Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Environmental Nature Center

Birded briefly at the ENC today in hopes of refinding Peyton Cook's black-chinned sparrow. no luck and boy was it hot out... Nothing out of the ordinary, LEGOs, SOSPs, HOFIs, COYEs all caling. Saw and heard hooded orioles in the palm trees, nesting perhaps. A pac-slope was calling and I got a glimpse of it flicking its tail, clearly it had decided it was too warm to flycatch. I don't blame it. I called it quits soon after that too, the pool somehow seemed more inviting, so sue me...

Some sort of cactus bloom, similar to the purple ones I got in Big Morongo...
Mourning Cloak
honeybee yet again, I'm good with these...
mommy mallard, I was afraid she was hurt cause she refused to move and let me get so close but the ENC guy said she was part of a nesting pair and they had their nest near to where I was standing. Sorry momma!

More Babies!!

These aren't my photos but I just had to share them, it looks like there's more than one kind of baby being seen this spring. Hooray!!

Mom's keeping an eye out =)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day

Spent some time at Sea and Sage then decided to hit Bolsa Chica. Dumbest decision ever, PCH was packed with people driving out to the beach for the holiday. Took me 45 minutes to make a 15 minute trip to Long Beach... grrrr.

Gulf Frittilary

Belding's Savannah Sparrow

Some sort of bee on the passionvine, carpenter perhaps?

Forster's Tern

Honey bee on mallow species

Elegant Tern

Also, while jacuzzing with friends the night before last, my friend said, "look! Leigh is that an owl?" and it was, a Barn Owl. I'm amazed that they still exist around here what with how many I see dead on the roadsides...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

SJWS - Memorial Weekend

Had a truly amazing day at SJWS today! Everything was lush, and spring was evident. Babies everywhere, singing birds and a whole new mix of characters. My RCKIs and WCSPs are gone until next winter, as are a lot of my winter ducks, but in their place were residents in their gaudy spring alternative plumages, and a few migrating birds stopping by on their way elsewhere, as well as a few summer visitors.
(honeybee on the wildrose booms)

The winter plants, like stinging nettle have almost completely died out, only a few left on lesser traversed trails, and the willows are all gone to seed creating a snow-like flurry of fuzzy white seeds in the air.
(there were ladybugs all over this plant)

Insects were abundant, midge flies clouded the trails, providing a feast for the swallows. No swifts at the marsh today, but I've seen them twice now in Orange so they are around. There was an enormous swarm/hive of bees along the trail, I wonder how long they'll stick around.
ATFL - a treat =)

Bee alert. Beeeware. heh heh.

Displaying Killdeer

Flying MALL

A subtle yet attractive PBGR

Harlequin beetle babies, they were tiny!


Curiously friendly Bushtit

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

White-throated Swifts

Now that's a bird I'll probably never get a good photo of, ahaha. I was in Orange today trying to get my dress for prom (yes I am in college, yes I'm going to my high school's prom anyhow) and flying around a freeway overpass were about three white-throated swifts. I was so thrilled to see them as I adore swifts, and I rarely see them, especially that low to the ground. It was very cool, I just wish I was quick enough on the draw with my camera to get a photo of a bird like that...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lack of Updates

Hey guys, sorry I haven't been posting, this past week was finals, and I was studying hard. Classes are over now... buut it's raining. Soon as the sun comes out I'll go take some new shots!


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day Walk - Upper Newport Bay 5/14/06

Well my walk seemed to be a success. All the people who were truly interested stayed up around me, and the family members who got dragged along by their mothers lagged behind. It worked out perfectly. It was a gorgeous day, if somewhat bird-less, but we managed to see enough to make everyone happy. I am exhausted so without further ado, my meager amount of photos from the walk...

Me and Ranger Sue!

Marbled Godwits

Western Grebe

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Stress Reliever

I walked around Sea and Sage today to try and relax a little. This week has been pretty stressful for me. It was a beautiful day and I saw plenty there. A female Northern Harrier flew over me, I was alerted to her presence by a very worked up Tree Swallow calling. Got fantastic looks at Great Blue's, they were all over. Least Bell's Vireos calling around today, they're comin in for the summer =) Got good looks at Least Terns too. It was kind of neat to be there with all the fuzzy seeds from the willows blowing around in the breeze. Not too great for allergies but for some reason it wasn't giving me too much trouble.

