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A Day at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
updated: Feb 07, 2013, 10:35 AM

By Denise Dewire

I was helping a friend purchase a new camera at Samy's on Wednesday and afterwards we stopped by Alice Keck Park to do some test shots. I have a similar point and shoot (Panasonic) so I brought it along for our visit, (I normally shoot with a Canon 5DMarkII).

While I didn't get a shot (this camera doesn't have a long zoom) there was a beautiful Great Blue Heron in the middle of the pond. Lots of turtles, ducks, seagulls, etc. We saw one particular type of duck that was different and had no idea what it was. Sent an email to NatureShutterbug to help id the bird. She thought, and was correct, it was a female Mandarin Duck. I then sent a link to Santa Barbara Birding group and received more info. Apparently a rare sighting in this area! Here is a link to info on this type of bird.

Normally migrating in September, there is a small group in Northern California….so this little gal is quite a distance from her other friends! I sure wish a male would have been around too as they are so beautiful.

After hearing this is a rare bird for the area, I sure wish I would have had my "big" camera with me and a longer lens!

And while Mallards are quite common, their color and detail always amazes me.

Love this little park. Always something of interest be it birds, turtles, flowers, plants and people watching!

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