Saturday, October 28, 2006

Common Green Darner

Dragonflies are really amazing species, what little I know about them I find fascinating. Here's a couple shots of a very bedraggled looking darner I saw today at SJWS...

Lazy Saturday

Well, I haven't been birding much lately, as you may have noticed by my lack of blog posts, but today I went out to Sea and Sage to poke around. Much to my suprise, I arrived at the tail end of Sea and Sage's Annual Pancake Breakfast. I was able to say hello to Kimball Garret who was there as the speaker, selling signed copies of a new field guide he co-wrote. It was very warm out at the ponds, and there was a decent amount of bird life out there, including American Pipits and White-crowned Sparrows both of whom signal the changing season here, quite a few Common Moorhen, a Coopers Hawk and a Northern Harrier.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Heralds of Fall

I always know the seasons have begun to turn again when the Yellow-rumped Warblers return to my yard. These birds are winter visitors in Orange County, and like the Ruby-crowned Kinglets, always signal that fall has officially begun. The sub-species we get here is the Audubon race, but when I lived in Santa Cruz last fall, we often saw both the Audubon and Myrtle races, and I learned to tell them apart after a while.

This little guy was foraging with a flock of Bushtits in my backyard.

Adult male-eastern(Myrtle Warbler):

  • Black mask
  • White supercilium and broken eye ring
  • Small, yellow, crown patch
  • Blue-gray crown, nape, back and wing coverts with black streaks
  • White throat
  • Yellow patch at side of breast
  • Black patches on upper breast extend as streaks onto flanks
  • White underparts
  • White wing bars

Adult male-western(Audubon's Warbler):

  • Dark gray head and back
  • Broken eye ring
  • Small, yellow, crown patch
  • Yellow throat
  • Yellow patch at side of breast
  • Black patches on upper breast extend as streaks onto flanks
  • White underparts
  • White wing patch

*info courtesy of USGS - Patuxent Bird Wildife Research Center.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

First Rain

Yesterday it rained substantially for the first time this fall. This morning it was overcast, but everything was clean and fresh. I love the smell of the air after it rains, its just so earthy and damp and rich with life. I was sitting in my room looking out the back door, and snapped a few photos of the birds that were enjoying the water droplets on the leaves.

Monday, October 09, 2006


I got to make my first trip to the Midwest this weekend, and I loved it. I went to visit my boyfriend Peter in Chicago, Illinois. It was beautiful, and so different from California. It was an awesome trip, despite the fact that we were both pretty sick, and swapped strains of colds, probably creating new super viruses. We stayed a few nights in Wrigleyville at the Old Chicago Inn, near the Belmont stop on the El. It was a great location, and the Inn was perfectly serviceable. We spent our last night in downtown itself, at a beautiful hotel, the Renaissance Hotel right on the river (compliments of Pete's parents).
On campus at Pete's school, North Park University.
We walked around downtown, shopped, ate deep dish pizzas at Giordano's and visited the John Hancock Observatory. We ate at the very classy (read: expensive) Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building, and then took a ride in a horse-drawn carriage around the city at night. It was just as romantic as it sounds, haha. We also visited my cousin and a friend of ours from high school at Northwestern University, which I absolutely adored. It looks exactly like a university should. If I could get into their School of Communcations I would die. If I can't, there's always graduate school.. Here's a few of my photos from the trip, I didn't take many unfortunately.
My own version of a very famous photo.
This was the view from our hotel room at the Renaissance.
The Belmont stop on the El, that's Peter on the side =)