This idyllic little stretch of water just above the Old Mission Dam in San Diego is a perfect place for Snowy Egrets. Kongo has seen many of them here and they rank way up there in the monkey’s list of favorite birds. The only thing missing is the bird. Kongo made a trip to this spot near his house in the late afternoon to catch the light and find an Egret. Or a Great Heron which he’s also spotted here before. Not today. He waited until the parking lot gate was about to close and packed it in. Cocktail hour was calling. He did see other things and had pleasant time. Read on to learn about it.
So it was a pleasant few hours even without the Snow Egrets and Great Heron. Kongo had a nice chat with a trio of serious birders from Houston. I mean these were SERIOUS birders. After initially saying hello they wandered off in search of game and came back after an hour and wondered if the flycatcher they saw was a whatchamacallit scissor tail or a brown throated whatchamacallit. Kongo gave them his most polite clueless stare and advised them that they were way, way over his head.
Kongo knows his sea birds. After thirty years in the Navy with Seabirds at his bridge wing chair he has spotted exotic species all over the world. He knows his Egrets and Herons. He likes Puffins and Sandabs. He can spot a coot a mile away. But Fly Catchers and Wood Peckers are beyond is avian experience.
They told the monkey about birding in South Texas during flyover season and how they crammed over 100 species in one glorious bird watching marathon over 48 hours. Just one indication of how serious this little group was became evident when they went off into the bush and played a certain woodpecker’s song on their iPhone ap. Seriously. They claimed they got the woodpecker although Kongo missed it. Woodpeckers are evidently fast.
They asked Kongo where he usually birded in San Diego since it was such a great place. Well, Kongo reminded them that he really just does sea and water birds and recommended the South Bay salt marshes but they had done that yesterday. He suggested La Jolla Shores to watch Pelicans but they had done that too. They were rapidly plumbing the depths of Kongo’s ornithology expertise. Finally, the monkey sagely advised them that if they really wanted to see hundreds of bird species up close a trip to the San Diego Zoo should be part of their itinerary. They gave him a “you’re not a serious birder are you?l” look. I guess having a big lens doesn’t make you a birder. Obviously. In any event it was a pleasant way to pass the time waiting for Egrets and Herons.
Travel safe. Have fun. Happy birding.