Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Things that fly....

Today I am going to post 2 pages, the first having to do with 'Things that fly'

Last week on Thursday (10-21) while on my way to Santa Cruz I noticed over a hundred white pelicans at Struve Slough. That was a good reason to make a stop there, even though the light was not too great. I was very happy that I did! There were about a dozen different water bird species hanging out there. The ones that I was able to ID are:

Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax, such a fun name!)
White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 
American Coot (Fulica americana)
as well as some gulls and one bird I was unable to ID.  

This first photo is of a black-crowned night heron and a great egret. While I see black-crowned night herons on a regular basis in Watsonville, I have never seen as many as I did this day. There were about fifteen spaced out around the slough. 
 This, again, is a black-crowned night heron sitting in a tree.
The white pelicans that come to Struve Slough do so usually to feed. Unlike their relatives, the brown pelican who dive into the water from the air, they dip their entire head into the water and muck up food.
 Here are some more white pelicans, and two are fighting over resting space.
 Like I said earlier, there were over 100 pelicans (and they are the reason why I stopped), so I had to get a shot of the clustered feeding they were partaking in.