Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Birding @ UCI

I got out of a class early today, and since it was just so gorgeously warm outside - 80+ degrees in November!?!! - I just had to take a stroll through Aldrich Park. Its a grassy, hilly area with a few nice sycamores and pines in the heart of the UC Irvine campus. I didn't have binoculars on me, but birds were calling, and feeding quite actively.
There were winter migrants like the Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers vocalizing loudly. At least two gorgeously marked Townsend's Warblers were foraging in the sycamores.
A House Wren was calling loudly, and allowed me to get close enough that binoculars would have been virtually useless, before flying to safety. Song Sparrows and Black Phoebes were present as expected. As were the multiple Anna's Hummingbirds flying around large red flowers.
A Downey Woodpecker gave me a bad case of "warbler neck" as I strained to see it near what seemed at the time like the top of the tallest tree in the park.
Although it was a mere twenty minutes without the aid of even a pair of binoculars, I felt refreshed for having been able to sneak a little birding into what is otherwise a very busy school day!

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