White Pelicans

I took another spin around San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge yesterday after work. I only had an hour before dark, but I still managed to add 4 species to my BGBY list including these White Pelicans:

2 White Pelicans, cormorants at dusk

These are the first pelicans I’ve seen this year. I’ve spent a couple of weeks in Santa Clara County this year, and they’re usually pretty easy to find up there this time of year, but for some reason they just didn’t seem to be around this year. Anyway, these were closer to home.

I also added a Killdeer to the BGBY list and the biggest surprise of all, a Bonaparte’s Gull. This isn’t the best photo, but notice the black dot behind the eye, and how much smaller it is than the Ring-billed Gulls on the right:

Small gull with Larger gulls

Total species count for the refuge was 34:

  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Bufflehead
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Turkey Vulture
  • American Coot
  • Killdeer
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Bonaparte’s Gull
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Mourning Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Black Phoebe
  • American Crow
  • Tree Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Marsh Wren
  • European Starling
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Song Sparrow
  • Brewer’s Blackbird

I also had three more species on the walk over: a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Mason Regional Park, and Canada and Egyptian Geese on the golf course.

Killdeer and Brewer’s Blackbird are new for my BGBY list (that is, seen while walking from home) though not for the refuge or year. My BGBY total is now 67, which I think is in the lead for pure walking. Doubtless though, the more northerly participants will start catching up as migration commences.

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