Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Bird Count

We participated in the Christmas Bird Count. Here are the two best photos from the day.


Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird

Townsend's Warbler
Townsend's Warbler

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mountain bluebirds

We couldn't decide whether to go see the mountain bluebirds that had been reported in Riverside by the Gage Canal near Citrus State historic Park. We had seen the mountain bluebird before, but upon reviewing our prior photos we realized it was a female and the males are more colorful.

The weather was nice, the directions were good, and about 25 birds had been reported. We are glad we did go out because the males were particularly colorful. We also saw an acorn woodpecker with an acorn.


Mountain Bluebird


Mountain Bluebird

Acorn Woodpecker





Friday, December 12, 2014

Birding Coyote Point Recreational Area near San Francisco Airport

Coyote Point Recreational Area is a few miles south of San Francisco airport and has a wide variety of birds. It's a good place to stop if you want to get some birding in before a flight.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing


Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican
Surf Scoter
Surf Scoter






Sunday, December 7, 2014

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine

We went to the San Joaquin wildlife sanctuary in Irvine. We always find this a peaceful and enjoyable place to bird. Here are some of the better photos I took. Chris really appreciated the white-faced ibis on this trip.

White-faced Ibis
White-faced Ibis

Green-Winged Teal
Green-Winged Teal

Cinnamon Teal
Cinnamon Teal

Gadwall
Gadwall


Finally, a yellow-headed blackbird

When we left California in 2002, we weren't birders. We returned in 2012 with a new hobby and have slowly been seeking birds in California to add to our life lists. We knew there were yellow-headed blackbirds in the area and have tried a few times to see them. This weekend they were on the top of our list. Some had been reported near the San Jacinto wildlife area. We found a few mixed in with a few thousand blackbirds at a dairy farm near the wildlife area.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Evening Grosbeaks at Big Bear Lake.

There have been reports of evening grosbeaks at Big Bear Lake for a week or so. The bird met all the criteria for an hour drive to go see a new bird. It's colorful, it's been in the same location for a week, and there were good directions. As soon as we got out of the car at the Civic Center, we heard them and saw them a few seconds later. They were a bit difficult to see well because they hang out high in the trees and blend in. With a bit of uncharacteristic patience, Mike stayed around a while and got some good photos, taking a break to get some coffee and tea. Chris tolerated the long and winding mountain road and as a reward got a cinnamon stick at Sugar Pine Bakery.

The male evening grosbeak is stunning.

Evening Grosbeak
Male Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak
Female Evening Grosbeak

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Birding Golden Gate Park Botanical Garden

We struck out trying to get good looks and photos of the varied thrushes in Sylmar and Riverside. We spent a weekend in San Francisco and visited the botanical gardens twice in hopes of finding the varied thrush and other birds. It was good to get in some exercise in between eating at some of San Francisco's finest restaurants. Chris found it difficult to look for birds because she was paying too much attention to the gardens. Fortunately, she found the Varied thrush and pointed it out to Mike. We also ran into a coyote and some other birds before heading back home.

Varied Thrush

Varied Thrush
Varied Thrush

Goldfinch
Lesser Goldfinch

Fox Sparrow
Fox Sparrow


American Robin
American Robin


Pacific Wren
Pacific

Coyote
Coyote