2014-12-19 Santee Lakes

Belted Kingfisher

This post wraps up my retelling of stories from 2014. Tales of 2013 remain to be told, and I hope to spin those yarns soon. I know I’ve been pumping out these posts at an unusual pace. Once I sell my home and hit the road in my RV the posts should be only a few times a week instead of a few a day.

Santee is a community a few miles southeast of where I live in Poway (San Diego County, California). Santee Lakes is a string of 10 small lakes, or large ponds that are part of a water treatment system. The lowest seven of the lakes are open to the public for a small fee. Picnicking, boat rentals, fishing and other family-oriented activities are the main attraction there, but birders know this is a good place to meet birds, sometimes unusual birds.

Aside from the intimate encounters with waterfowl, I especially enjoyed my visit with a Belted Kingfisher who executed several aerial maneuvers in front of me in the good morning light. Another memory from that morning was watching mud hens (American Coots) walk ashore to forage on the grass and afford me the opportunity to examine their unusual feet.

Birds I met on this excursion were Wood Duck, American White Pelican, American Wigeon, Ring-Necked Duck, Double-Crested Cormorant, Northern Shoveler, American Coot, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Belted Kingfisher, Red-Tailed Hawk, Great Egret, Ruddy Duck, Great Blue Heron.

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