We found a "sleeping" female Wood Duck at Ogier Ponds on Saturday. Cricket snapped a few pictures before she awoke, and I began a portrait tonight from her shots. I've never used the grid method to transfer a photo to paper, but so far it's working nicely. Perhaps this is enough for tonight.
I worked more on the "sleeping" female Wood Duck tonight. I don't think she's done yet, but I perhaps this is all I should do tonight. The purple, blue, green iridescence is hard for me. I am still baffled by the abrupt curve in her outer primaries of her lower wing. The photograph shows a near crescent-moon shaped leading edge of white which "spoons" in in a peculiar way...
I thought in light of the previous post, it might be good to spotlight a website I find really useful for my class. While it's not an absolutely complete collection of wings and tail specimens (no Western Sandpiper, for example), it is certainly a big collection. Take a look and check out Dunlin P5 dorsal and ventral while you're at it...
Brian and I birded the Ravenswood Trail of Don Edward at lunch. We took the trail leading north away the Dumbarton Bridge and headed toward the bay. When we reached the first left turn of the trail we looked back to toward the bridge and saw a SHORT-EARED OWL flying about 50' over the water from the broken levy. It slowly mothed its way around the point and continued westward where we lost track of it below the edge of the levy. We searched along the shores of the bay, but there is no vegetation in this area, so we expect it continued toward Bayfront Park.
Great birds on the San Mateo County coast today during our class field trip. At Cascade Ranch we found the famous Harris's Sparrow, 5-6 White-throated Sparrows. and several Allen's Hummingbirds. Pigeon Point Lighthouse produced several White-winged Scoters. Pescadero Beach overlook gave us a pair of Black Scoters, and at Pilarcitos Creek mouth there was a first-cycle Glaucous Gull. It was a great day despite the rain and wind!
A brief visit to PA Baylands during lunch today was productive. Many MEW and BONAPARTE'S GULLS were in the channel off the new yacht club building. As I scanned through the group, three AMERICAN WIGEONS and one drake EURASIAN WIGEON. On the Duck Pond I also got to study GREATER and LESSER SCAUP side by side. Even while they slept, their headshape was distinctive.
Lunch hour was good to me today. At Charleston Slough I got great looks at the American Bittern. On Shoreline Lake, both the Barrow's Goldeneye and Red-throated Loon were easily refound. Finally, the recently reported Snow Goose at the kite flying area of Shoreline Park, was very cooperative.
Cricket and I followed up a report of 3rd-cycle Glaucous Gull in Alviso this morning. We easily refound the bird on the first island on A16. Not exactly sure why this is a third-cycle, except for the faint ring around the bill, because all plumage aspects appeared to be adult.