Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Mellow Yellow - Donovan

Yet another country joined the throng today in the shape of The Syrian Arab Republic who are most welcome joining the countries list at 142. As ever we would request ab on-passing of the link to all Families and Friends. Thank You!

A couple of 'catch-ups' from recent days, and please forgive if I repeat myself, Also to be added to the Trip List are, Cliff Swallow, Double Crested Cormorant, Caspian Tern, Steller's Jay and the Road Runner was a World Lifer.

A little deliberation has taken place over this one, and can only conclude it to be a Ring-billed Gull,

which at this time of year should be miles away from here! That's what they said about the Oriental Turtle Dove wasn't it? If indeed I have it wrong please do not hesitate to use the Comment Box or E-mail to put me right.

After a much needed and comfortable nights sleep at the Chapela Hotel in San Felipe (£20), the only thing on my mind was Yellow-footed Gull. At that time of day (05:00) the sea was sparkling, the weather was warm and the beach was deserted, literally, not a Gull to be seen. There were a few Swallows flying over the sands and the usual skirmishing House Sparrows, Feral Pigeons and House Finch. A little disconsolate I sought the high ground and could see 2 Black-backs some way off on the fore-shore to the south, but as well I wasn't single minded. Below the ridge of sand in the opposite direction was another, much closer but even from that distance leg colour was not obvious. It was as I managed to close it to within a few yards to see that they were bright yellow, and as if there needed to be confirmation, so was the eye. Flippin' heck (or words to that effect), a Yellow-footed Gull my 52nd of the 54 currently recognised Gull species in the world, leaving just Red-legged Kittiwake and Relict Gull to see before they 'split' another and I have to go trekking off to Armenia? Coincidental, it was just last evening when an E-mail arrived from Cheryl Hurd of St Paul's, Pribilof Island Tours saying she was about to lift the outstanding amount for my trip there starting the 8th July in hope of the next victim.

Yellow-footed Gull

The most celebrated Yellow-footed Gull in the World today!

Wandering back to the hotel for that much needed early morning caffeine shot, it was becoming apparent that St Felipe didn't hold that much in the way of bird life and with no bus service to get further afield and with the omen of the Mexicali coach parked right outside the hotel I decided to 'cut and run'. I am now on that service bombing through the arid region of north west Baja California and the Sea of Cortez shimmering in the far distance. Not quite sure where I'll end up today, as long as there's Internet access, but it will be in the general direction of LA / Merced CA.

The hirundines flying around the beach area were Northern Rough-winged Swallows.

PS - This is about as 'Mellow Yellow' as I've ever been!

At the time of writing I have just crossed the Mexico/US border at Calexico but there have been a couple of interesting occurrences on the way. Half way we had to pass through the regional county check point, complete with 'armed guards'. One boarded the bus where I was editing the photos and he became intrigued with the images, not to mention the camera. While all the other passengers were subject to opening all their baggage I simply sat in the comfort of my air conditioned seat entertaining Chiefy.

Secondly, a fellow passenger moved a little closer to where I was sat to make conversation. Leslie I. Conklin Duarte is a lawyer in Mexicali and had more than a passing interest in nature conservation, so much so he and his mates had spent the week-end planting desert shrubs and trees in a previously destroyed area. The chat was very interesting and we parted with him promising to send a photo of an unusual (but dead) sea creature which he tells me has never been photographed alive in the wild. Not content with that he even diverted his taxi in the opposite direction to save me the long walk and see me to the 'check point' safely.

Where will I be tomorrow?

Trip Ticks - 47 World Lifers - 5

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