Saturday, April 2, 2011

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve

Several months ago, someone told me about the Osprey nesting in the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve and urged me to go take a look. Eventually, she drove me out there in a car, so I would know where to go. We didn't really get to look, though, because all we could do was drive, look out the window, and leave. Wednesday, I finally went to really look, hoping for a closeup. It didn't quite work out as well as I had hoped since the Osprey nest is well out in the reserve, and the light was behind the bird. It was also quite a distance from the only parking area I found, so we had to walk back; no great hardship as the road is one-way, slow-traffic, and wide enough to share, but unexpected. Still, I've now seen the Osprey, and it is nice to know it's nesting there. Also, it was good seeing some of the water birds in their spring finery. I've only really been paying attention to them since winter, and they are much snazzier in their spring garb. I also got distracted by a black-and-yellow not-bee (bumblebee?) by the path.

The not-bee (a bumblebee?). It was a beautiful, shiny, velvety creature. I wanted to pet it. I never have dared stroke a bee, not even a dead one, just in case, but they look a bit bristly. This one looked soft, almost cuddly.
Edit: I checked. It is a bumblebee.
There's the osprey. I don't even know if this is one of the adults or one of the babies. I'm guessing a baby because it was not quiet, calling quite often, especially when another raptor flew over.
The bird that provoked the commotion. I think it's a turkey vulture.
The science center was closed. Oops. I should have done the research. I had sort of assumed we'd be able to park in the center and look at things. That would only be true if we were a class coming on an appointment. Next time I will know.
A cinnamon teal, resplendent in Spring fashions.
I ought to be able to identify these, and I cannot. They do look lovely in their spring garb, though. Edit: Thanks Haucusuchus for putting me out of my suspense. The birds are American Avocets. I first started being interested in some of the water birds in the fall. It's amazing how different they look now that spring is here..


  1. Hey there, nice blog. Your last birds are American Avocets. Handsome little devils aren't they?

  2. Thanks :)

    And thanks much for the bird ID. It's been bugging me.