It's the end of September and we are starting to see new fall migration visitors. The first of the visitors that I have spotted over the years have always been the always early, beautiful, apricot-colored Say's Phoebes.
First stop was at the Nature Center side of the San Elijo Ecological Reserve where I spotted a new arrival of the fall season. The ever-flighty Say's Phoebe. Sayornis saya measures 7.5 inches long with a wingspan of 13 inches.
Say's Phoebe belongs in a category called "tyrant Flycatchers" because of their aggressive behavior. They drive other species away from their nesting territory up north and will spend the winter here.
They mostly hunt their prey on the wing, capturing insects in flight as they swoop and hover from their perch.
Always searching for insects.
Say's Phoebe flies after an insect.
He bobs his tail and spreads them in anticipation of his takeoff.
Spotting another prey, he flutters off his perch.
What a treat! We have a pair of Say's Phoebes visiting our beautiful lagoon and I managed to get them in one frame.
When watching a Say's Phoebe, you don't have to wait too long to see him take off for another hunt.
Looking to see where his meal went.
There it is... he spots another flying insect and is in hot pursuit.
As fast as he takes off he is back on his perch to scan the area for more bugs.
Time for me to go check out the N. Rios Ave. side of the Lagoon. One last shot of the Phoebe getting ready to launch himself again.
As I make my way to the parking lot, I see something fly over that I have never seen before. It looks like a flying tricycle!
The unusual helicopter must have flushed this Osprey off her perch. What a beautiful Osprey. Looks like she is done with molting and has all brand new feathers.
Arriving on the Rios side of the Lagoon I spot another Say's Phoebe.
Another newly arrived visitor, the White-crowned Sparrow, was also checking out our lagoon.
A beautiful male American Kestrel flies by.
The male flies over and heads west. I also spotted a female but not close enough to get a shot.
A Kingbird... It could be the rare fall vagrant visitor the "Tropical Kingbird" due to its notched tail but I will have to check with the experts.
A male Osprey flies by searching for fish. He has been molting and looks quite raggedy but still awesome!
And he shows how awesome he really is!
LOL... Must be measuring how big the fish looks to him from up there.
No, it's this big!
Flies by and heads for the other side of the railroad tracks.
A few minutes later, the Osprey is spotted carrying a nice fish towards his perch on the little dock by the freeway.
Looking down towards the western peninsula trail, I spot two Eared Grebes. Podiceps nigricollis measures 13 inches long with a wingspan of 16 inches.
Nice to see these birds back here at our lagoon too.
Dragonflies were everywhere. They would hover in a pattern and if you watched long enough, you can almost predict where they would fly next. Catching a shot of this Dragonfly as he repeats his flight pattern.