Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ornithology Lab 4: Irvine Regional Park

Today we birded Irvine Regional Park, and had quite a few good sightings. The usual oak woodland species were present, including oak titmice, acorn woodpeckers, and phainopeplas in the mistletoe. Wood ducks were one of our highlight species, as this is the place in Orange County to see them.
A belted kingfisher called elusively from across the pond but stubbornly refused to allow us good looks, which was unfortunate because I find them delightful. Double-crested cormorants drying their wings provided a good chance to study this behavior, and a single female lesser scaup was a neat find in among the dozens of mallards.
Sorry the quality is so bad, it was far off by the time I got my camera on it... note the squared-off tail.

The Lewis' woodpecker was an awesome sighting, as was a definite male sharp-shinned hawk, perched in a tree nearby, which flushed as we walked up on it. We also saw a merlin perched in a tree from across an open meadow, which is a bird I rarely see, and was delighted to find, even if distant.
The parrots at Irvine are a crack-up, I don't recall them being there in such numbers! Lilac-crowned and red-crowned parrots made a ruckus in the trees as we attempted to look at native species.
Today's trip list put me at 108 species for the year so far according to where I keep my lists =) Next week's trip is to Bolsa Chica, which should be awesome...

1 comment:

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