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2019-08-10 Crescent City

Common Loon - Gavia immer
This bird was in alternate, or breeding plumage. When I met these birds before in Crescent City California near the boat basin of the harbor, they were in non-breeding (basic) plumage.
Western Sandpiper - Calidris mauri
Birds I met in Crescent City California near the boat basin of the harbor.

I only made it about 20 miles south out of Brookings yesterday and I landed in Crescent City. I’ve always found this city’s Boat Basin to be a good place to meet sea birds. Though there weren’t as many as I’ve found in the past, a meeting with a Common Loon in breeding plumage was a treat. I’ve met these birds here in the past, but they’ve been in basic winter garb. It required patience, but the bird ultimately got close enough for some decent shots.

I found a family of Black Oystercatchers in the harbor, but they were too far out for good images. Still it was cool to see the two babies and both parents together. I looked around the harbor, but I didn’t find where the parents were foraging.

I finished my day’s tour on a sandy beach north of the boat basin where peeps (small sandpipers) were a source of interest to me. I met Least Sandpipers (also called peeps) earlier travelling north at the Smith River mouth, but most of the peeps here were Western Sandpipers. A few Semipalmated Plovers were feeding with these peeps in the sandy flats exposed by the low tide, but none of the pictures I collected were that memorable.

When I stopped burning ones-and-zeros I considered my options. I had several days of images collected, and none of it organized. I wasn’t exhausted, but neither was I itchin’ to get on the road again. I ended up booking a motel room and working on the images I’d collected. I got all the geotaging, renaming, distribution into date-place folders, and a first round of culling done (it usually takes me three rounds to winnow the wheat from the chaff). All of the species-specific data remains to be embedded, along with the last couple of rounds of culling.

I’m tempted to stay another night and expand my explorations inland. I love the harbor encounters here, but I might miss out on some of the other avian attractions in the region.

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