Yesterday was a marathon day of birding with Caity again. It's nice to have a girl my own age who birds as avidly as I do =) I wish she weren't going home in a few days. We started at a residential spot on UCI campus, looking for the Worm-eating Warbler (a potential lifer) that Brian Daniels found during the CBC on Dec. 31st. No luck there after much searching, so we headed over to Mission Viejo, to Aurora Park to try for a Hooded Warbler (not a lifer, but sweet to photograph) being seen. It was very busy there, people walking dogs and such, we had lots and lots of Yellow-rumps, and a very vocal Bewick's Wren, but no dice on the Hooded. It was apparently seen only a few hours after we left, darn.
We drove to Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary to bird there. It was very nice under the oaks in the sanctuary, but out in the canyon ravine it was windy, and very very quiet. We had one bird, a Rufous-crowned Sparrow, that was very cooperative and turned out to be a lifer for me! I was suprised the photos didn't turn out that well, I was having a bad camera day I guess. We rounded out the day down at the coast, first at Upper Newport Bay where we collected a lot of shorebirds for our year lists. Then Crystal Cove, where I got more photos of sunsets than birds. We ended the day playing rail tapes at UNB again, where the flyby Short-eared Owl was by far the best sighting, and owling up Silverado Canyon where we turned up a lone Barn Owl.