June 3, 2018


The chicks are bustin' out!

This year, I learned that egrets lay blue eggs (!). I found a shell cast off from a Great Egret's nest for all to admire.

Discarded blue Great Egret eggshell, Mountain View, California
Note to self: start visiting the rookery in June, not May. Sure, there were a few birds last month. But today they were on full display.

When I chatted with some folks from the local Audubon Society chapter last week, they told me they'd counted 110 nests at the rookery this year. (Apparently there are more nests in trees on the far side of the nearest building, too.)

Pair of Snowy Egrets courting near a nest, Mountain View, California
Hungry chicks were squawking, while latecomers were building nests and fanning out their fancy feathers.

Our group had a latecomer, too: It was all chicks when we set off, till one lone male rider came barreling along to join us.

Snowy egret hunting, San Francisco Bay, Mountain View, California
Without the headwinds we faced last time, I expected we'd find more birds along the shoreline. Maybe it was too early for lunch; apart from some snoozing mallards, we saw only a few egrets (Snowy and Great).

Everyone was mesmerized by the colony and temporarily forgot their own hunger pangs. (I will definitely move the start time for this outing up by half an hour, next time.) They were even willing to stop rolling toward lunch when I spotted a pair of Black-crowned Night-Herons on their nest.

Two Black-Crowned Night-Herons on their nest, Mountain View, California
With some errands, 56 miles and 1,000 feet of climbing for me; an essentially flat 27 miles for the main loop.

Hard to say what I enjoy more, the birds or introducing new people to the birds. It's all good.

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