Long Beach Fun: Running and birding on our (second) honeymoon in California!

Running on the beach!

Running on the beach!

Our second Honeymoon was spent on Long Beach (California, not Tofino!) in the fall, one of our favorite places.  Sun, beaches, and birds!

 

 

 

 

    Allen's hummingbird - a new one for us. They look a lot like the rufous hummingbird, which summers with us on Vancouver Island and then migrates down to Mexico for the winter. But these guys are restricted to just a small part of southern California. A treat to see!

Allen’s hummingbird – a new one for us. They look a lot like the rufous hummingbird, which summers with us on Vancouver Island and then migrates down to Mexico for the winter. But these guys are restricted to just a small part of southern California. A treat to see!

Miles of paths to cruise.

Miles of paths to cruise. We loved all the walking and running we could do along the beach. (That’s Jackie).

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Lots of birds on the beaches. They’re hard to tell apart in their winter plumage. This one’s either an American golden plover or a black-bellied plover. (Comment if you know!)

 

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One of the first birds we saw – not rare, but new to us, a Say’s phoebe.

 

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And this was a real treat! A flock of black skimmers, sheltering on the beach. Here’s Jackie, stopped on one of our runs, to check them out. Look at the photo below to see what amazing birds they are.

 

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Yup, these are the black skimmers. Look how long their lower beak is. They fly low over the water with their beak open, skimming to catch fish. They are more common in South America – this is the extreme northern end of their range.

 

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Beside the skimmers, a flock of royal terns – very cool as well!

 

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Here’s Jackie again, on the paved part of the beach route.

 

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Out on the pier at Long Beach, there were lots of seabirds. This guy is a surf scoter – we get lots of them on Vancouver Island, too, but not usually this close.

 

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Jackie found a sick Western grebe, and got it back into the water. Not sure how it will do on the long-term, though. Cool bright red eyes!

 

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Pelican. Looks like he knows something we don’t!

 

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And there was a sea lion cruising around below the pier, too….amidst all the fisherpeople. Hope he doesn’t get hooked up.

 

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And one of our favourite things! All the parrots flying around! They are hilarious, squawking and dangling off of palm fronds and electrical wires, and pecking one another… They are an introduced species, the mitred conure, descended from pet birds that have been released. The flocks have become established and are growing.

 

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