Wednesday, April 20, 2016

catching up part #2

In the second part of my "where the heck has Tom been" blog post, it will cover our mini vacation over to the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja. Conquista Agraria is a very remote stretch of beach, mostly know by surfers as it has a decent break, in one small section. For me it has a great group of shore birds, many of which, are now going into their seasonal, or breeding plumage. This that time of year when drab, plain birds all put on their best and brightest colors, in an effort to attract a mate.

There usually are a few of the local desert birds, Gnat-catchers, White-wing & Ground Doves, Kestrels, and Cactus Wrens, just to name a few.

The bulk of my interst in this area, was the large numbers of Black-bellied Plovers last time we were there. I do not have a good set of photos for them in full breeding plumage. As you can see here, there were not quite ready for the photo session I had planned. Still not the solid black bellys they are named for! But getting close, guess we will just have to go back!

The spotted Sandpipers were very ready for their photos to be taken!  They had nicely spotted breasts, something that is missing the bulk of the year!

The other fun thing about the seasonal plumage changes occurs in a few of the gulls. At least three species in this area, change from nearly all white, to having solid black heads. The Laughing, Franklins, and Bonaparte's Gulls all go thru this. I was able to get two of the three this last week.

The very uncommon Franklins, can be identified by the very heavy white eye arcs, and the very larger white spots, caused by the tips of the primary feathers in the wings. You can see these here.....

Now you can compare the Laughing Gull with the much smaller eye arcs, and very small white spots on the tail from the primaries

If I get a chance to capture the Bonaparte's in the next week, I will post it as well so you can compare, but for now, know that the Bonaparte's have no white on the primaries, and little or no white around the eye.

Thanks for stopping by!!


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