Baja Sandscapes
Streets of Loreto

Birds of Baja

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You know I can't leave Baja without sharing some bird photos.

I love birds...especially those that live on the sea.

Maybe that's because I've got to BE at the sea to see them...no need to twist my arm for that!

 

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For the first couple of days, I was a bit disappointed that we weren't seeing more bird life.  We saw plenty of cormorants fishing in the waters around our boat...

 

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...sea gulls making occasional fly-bys...

 

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...and a few pelicans here and there.  Mostly flying by over the land on either side, but once in awhile resting within my camera's range.

Don't get me wrong.  I loved seeing those birds that I certainly never see on my Hoosier compound, but I had hopes of seeing many more.

 

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One afternoon we went out on a zodiaks or kayaks (we chose the motorized zodiak) to cruise through the mangroves.

 


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They are very unique plants and home to many birds in the area....although that afternoon the birds were out gallivanting and we didn't see many.

 


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We did see a couple of wind-blown Mexican jays.  And heard many more loudly squabbling inside the mangroves.

 

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They have pretty coloring, but they always look a little angry due to that black marking around their eyes.

Or maybe they just are eternally grumpy.  I know people like that...

  


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We startled a family of grebes cruising through the mangroves...

 

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Characteristic red eyes...

 

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While it was so very quiet and peaceful in the calm channels through the mangroves, that was about it for the bird life.

 

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But later that day, on the panga as we made our way out for the final whale-watching expedition, we smelled a very stinky odor in the air.

And we passed by a huge colony of birds along a stretch of sand, clearly responsible for that stinkiness.  I asked our naturalist guide if we could take a closer look on the way back.

 

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So after we saw the whales, the pangero cruised us up close to this diverse colony of sea birds.

 


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Cormorants dominated, but there was also a good variety of gulls and terns, and several brown pelicans as well.

 

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Spectacularly beautiful when a large group of them took flight against the turquoise waters, the blue sky, and mountain backdrop.  Once again, I was awed by God's creation!

 

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Near where the Sea Bird was anchored there was a large rookery of frigatebirds.  

 


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Because of the choppy water, it wasn't safe for the panga to get very close.  We saw lots of frigates in Peru, so I've seen these huge birds up close before.  But always hoping for another chance at an amazing photo...not this trip.

 


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Our final evening we were ferried to the nearby shore for one last beach-combing opportunity.  We got out of the zodiaks right next to an oyster farm.

 

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Each one of these bags has oysters growing inside.

And this heron was fishing for his supper....

 


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Such lovely birds!  He didn't fly far...

 


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Not sure what this anchor and ball were all about...

 


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...but made for some interesting photographic images in the golden hour light.

 

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Peep tracks in the sand...

 


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...and the peeps that made them!

 


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Such cute twitchy little birds and so fun to watch them running in and out with the waves, always searching for a morsel of food.

 


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I know these aren't birds, but they make such lovely natural sculptures in the wet sand and beautiful light.

 


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I told you...he didn't go far.  Must be a good fishing spot!

 


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I didn't know what kind of birds these were until I looked them up.

 

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Marbled godwits.  Characteristic pink & black beak that curves slightly up.

Perfect for digging in the wet sand for clams and crustaceans to eat.

 


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And a pair of oystercatchers for a bonus!

 

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Oh!  And I almost forgot...the first time I've ever seen a loggerhead shrike.  He looks cute and sings a lovely song, but he is a vicious hunter preying on insects, lizards, mice, and other birds.  

 

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The whales were the super-stars of the trip, but we also loved..

...the birds of Baja.

 

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