Sunday, July 07, 2019

Early AM at #YoloBypass and a brief encounter with a bald eagle #Birds #BirdPhotography

So yesterday I went out early in the morning to Yolo Bypass Wildife Area. I had not been in a few weeks and wanted to get out for a hike and some birding.

Thankfully, even though it was really early (like 6:30 AM) my wife had already prepared coffee for the two of us since she had been woken by the strange yowling beast that lives in our house.

So I packed up some gear, put on long pants and boots and a long sleeve shirt (mostly to deal with the brambles in my favorite hiking spot) and headed out in my car (I note - I would love to bike there and then bike through Yolo Bypass but bikes are not allowed - so the car is the only way).

And then withinYolo Bypass I headed to the Southern edge to my favorite hiking spot along Putah Creek.

And I wandered into this area:

I took some panoramic pics and video and texted them to my wife ...

And then hiked around for a few hours. Here are some of the things I saw there:

Belted kingfisher:

Black crowned night herons

Spotted towhees


Lots of nice plants, such as these: 

Wood ducks

Pied billed grebes

Black phoebes

Other misc. birds


And lots of otter poop

Oh - and some more panoramas and a selfie

And then I headed back to my car and drove to the end of the road just for completeness and headed back out towards the exit.  I took a few pics from my car long the way:

Oh, and then it happened.  Was heading back out and along the dirt/ gravel road a black town car was pulled over.  So I slowed down, not wanting to disturb them if they saw some cool creature.  And I slowly pulled up on their left.  And there was a woman in the car looking through binoculars.  I pulled up to be almost beside her car and she pointed up and ahead and whispered "Bald Eagle."


There was one on the telephone pole.  I had been coming to Yolo Bypass for almost 15 years with 100s of visits and had never seen one here.  And so I got out my camera and at this bad angle started taking pics.  After 10 minutes or so I told the woman I was going to pull ahead and to the side to get a better view.  And I thanked her over and over, told her I would post pics to iNaturalist (and told her what that was) and then pulled up and took some more pics.  And this is where I got some of the better ones that I am sharing here:

And I followed it East down the road towards the Deep Water channel and watched as it flew far far away.  I chatted with some of the people fishing and then went for another walk to see some more birds.  There were a lot of interesting shorebirds in particular but also saw some others.
Here are some of those pics:

Shorebirds galore:

Blackbirds and such

Sparrows and phoebes and other small birds

Sheep (I know, they are not birds but nobody's perfect)


And even some insects such as this one:

Any many other things along the way. I then headed out taking pics along the way.  Some of the better pics include these:

And then I was out of Yolo Bypass.  I took the scenic route home and took some more pics.  Here are some:

And then I went home and posted everything to iNaturalist.  See the collection here

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