Monday 3 December 2012

American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt

Flew from Miami to Los Angeles today and hired a car which we then drove to Long Beach so we were handy for the airport tomorrow for our flight to Seattle. Our friend Knut who we will be meeting us there suggested that we visit a place along the Los Angeles River. This is not a meandering, muddy-banked, natural-looking affair, it is a long, straight concrete channel. This channel has featured in many a movie where the kids race their cars as in Grease all those years ago. Over the preceding days there has been a lot of rain here, and in keeping with the theme of the high tide disasters in Florida, we managed to achieve a high tide scenario even where there are no tides! The river was swollen and therefore I assume the authorities judged it dangerous and padlocked all the access gates. However. your intrepid Wader Questers noticed that some folk were inside the fencing, and sought out an access point, which in the ned we found in the form of a hole in the fence.

Once we were inside there we found some groups of waders. The most numerous species was new for Wader Quest, Black-necked Stilt.

Black-necked Stilts

The second most numerous were the dowitchers. We didn't spend long trying to sort these out in terms of short or long-billed, we have already seen both. Both do occur here as I understand it and we saw what we thought to be examples of each.

Dowitchers; probably long-billed top and left, short-billed the rest

The icing on the cake however was the single American Avocet that we saw with a group of Black-necked Stilts. This was a bird that was high on our wanted lists, avocets are such magical birds.

American Avocet

In addition we saw a single Spotted Sandpiper, a single Dunlin and a single 'Western' Willet.

'Western' Willet with Black-necked Stilts

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