Crissy Lagoon + Quartermaster Reach Marsh (1/12/2022)

Today I was curious to see the Common Mergansers reported at Crissy Lagoon recently. And, they were still there! But, first…

I had to check out Quartermaster Reach Marsh. I wanted to check in AGAIN on our plantings from when I last volunteered. Things are still looking good! And, while there, I got to see a Great Egret and Great Blue Heron. Looked like some sandpipers were in the distance, but they were too far to see easily.

Moving on, I walked around Crissy Lagoon. Blooming Coast Paintbrush just screamed to be admired on the east end. And, I obliged. Walking west, it was tough to see detail on the birds on the lagoon. But, seagulls dominated. And, Buffleheads were easy to spot. Plus, a Greater Scaup. I could see a handful of Common Mergansers, but they appeared to be on the north end, so I booked it around the west end and got much better looks.

Rounding that corner, I caught sight of a solo blooming flower from a Beach Strawberry patch. Nice. And, a nice sized Blewit. Saw a couple more of those later on, too. And, a funny foursome appeared to be hanging with each other on the tiny island in the lagoon. Two Double-crested Cormorants, a seagull, and a Brown Pelican. They looked like they were friends. Just hanging. And, they all flew away right after each other. The Brown Pelican flew almost right over me, which was a real treat. I think it was even looking at me.

At the north side, I spotted a female Ruddy Duck, a couple Eared Grebes, a female Common Goldeneye, female Buffleheads, and a Snowy Egret. Got some good looks at the female Common Merganser, though most of my photos of it and the Eared Grebes were after they had dove underwater. So, yeah. Not great pics.

White-crowned sparrows started feeding on the ground in front of me, where I sat to try to get photos. One even started singing. Haven’t heard that in a while! And, I love their song.

I noticed the most colorful female Common Merganser was heading east toward the bridge. So, I followed it, hoping to get better photos. I got BETTER photos, but not great ones. That bird hardly ever stays still!

On the east side, it found refuge away from the seagull crowds. Also over there was a Great Blue Heron, perhaps the same one I saw earlier. And, some sandpipers.

It looked like that merganser went under the roadway to the Quartermaster Reach Marsh side. So, I CONTINUED TO FOLLOW IT. On that side, some Killdeer were out and feeding, along with sandpipers I was able to see well enough to ID. Least Sandpipers! And, that Common Merganser was over there, too.

I wrapped it up there, after charging my car for the FIRST TIME EVER in that free parking lot. I’m still astounded one charger was free. NEVER IS!

But, with the little bit of light that was left, I made a quick stop to see about that house on Pacific where the Barn Owls nested. The house was planned to be torn down once the owls had left last year. But, the house is still there. And, no sign on the door. No sign of the Barn Owls either. But, when I got out to investigate a frog sound (that stopped immediately once I approached, of course!), I saw a Barn Owl box posted on a cypress. Guess they’re trying to get the pair to relocate?

Nearby, a Red-shouldered Hawk was perfectly perched atop a leafless tree, giving me great looks at it. And, that was a very nice way to end my day, as the first thing I saw when I entered The Presidio to get to Crissy Lagoon was a Red-shouldered Hawk. How I love bookends.

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