Monday, January 5, 2015

Mid-December birding at Discovery Lake and Lake Hodges

Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush. Discovery Lake, San Marcos, California. December 14, 2014. Greg Gillson.
Some of my birding days this summer and fall resulted in very few photos. However, that wasn't the case in December. I am now very backed up. Hmm... that doesn't sound quite right. I have many photos I wish to show and am getting behind in doing so. There, that's better. Maybe.

Back in mid-December I took a day to visit a couple of local lakes. First I went to Discovery Lake Park in San Marcos. It is a small tree-lined lake with paved path around it. I thought arriving at dawn on a brisk winter morning I would have the place to myself. Half-a-hundred hikers, joggers, baby stroller-pushers, and dog-walkers didn't agree with my logic.

After walking a mile loop around the lake I continued on to Lake Hodges a couple of miles south of San Marcos and Escondido. This area is more rugged than Discovery Lake, but there were still many hikers and mountain bikers enjoying the increasingly pleasant temperatures around this large reservoir.

I've already discussed some of the individual birds I saw this day, including...

Photogenic California Thrashers at Lake Hodges and Discovery Lake
California Thrasher

A somewhat rare Eurasian Wigeon at Lake Hodges
Eurasian Wigeon

Some Gambel's White-crowned Sparrows at Discovery Lake
White-crowned Sparrow

Now I present additional birds seen that day.

At Discovery Lake several migrant Hermit Thrushes were hiding in the dense foliage, but one came out to perch on the fence rail to allow a photo showing its tell-tale reddish rump and tail (opening photo, all the way to the top).

Other skulkers included...
Wrentit
Wrentit

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
However, some birds were strikingly obvious...
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Continuing on, then, over at Lake Hodges I found many more birds...
Say's Phoebe
Say's Phoebe

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
White-tailed Kite
White-tailed Kite
Cassin's Kingbird
Cassin's Kingbird
Plus, I took some scenic photos that I will share sometime in the next months as part of a site guide to Lake Hodges. So you have that to look forward to (this is called a teaser!).

And that catches me up to mid-December's photos and I can now move on to more late December and January photos!