Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Lewis’s Woodpecker

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Linda and William and I took a walk at Lake Los Carneros in Goleta today. It’s a beautiful spot, with lots of birds. One that I was hoping to see in particular was the single Lewis’s Woodpecker that has been seen there frequently over the last several months. Linda actually saw the bird when driving by Lake Los Carneros several weeks ago, and I’ve been really envious since then, because it’s a species I’ve never seen.

As we walked along the dirt road on the west side of the lake I took a look to the west, where some old conifer snags have been left standing, and lo and behold: There it was. The bird was very accommodating, giving us great views as we slowly moved closer to the snag, sharing the one pair of binoculars we’d brought among the three of us.

It really is a gorgeous bird, one that reminds me why I found bird-watching so exciting when I first started doing it as a child. Here’s some video that Ventura birder Don DesJardin took of this same bird at Lake Los Carneros a few months ago:

Lewis’s Woodpecker from Don DesJardin on Vimeo.

Mute Swan Siblings?

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

We’ve been seeing some young mute swans at the salt marsh for a while now. I had read some mentions of a trio of immature mute swans that people were seeing up in Santa Barbara, and it was just a few days later that I saw two of them, also immatures, down in the Carp salt marsh. I assumed they were the same birds, and that the three of them have been hanging around in various combinations ever since.

Lately I’ve been seeing a single mute swan, now in the stunning all-white adult plumage, in either the Franklin Creek or Santa Monica Creek channels at the marsh. Whenever I’m there with William and we see the swan he insists on my snapping a photo with my phone, so I have this to share: a shot of William watching the swan in the Franklin Creek Channel last weekend:

wm_swan2

This past Friday I was visiting UCSB as part of the incoming-freshmen-and-parents orientation (because Julia will be starting there in the fall), and as we were walking around near the dorms (which I note are in a more beautiful setting than anywhere I’ve ever lived), we spotted two mute swans in the campus lagoon. Here’s the (slightly fuzzy) shot I took:

ucsb_swans

I wonder if these are the other two of that original trio of siblings.