Another great place to go if you are ever in Southern California would be the Ventura Settling Ponds, in Ventura. They are actually the water treatment plant wildlife ponds and birders are welcome! With varied habitats such as, ponds, coastal dunes, willows and reeds, there are always plenty of birds to see!
I saw this Hummingbird buzzing around my head as I walked along the dirt pathway. She then stopped to take a rest and that is when I was able to get a good look at her.
I spotted several Pied-billed Grebes foraging in the ponds, I even saw a young one diving in the water. After walking along the path, I came to the last pond and found this one sitting on its nest, unfortunately it was so grown up along the ponds edge that I couldn’t get the best photo.
I saw this cutie flying around the reeds and grasses on the edge of the ponds. This flycatcher eats mostly insects and will catch them by watching from a perch then flying out and catching its prey in midair. These birds can be found along the Pacific coasts from Canada down through Mexico.
OMG! So as I was walking along the path around the first pond, all of the sudden these birds were darting around me! Flying high, low, weaving around my head and the trees and bushes nearby. I don’t know if it was a nesting area, it probably was, but they definitely were extremely active! They will constantly be vocal with their squeaky twittering and chattering…
American White Pelican
This bird was floating all alone in one of the ponds. They are one of the largest birds in North America, their wingspan can be up to 9 feet across! Unlike the similar Brown Pelican, the American White Pelican does not dive from the air for fish. It will forage in shallow lakes for mostly fish.
Black-crowned Night Heron
There is one pond off to the side, kinda away from the other ponds, that is where I found this Heron. These birds spend most of the day hunched on branches at the water’s edge, just like this one. In the evening and at dusk they will do most of their feeding. I didn’t stay watching this one too long, since it was close to the path and I didn’t want to disturb it.
Great Blue Heron
This one was on the side of the pond preening itself. There actually was several Great Blue Herons scattered around in one big tree on an island in the middle of one of the ponds. They were fun to watch and far enough away that they were not disturbed by my presence.
I found several of these birds swimming around the ponds. The American Coot does not have webbed feet, they resemble a chicken more than a duck. It was estimated that in Back Bay, Virginia, USA, the local coot population ate 216 tons of vegetation per winter! That’s a lot of food!!!