I had never spent any time searching out birds before, having recently obtained a couple of bird books and finding Hans' old binoculars during our "purge and pack" departure from San Diego; but now I find myself hooked, even with a cheap pair of binoculars. Once you really start searching for and focusing on the birds, you see all sorts of fascinating behavior and the birds are gorgeous up close. Looks like I've got a new hobby for the road!
Santee Lakes is the perfect setting for this past time with its seven lakes surrounded by miles of chaparral covered hills. The signs around the park say there are over 170 types of birds here...hours can be spent happily trying to find them all!
We've even had several Wild Kingdom moments...we observed a Coopers Hawk stalking a flock of Coots and catching one, and we've seen a group of Crows chasing a Red Shouldered Hawk with something in its talons (baby crow perhaps?) right outside our door only about 10 feet away, and the local Osprey pair are quite active soaring over the lakes on the lookout for fish!
Here are a few of the beautiful birds I managed to catch on camera:
|LOVE the markings on the male Wood Ducks; female in brown, with a Coot scooting past.|
|Snowy Egret in the breeze|
|Cormorant taking off...|
|They love the afternoon sun on their wings. They hang out like this for hours.|
|Coots feet make me smile!|
|All aglow in the afternoon light.|
|Green Heron posing in the half light|