Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 22

Wahoo! I saw a life bird Saturday at the Bird Preserve! That doesn't happen very often. It was a Yellow-breasted Chat. I even got a picture. All in all I added 5 "new" birds to my list for the year: the Chat, a Western Kingbird, a Hooded Oriole, Blue Grosbeaks, and Western Grebes. The chat perched on that tamarisk in Pond 4 for a few minutes before diving down into the brush and disappearing.

This Hooded Oriole started out my day. It was in the trees near the rear of the Visitors Center.

These two Western Grebes were on Pond 8. They were courting and it was fun to watch them. I didn't get to see them running on the water, but they were doing a synchronized head bobbing display.
I also thought this bright orange dragon fly was really neat. It was resting on a reed near Pond 9.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 9

The white-faced ibis are hiding from me! I know they are there, but every time I go looking for them they disappear! I think it is so funny that I can't find a bird that is so common at the Bird Preserve.

But I did have a good day birding and added another five species to my list. In my first picture you can see a Yellow Warbler, complete with reddish streaks on his breast. I also saw a Common Yellowthroat, but he really made me work for my sighting. I could hear him down in the reeds, but it took two tries and about 30 minutes of watching to get one quick glimpse! I also saw more Wilson's Warblers.

A Northern Mockingbird near Pond 4.

I added a couple of birds that are all over in my neighborhood, but I rarely see them at the Bird Preserve: a Rock Dove (pigeon), and a pair of Northern Mockingbirds.

A Western Wood Peewee in the parking lot.

I saw this flycatcher in the parking lot and took a whole bunch of pictures because I knew I'd have to consult a field guide to ID him. I am pretty positive he's a Western Wood Peewee, but shoot me a comment if you think I'm wrong. My friend Lupe and I conferred with Sibley, and decided that his lack of an obvious eye-ring, his two wingbars (the upper weaker than the lower one), his long wings and primary projection, and his dusky vest, seemed to narrow it down.

Western Wood Peewee from the front.

I also got some nice shots of this Black-chinned Hummingbird resting beneath the shade of the patio awning. All-in-all a good day at the Bird Preserve.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 2

I took my boys birding on Saturday. Actually, I should say I took my kids lizard-ing, bunny-ing, bee-ing, ant-ing, and, lastly, birding. My husband had to work so I took my kids to the Bird Preserve so that we could all get out. They had fun, I got sunburned but they didn't, I felt like a good mommy, and, yes, I even saw two new species! Pretty good for birding with kids who were more interested in finding the perfect stick than in seeing any birds.

I do have to brag a little and say that my 6-year-old can now identify Northern Shovelers, Mallards, Ruddy Ducks, pigeons and grackles. He might not be the next birding prodigy, but I think that's pretty good for a kindergartner.

As for my new birds? I saw a starling on the wires above the visitors' center as we were coming in. (I know, it's just a starling, but it's still a new species for the year.) I also got a couple of quick looks at a pair of Bullock's Orioles in the trees along the out side of Pond 3. The male was stunning: bright orange and black! I tried to get a picture, but he was not cooperating (and by that point, neither were my kids). I also enjoyed watching a couple of Wilson's warblers flitting around in a tree while we sat on a bench and had a snack (gluten-free granola). The only bloggable picture I got was this female (no blue on its belly) zebra-tailed lizard.