Birding at Moonglow Dairy

alongside Elkhorn Slough

It’s been a while since Katherine and I have been birding at Moonglow Dairy. The last time we went, the Cormorants, Great Blue Herons and Egrets were frantic with nesting activity in the tall Eucalyptus trees that border the slough.

We hadn’t gotten very far at all before I noticed an Osprey perched atop a narrow dead branch.

Precariously perched Osprey.

I watched the Osprey through my viewfinder–several times lowering my arms to rest because my lens/camera combo is heavy. Twenty-two minutes later, the Osprey still hadn’t provided me with a dramatic takeoff shot. Katherine, meanwhile, was walking further away (and seeing more birds!).

I joined Katherine and she pointed out some of the things she’d been looking at, including otters and a Willet in its drab, winter plumage.

Otter regarding us with disfavor.

“Look, there!” Katherine pointed toward two birds flying above us. One was chasing the other. I lifted my camera and snapped a few shots as they flew overhead.

Gull chasing Osprey. “Come back here, miscreant!”
Gull harassing Osprey. “And don’t come back!”

Frankly, if I hadn’t seen it, I don’t think I would have believed a gull would’ve gone after an Osprey. It was a large gull, though.

Katherine and I headed east along Elkhorn Slough. Ahead, I could see bright, white birds flying about and diving into the water. Terns? I hurried over for a closer look.


Elegant Tern in flight.

I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture these fast-flying birds as they hunt the waters of the slough.

Unidentified bird in flight. It may have been a gull, it MAY have been a tern; I was photographing terns at the time this was taken. I didn’t stop to ID the birds before I clicked the shutter!

After spending what Katherine might consider an inordinate amount of time photographing terns, I continued along the slough. Such is the wildlife abundance of Elkhorn Slough that Katherine was trying to point out a bird to me on the north side of the path while I was trying to take a photo of a small, yellow bird on the south side.

Yellow Warbler.

Hidden in the brush on the left side of the path we could hear a bird singing loudly. We could see movement in the brush as the unseen singer flitted from branch to branch. Carefully, Katherine and I followed the bird’s movements and sound. Eventually, the bird took pity on me and paused on an unobscured branch.

Marsh Wren singing. “Take my picture already!

Truthfully, I could spend all day at Moonglow Dairy–there is so much to see. However, we hadn’t had breakfast so after three hours of birding, we called it a day.

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October 5, 2021 2:14 pm

Love the elegant Tern in flight pic, great shot. And of course the yellow birdy.

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