Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Birding @ UCI

Today was overcast and cool, but the birds were out in abundance. On my way to class there were bluebirds swooping down from the branches to grab insects from the grass, and robins foraging for worms and other tasty items. Not one, not two, not four, but five, yes five black phoebes were on a small patch of lawn flitting around and seemingly playing tag with one another. I assume they were probably fledglings, simply adorable. 
In the bushes and trees, song sparrows were singing, bushtits called out to their companions as they moved around Aldrich park, and even a nuttall's woodpecker called from high in a sycamore. I was surprised to hear cedar waxwings calling from above the tops of the trees, perhaps getting ready to leave the area. Another good spot was a dark-eyed junco (Oregon type) at the base of a tree, I love the way their pink beaks seem to pop out against the dusky color of their heads.
Orange-crowned warblers and yellow warbers sang from the trees, and common yellowthroats called from the low bushes. House finche's bubbly songs were abundant, and house wrens singing rounded out the chorus of birdsongs I heard today. It was wonderful to get some birding in, however brief, considering how busy I've been with midterms.
I attended OC-SCB's meeting, it was a wonderful presentation on the dolphins that have been coming into the bay in Newport. The speaker was Dennis Kelly, a professor at Orange Coast College. On my walk home, I went through Aldrich park again to see if I could hear the great-horned owl that was near Humanities Hall last quarter. No such luck, but I did hear a barn owl screech only once, probably flying over?
I will be spending memorial weekend birding in the desert with some friends, so I should have some photos and plenty of updates!

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