This week I’m again walking the Coastside Trail around Half Moon Bay, then over Pillar Point to Moss Beach – looking for birds, mostly autumn migtants. Tuesday was the longest walking day (more than 7 miles). The weather was perfectly cool and cloudy with no wind.
As odd as it seems, we got really excited about blackbirds! That’s because this first photo is of a Tricolored Blackbird, and the second shows a flock with a few Red-winged Blackbirds mixed in. Since it’s not breeding season, the epaulettes are mostly hidden. But if you look at the tricolored bird’s shoulder, you’ll see a pale white stripe. This is the edge of the red patch and distinguises it (among other characteristics) from the red-winged species. What was exciting was that we had just begun our walk and found so many Tri-colored Blackbirds together, and the first time I’ve ever seen one. Good start. More later.”