Arizona/California 2008 with Dave & Marilyn travel blog

Mountain Quail country

Unknown mountain flower

Western Bluebird

Egyptian Goose

Pacific Coast Highway

Brandt's Cormorant - mating behavior

Cormorant condo

No shorebirds on the rocks - they weren't invited to the wedding

Tidepooling makes for a late dinner (for us)

Tidepool-trapped fish


Happy 21st birthday, Erin. Here’s hoping for a wonderful and memorable celebration in Scotland.

A very early start to head north to southeastern Orange County to Camp Blue Jay on the continuing quest for Mountain Quail. We arrived at the camp that is at about 4000 feet elevation at 7:30am. A walk around the campground yielded the usual birds we’d been seeing every time we are in the mountains. We heard far-off Mountain Quail so took off up a road to higher elevation. After spotting two quail as they flew away, we had repeated Mountain Quail answering our iPod recording. These very unsatisfying looks have to suffice, but we know for sure we were hearing the Mountain Quail, not California Quail.

Having technically met our goal of finally finding the Mountain Quail, we headed toward the coast to Laguna Niguel Regional Park looking for Tri-colored blackbirds. What a beautiful park that proved to be very “birdy,” but no Tri-colored Blackbirds. We reluctantly left the park and headed south toward La Jolla.

The drive south on I-5 was fine for a while until traffic became more and more congested. We decided to try the Pacific Coast Highway. That proved to not be any faster but was more scenic. Upon arrival at Point La Jolla, we found crowds of people on the cliffs, on the beach below, and swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking in the water. In spite of the huge numbers of people, the Brown Pelicans and three species of Cormorants were crowded on nearby cliffs with California Sea Lions below. The day continued to be perfect and we didn’t want to leave, but hunger was gnawing at our stomachs.

When we returned to Campland on the Bay, we found the RV park to be nearly full as this is the second week of the spring break season! So many people, so many kids! As this park is more like a combination RV Park and campground, there were many, many people camping in tents. The nightly firework show from Sea World at the south end of Mission Bay started right on schedule at 9 pm. Marilyn saw most of the show. Nephew Grant, our dinner guest last week, told us about a chemistry lab he’s taking. The class has taken water samples from various locations around Mission Bay testing for metals. His lab team tested the water right where the firework ashes fall. Stay tuned for the results of their tests!

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