to the family plot afterward, my sister's anniversary is coming up soon. 

I tended her and my grandmother's grave as best I could. 

Need to get the alkaline salts off grandma's gravestone.


I headed back to Fallbrook. We had a dinner engagement with a botanist and his wife that grow proteas out in De Luz.

I was on fumes, up for about twenty hours at that point but they were delightful and somehow I never got grouchy. Still, completely exhausted.

Drove through the canyon this morning and confirmed that the baby hawks had hatched. 

More pics to follow in the coming days.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonder-full day 🙏♥️😄🎶