Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lifer and year and county birds, oh my!

Today I finally got to see the Worm-eating Warbler at UCI that I've been chasing for a few days. There were a few local birders, as well as Jim Lomax and John Luther, down from Nor Cal to work on their southern county lists. I rolled up at 8am, and saw people beckoning that they had the bird. I jumped out of my car and ran over... only to see it fly away. We stalked it for a bit longer, another miss, then finally Steve Alter called us over and we were all standing staring at this one tiny bush, the whole of which fit into my binocular view. A rustle, then movement, then another rustle. Finally it popped out and there was a collective cry, it flew up to the bare branches of a tree, then out the backside. I didn't get any photos, but damn did I get a good look. =) I'll try going back later for more pictures later.
You'll just have to believe me when I say this was the Wormy ;)

Next stop off the 133 near Laguna Woods for some Mountain Bluebirds and Vesper Sparrows. No dice on the sparrows, which would have been a lifer, but the MOBLs although not lifers, were year birds, and very just gorgeous. We also had a pipit flock, but nothing out of the ordinary.

On to El Dorado Park where there was a Harris's Sparrow reported in a brush pile with a flock of White-crowns. We walked up and I instantly got on it (I really really love it when I find the lifer myself). It was fairly cooperative, gave us some good looks, then flew off. Too easy. Luther and Lomax went on to bird farther north in L.A., and I went home since I've got tickets to the Red-wings v. Ducks tonight in Anaheim. A slightly different type of bird-watching ;)

(You might have to click to enlarge these shots in order to see the Harris's Sparrow)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually there's no suspension of disbelief required for the Worm-eating Warbler: those smudgy undertail coverts are absolutely distinctive!
Great birds, and it sounds like a great day.