Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros

Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros title=
Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros
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By Robert Bernstein

I recently posted about the Egret convention at Devereux Slough at Coal Oil Point Reserve near Isla Vista. This week I discovered a similar convention at Lake Los Carneros!

Here are some of my recent photos there!

The egrets are in two main clusters. At the western end of the lake they are gathered in one clump of trees, similar to the Devereux cluster

But there is another gathering near the eastern end of the lake, close to the paved walkway and dam. Here they are not in a cluster. Rather a glorious, graceful arc. Arrayed around the edge of the shoreline!

This one was hanging out among the ducks right at the shore and easy to see up close!

Here was the eastern end of the arc viewed from the far eastern end of the lake

As I watched, some of them began to fly across the lake

This one seemed to be racing a duck on the water

I like how they pose with their reflection in the water!

In addition to the egrets were the closely related great blue herons. This one rested close to the fence with its mouth open. Not sure what that was about.

This one was coming in for a landing, looking a bit like a pterodactyl!

This one was in a more natural setting among the reeds

And the one at the right edge of this photo is fanning his wings out in a magnificent pose

Plenty of other birds out there as well. These birds were also doing the open mouth thing.

And this turkey vulture scanned for carrion

Even if you are not interested in the birds, the lake and park vistas are a joy to behold

And these young people were using the area as a running track

And don't miss the nearby Stow House while you are there

I visited Lake Los Carneros Park three times this week and there was something new to see each time!

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tagdes Sep 02, 2018 02:47 PM
Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros

Nice shots. It's called gular fluttering and they open their bills and vibrate their upper throat muscles and bones to to increase heat loss on hot days. Both the heron and these cormorants along with other members of the Ardeidae family do this because of their permanent down coat and lack of sweat glands in order to lose excess heat.

a-1535928328 Sep 02, 2018 03:45 PM
Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros

TAGDES---*Great* info about those Great egrets (the big white birds) and Great blue herons. Thank you. The other birds in these shots are Mallard ducks, a Turkey vulture, Double-crested cormorants, and (I think) that medium-sized black bird in next to the Mallard ducks is a Brewer's blackbird. (Did I get the i. d. s all correct, TAGDES?)

tagdes Sep 02, 2018 08:16 PM
Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros

Yes and there are also a couple of shots with Snowy Egrets showing the size comparison to the Great Egret and a few, if viewing the whole group of shots, of American Coots. The other and prettier blackbird found usually by the marsh bridge is the Red-winged Blackbird which also has a kind of distinct liquid gurgling song. The cormorant is drying his wings after fishing due to less preen oil in it's feathers than a duck but is not a liability as it allows faster hunting under water.

sbrobert Sep 03, 2018 10:27 AM
Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros

Thank you all for the kind words and thank you TAGDES for the very helpful information! Check out Lake Los Carneros, especially if you have never been there before. It is a gem every day. Right now that gem happens to be shining especially bright with these wonderful visitors!

a-1535997865 Sep 03, 2018 11:04 AM
Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros

What do eagles call Coots? Lunch. Thanks for the photos Mr. Bernstein, and thank you TAGDES for information. I wish more people would submit photos of their back yard birds, at feeders or bird baths, and describe them and their behaviors. What behaviors have you observed among species of birds?

SoapBox Sep 05, 2018 07:16 AM
Egret Convention and More at Lake Los Carneros

Depending on where you're from, a group of egrets is referred to as a congregation of egrets. In addition to the raft of ducks or sort of mallards, the cover of coots and flight of cormorants. Or, the unseen volt of vultures and cloud of blackbirds, and, of course, what looks like a team of teenagers.

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