Skip to main content

 photo 112_zpsdff59951.jpg
Welcome to the Shoreline at Mountain View
One of the highlights of my Netroots Nations trip was the birdwatching outing planned by our own Lineatus. Without a definite plan other than a time to meet at the Hilton Hotel, she managed to organize our diverse crew and get us on down the road from San Jose to a wonderful wildlife viewing area, the Shoreline at Mountain View.

Although I claim the Bay Area as home, I'm not real familiar with the South Bay. Lineatus introduced me to a treasure and I will be have to sure to go back and visit with my birdwatching father. He will love this place.

We started off hiking from the parking lot through coastal shrub, lots of dry grass, bushy plants and a few trees. There was enough flora to hide the fauna and we began the tour trying to figure out who was squawking at us from the bushes. Ended up being a baby mockingbird who still hadn't learned how to mock anything other than a loud and monotone bird. Poor guy.

 photo 107_zps48dbfd04.jpg
Gray sky but bright light made it tough for pictures.

 photo 108_zps7b70eb0e.jpg
Sail boats on the lake.
Just past the scrub, we came upon a small lake with a tiny island that was home to several nesting skimmers. Unfortunately, my new camera does not yet have a long lens. I can digitally zoom once I get home and sometimes come up with some great shots but the island was more than I could manage. But I did get a good shot of the sailboats. You can see the day was overcast and cloudy but we were grateful for the lower temperatures that come along with threatening rain.

We saw some Canadian Geese, goslings and all, as we headed towards a different part of the park. It looks as if the geese keep the area well-cropped, helping to keep maintenance costs down for the city. During sequestration, many military bases have cancelled their lawn contracts... maybe they should consider hiring geese?

 photo 109_zps9cca601f.jpg
Not quite military precision in their marching style but the baby geese are learning fast.
As usual, I couldn't keep my eyes just on birds. As we left the lake to head over to the marshlands, we saw gray and white swirled snails climbing high on the local fennel plants, rusty colored Salty DaughterDodder peppered the drying marshland, and several varieties of late spring wild flowers.
 photo 110_zpsbc71823e.jpg
A lone snail.
 photo 111_zps58f83962.jpg
Flowering fennel. Can you smell the licorice in the air?
 photo 114_zps7b6d3a7a.jpg
A lucky insect shot on a flowering bush.
The ponds on the other side of the park are extensive and we didn't even walk halfway around before heading back. Honestly, we could have spent hours walking trails. We found swallows nesting in one of the maintenance buildings. We saw ducks and coot hanging out in one nearby pond. We kept our eyes peeled for raptors high over head and were lucky enough to view a gorgeous juvenile kite perched in a small bush in the distance. Thank goodness for the viewing scopes of Lineatus and Senor Unoball. It made the bird watching even more enjoyable!
 photo 117_zps92f29527.jpg
A patient swallow guarding the nest.
 photo 116_zps6a34052e.jpg
A swallow that is trying to look like a kestrel to me.
Then we reached the motherlode of birds - white pelicans (did you know they aren't seabirds?), ravens or crows (do you know how to tell the difference?), willets and avocets, kites and more. Unfortunately, I don't have my US identification book with me; I've only packed the one for South America. And though I have a good guess at most of the birds, I'm not 100% positive. Rather than get corrected, I figured I give folks a chance at guessing the exact ones. Maybe it's a good opportunity for our less practiced birders to practice!

Enjoy the rest of the pictures below... and cross your fingers that we find the right long lens soon! I recently bought a used one, tried it for the day, and returned it after the images were less than sharp at the 300mm range. I hope to have this affordably remedied before heading south.

 photo 120_zps032bed25.jpg
White Pelicans were everywhere.
 photo 121_zps5d5b5c28.jpg
Tracks deep into the mudflats. The tide was out!
 photo 123_zps0420a18d.jpg
Avocets and their reflections in flight.
 photo 124_zpsf213a93b.jpg
A broad view of the area, clouds and all.
 photo 126_zps2e78b3bc.jpg
Avocet in near flight
 photo 128_zps5f505847.jpg
Egrets on the shoreline
 photo 129_zps53a4528c.jpg
A lone bird waiting to say goodbye as we left
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site