Readers’ wildlife photos

May 22, 2022 • 8:15 am

Sunday is John Avise Bird Photo Day, and today he has some rarities. John’s text and IDs are indented, and you can click on the photos to enlarge them. There will be two more parts to this series:

Rare-Bird Alert, Part 1

Like many of my fellow birders in Southern California, I am signed up to receive email notifications of when and exactly where an exceptionally rare or vagrant species has been spotted in Orange County.  Whenever possible, I immediately drop what I am doing and head out to try to find the special bird.

This week’s post starts a three-part mini-series on rare (for Orange County) birds that I have photographed during such excursions.  The photos are in a random order (much the way that new reports arrive on the hotline).  Likewise, many other places in North America and around the world have local hotlines for rare birds in their respective areas, and such community hotlines are an indispensable way for birders to spread the news about exceptional avian finds.   [And of course it should be noted that some of the species that are rarities in southern California may be rather common elsewhere.]

Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), nonbreeding plumage:

Sabine’s Gull (Xemi sabini), juvenile:

Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia):

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) juvenile:

Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra), female:

Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), female:

Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii), juvenile:

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons):

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus):

Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis):

Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena), transitional plumage:

Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus):

10 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Just taking a moment to say – as with every RWP – I particularly enjoy the Sunday themed pieces – I can’t comment every time but be sure these have broadened my connection with Nature – but only because I get out there and look and listen. Seeing it on a screen is important, but its not the same. Its like discovering what was there the whole time, sort of thing, for me

    The woodpecker looks like a fantastical beast like a dragon or fairy-dragon.

  2. Lovely photos as ever.

    I have a bird migration question.

    Can anyone tell me of any species that nest south of the equator, then migrate north for the northern hemisphere summer? Why are all the main migrations the other way – to breed in the northern hemisphere? Is it as most land is in the northern hemisphere, or that these birds radiated from the northern hemisphere? Or what???

    1. One such example that comes to my mind is Buller’s Shearwater (Puffinus bulleri), which nests in New Zealand and summers across the Pacific, including in pelagic waters of the Northern Hemisphere. But you’re quite right about the general trend.

  3. To catch a glimpse of these unusual visitors to your area is one thing, but to capture such exquisite shots of them is quite another. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos.

      1. Smart goose to know to try and run for safety; smart Mom’s quick action! (And the baby will have a story to tell his friends much later in life.)

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