My Mother's Day hike at Upper Newport Bay has 36 people(!!!) registered for it. The tide isn't fantastic at that time of day tomorrow but I think it's going to be sunny and gorgeous so it should be fanstastic.

Carbon Canyon

Went to Carbon Canyon with my friend yesterday, pretty darn quiet there but got a snake in the path as we were hiking! It was awesome, a racer of some sort but I didn't get a picture. I think we startled him more than he startled us. a yellow-breasted chat and I had a conversation and I got some good looks (and crappy photos) of a bewick's wren.

This mommy has her hands full for mother's day ;)

The rest of the pics were pretty cruddy, I might just have to go birding again today =)

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Bee in the Matilija

I birded Sea and Sage this morning cause I've been waiting for my friend to be free to go hiking this afternoon. Just a few shots to share...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Huntington Central Park

Birded with Photographer Tim and Mokitom at Hungtington Central. I had some food poisioning the night before so I didn't get out till around noon. As a result it was awfully quiet. Does it seem like the Hermit Warbler and Olive-sided Flycatchers have been coming through in numbers this spring? I feel like I've seen more in the last weeks than I have in my life. lol. Anyhow so good birding at HCP, and without further ado, my few photos from the day...

Selasphorous hummer, lots of green on the back and although I didn't get a decent shot of the retricies I'm gonna go with Allen's.

Warbling Vireo

Mating Monarchs

Red Admiral

American Goldfinch

Thursday, May 04, 2006

El Dorado Park

Birded El Dorado today, it was very pleasant. I got a decent number of empids there, warblers were minimal as it was mid to late afternoon and they were quiet. Got dive-bombed by a bloody bluebird, that'll teach me to walk too close to a nest box again. Got the bird in my camera about to snap a photo then realized it had taken off and was flying RIGHT at me. hahaa Ducked just in time and backed off quickly. Quite a few red-necked sliders in the ponds, and the egrets and herons are bloody tame. I watched a black-crowned night heron eating bread from someone feeding ducks!! Speaking of which, billions of domestics and funny ducks there. I got a wigeon today too, one lone bird amid millions of mallards.

Had my favorite swallow, Barn Swallows, flying overhead and calling. cutest things. Plenty of house sparrows, joy. Can't we give those suckers back? I want to go back there soon, perhaps this weekend, and shake it down in the morning, less people, more birds.
American Wigeon
Pac-Slope FL
Western Tiger-Swallowtail... minus a tail
Olive-sided - rockin the vest.
Found these nifty light colored poppies mixed in with the normal ones...

Big Morongo Birding with Luke

Well yesterday was a bit of a suprise. I ended up birding Big Morongo (out near Palm Springs) after my class with Luke DeCicco from Alaska. =) Birding was pretty quiet considering we were there from 3-6ish but still not too bad. Weather was gorgeous, sunny and 90+ degrees.
We got verdins, ash-throated flycatchers, phainopeplas, plenty of hummers, orioles, and even a nuttall's woodpeckers at the feeders. The black-throated sparrows eluded my camera lens sadly. We heard a black-tailed gnatcather calling, found it not far off of the trail, a lifer for me, bringing my lifelist up to 368.
Cal thrashers and towhees were trip birds for Luke, as was the Nuttalls. Lots of LEGOS, WIWAs, and YWARs in the trees, a MacGillivray's called and sculked in a bush. The 'wow' call of the cal quails were omnipresent but we never got a look at any. As for butterflies, I got three species for the day, Reakirt's Blue, Lorquin's Admiral, and a dozen Cabbage Whites. Some red dragonflies and a blue damselfly made an appearance.
I was invited to dinner when I dropped him back off at his host's home. The meal was delicious and we dined outdoors. I saw a bat go over, no clue as to species though =) Anybody know what's common out there in palm desert?
And no for some pictures:
Unidentified damselfly
Western Scrub-Jay
Lorquin's Admiral
Reakirt's Blue
Ash-throated Flycatcher
It's me!
Cactus Flower
Look, Luke's birding!
Black-chinned Hummingbird and females
I want to call this Bush Poppy for some reason, is that right?