Saturday, May 5, 2012

Birding in Puerto Peñasco

Black Bellied Plover
As mentioned in the previous post, it was a thrill for me to have some new birds to photograph......although they weren't the only things I snapped shots of:)  Returning back to Rocky Point this time was quite special because I came with a birder's eye.  By seeing things through a different "lens", the vacation turned from a "reading books" type trip to a real wildlife excursion.  And while searching, I discovered several more favorite birds to add to my the Black Bellied Plover.  What an interesting bird!  It kept watching me with intelligent eyes.
Long-billed Curlew
Rocky Point is tricky.  There isn't really an "official" birding list, but thanks to our Arizona-New Mexico Birding List, I was able to get lists from several birders like Steve Ganley and Pete Moulton(for the CBC) and their lists were wonderfully detailed.  So thank you both for your helpful tips.  My point here is that there is a little bit more research that has to go into the trip before taking off for this lovely destination. It's a little bit of detective work:)
Brown Pelican
And of course, I'll be taking you all to Bird Island which was a bit tricky and almost didn't happen.  But if you just walk the shoreline, you are going to see so many birds.  On this trip, there were plenty of terns, pelicans, and gulls.  In fact, I thought the Brown Pelicans would steal my attention, but it turned out that there would be many mysterious birds that would fly by me like in this pic below.  What were they?  Their sillouettes give me clues but I can't see their faces or colors.
There were plenty of things to discover, but my eyes had to adjust to the intense blues and washed out and sun drenched landscape.  It wasn't easy sometimes as these birds really did blend in with their surroundings.
I would do my walks early in the morning or late afternoon and around the time that the tides changed.  A pair of American Oystercatchers were hanging out by some tide pools and that was fun to watch.  They were quite the pair:)
American Oystercatcher
The terns captured many people's attention with their acrobatic flight skills.... and their voices were great to hear all around our beach home.   When massive schools of fish would swim by, these birds would dive bomb into the waters in numbers.
Common Tern
And of course, a bird would fly into sight if I got too close.....
Black-bellied Plover
.......but the water wasn't only inviting to me but to many of the birds in the area.

I think my favorite shot of this series are the American Avocets that came from out of nowhere.   I was heading back after my long hike.  Two large groups flew past me and they didn't give me much time to prep the camera.
American Avocets
Overall it was a nice time getting to see nature in action.  There was an owl during the night.  How do I know?  I slept outside on the patio listening to the waves.  And then a "hoo hooooo" would startle me from sleep at around 3 AM.
The interesting thing about all of these ocean birds are their beaks.  Some are turned upwards.  Some downwards.  Some are wide.  While others are longer.  All of it fascinating.
American Avocet
Thankfully I brought a lot of sunblock and a great hat to keep the sun off my skin.  These birds flew often up and down the beaches.
I brought my telephoto lense for far off shots of the brown pelicans and terns. And of course, with the telephoto lense comes the tripod:)  It was quite the production that served me well on bird island. 
Originally I had come for a series on brown pelicans, but like always, it turned out to be something quite different. 
Neotropic Cormorant
I got my first glimpse at the massive Osprey nests around the area.  They aren't great shots, but now I know what to look for during an Osprey search.  Cool birds to see in person.  Tomorrow, we go more into the adventures of Bird Island and the rough waters that surround them.  This was one of those birding events that made me smile.  It was difficult but worth every moment.  Stay tuned for more.....


  1. Brilliant birds in your blog are special, I love the Whimbrel, absolutely gorgeous photo.

  2. That's a fabulous array of birdlife. The Whimbrel is a fascinating looking creature, and the Elegant Tern certainly lives up to its name.

  3. Awesome collection of birds. I love the Black-Bellied Plover shot and the Avocets are gorgeous birds. The American Oystercatcher is also a favorite. What a great trip, I would love seeing all the birds. Wonderful post, have a great weekend!

  4. Our oystercatcehrs have feathers all in black. And the signature red beak of course.

  5. Birds,birds everywhere! It looked a great visit Chris with lots of goodies to see and you took some lovely photos to remember it by. I think my favourite is the Whimbrel although it's difficult to choose. As for all that blue sky and sea...just wonderful!!

  6. sounds like a wonderful place to relax - and at the same time be excited and watching for every new bird. :)

  7. Wowza, great shots, Chris! It's been amazing to watch your skills grow. I can't pick out a favorite - they are all so good!

  8. A beautiful series of shore birds. The Whimbrel is new to me, it looks rather whimsical with that extra-long bill.

  9. Beautiful birds, fantastic photographs. I am greeting

  10. You got some absolutely superb shots.

  11. A wonderful array of birds there Chris and superb photos.

  12. Marvelous stuff Chris! You're making me pine for the shores.

  13. What can I say? It's so beautiful and all these details,names... The whimbret is quite a bird!

  14. It is always fun to see new things. The beaches look wonderful.


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