June 2010 home page

  Stalking the Spotted Sandpiper
Ed Mirsky | Hoska Drive with pictures by Paul Haydu | San Dieguito Drive


Cliff Swallows gathering mud for their nests.  Photo Paul Haydu


Ed: Are you ready to go birding?

Paul: Do you have a spot in mind?

Ed: Yeah—I went on the Lagoon bird count last Sunday, and we saw a Eurasian Wigeon in one of the ponds on the south side of the lagoon. That’s a really good bird. I thought we’d check it out. And one of the other groups reported Clapper Rail, Virginia Rail, and Sora. They saw/heard them along the river on the east side of the Polo Fields. There’s a gate on Via de la Valle just past Knorr’s candle shop. It’s open to the public. I thought we’d check that out, too.

Paul: Sounds good. Let’s go.

Ed: Oh well—the wigeon was in that pond last week. Let’s check out the Grand Avenue bridge and see if the Cliff Swallows are still gathering mud for their nests.

Paul: They’re not here. But, I got a great shot of them last week. And, as luck would have it, I also encountered a Spotted Sandpiper. Let’s go to the polo fields.

Ed: What do you know: the gate’s open. Did you hear that? It’s a California Gnatcatcher. Maybe I can pish it out so you can get a picture. Oh cuss, it’s not responding!

Paul: That’s all right. I got a good picture of a male House Finch.

Ed: Let’s go check out the pond behind the horse corrals. Look—there’s a Killdeer doing a broken wing display to guide us away from its nest.

Paul: I got some good pictures. Lots of ducks, but they’re moving to the other side of the pond. Let’s go around to the other side. The sun will be behind me and I can get some good pictures.

Ed: Okay, now that we’re on the east side the ducks are going to the west side. You stay here. I’ll go around and wrangle them ducks.

Paul: It worked. I got some good pictures of Blue-winged Teal and Ruddy Ducks.

Ed: Great! And I flushed a snipe.

Paul: Right.

Ed: Let’s check out the trees on the way to the river. There were Western Bluebirds and Lawrence’s Goldfinch last week.

Ed: Oh well, we didn’t see the rails but we heard Clapper Rail, and you got some great pictures. What do you think? Next week we check out the Clark’s Grebes and Western Grebes on Lake Hodges. We can pick up the trail head next to Hernandez Hide-a-Way, or on the east side of I-15 just past the Sikes Adobe. Time for lunch. Feel like Clair’s in Solana Beach?

Paul: I’m always ready to eat.

Spotted Sandpiper.  Photo Paul Haydu



More Bird Pictures by Paul Haydu


The FSDRV has bird count walks scheduled for
June 6, July 11, Aug 8, Sept 5.



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