Monday, July 18, 2011

Harding Canyon/Modjeska Canyon

Went for a short hike this morning with a non-birder friend. We decided to follow the creek at Harding Canyon, which is accessible from behind Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary in Modjeska. It was a sunny cloudless day, so birding was pretty subdued. A chipping sparrow flock greeted us on our ascent to the trailhead, but the highlight bird sighting was definitely three rock wrens feeding in the dry riverbed.
It was great to get back out in my beloved riparian and chaparral habitat again. We saw a great mix of natives, and the insects were out in abundance. We had Lorquin's Admirals, some whites, and even a Marine Blue hanging out in some deerweed. The dudleya were in bloom on the hillsides amongst the white sage. We hiked up the creek bed until we found running water. 

Hiking along a stream is always a treat, since wildlife is so much more abundant. We had dragonflies paroling the waterway, tiny frogs hanging out on the rocks, and tadpoles zipping around in the water.
We were only out for a short while since we both had other obligations for the day, not to mention the heat that would have driven us inside before long even if we had the entire day.
Here's a few more of the random shots from the hike:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some DC Photos

I took this photo during the Christmas Bird Count in Maryland.
This shot was taken from my apartment balcony in Silver Spring, MD. I may be a California girl through and through, but this really was a beautiful view.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Birding/Lep-ing with Hunter Around OC

Today I went birding/leping with a former camper of mine. We hit Harriett Wieder Park first for a look at the Lesser Sand-Plover that's been hanging out there. Gorgeous bird and super easy tick off to start the day. We then headed up Silverado Canyon to do some birding and butterflying. The weather was incredibly hot and clear, great for butterflies, not so good for birding. It was so wonderful just to be outside again, even if it was pretty quiet bird-wise. We had California Dogfaces flying around near all the stream crossings at the base of the canyon. We found a gorgeous lily that I think might have been a Weed's Mariposa Lily. I forgot to bring my camera, which put a kink in IDing plants we didn't recognize. Higher up we had an Acmon Blue, and a number of sulfurs we weren't able to identify - one smaller and more vividly yellow, another larger and pale lemon-y yellow. 

Bird-wise, we had ash-throated flycatchers, yellow warblers, a singing black-headed grosbeak, and a single mountain chickadee. As it got even hotter, we headed toward Dilly Preserve and the Nix Nature Center where we had a few more butterfly species, including a Mormon's Metalmark and Square-spotted Blue. The heat finally drove us to call it quits, but it was such a joy to spend time out in nature again, and all the great butterfly sightings had me kicking myself for not bringing my camera... guess it's time to wipe off the dust and get back out there!

Butterfly List:

  1. Tiger Swallowtail
  2. Mourning Cloak
  3. California Dogface
  4. Acmon Blue
  5. Mormon Metalmark
  6. Square-spotted Blue (or whatever its new name is)
  7. American Lady
  8. Cabbage White
  9. 2 Sulfur Species (Cloudless?)
  10. Gray Hairstreak