Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ring-necked Ducks and Belted Kingfisher

We spent some time at UCRs AgOps this weekend. The migrating ducks have just started arriving. It was nice to see a kingfisher too.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mandarin Duck: Finally

We went to Anaheim's Yorba Regional Park in hopes of seeing a Mandarin duck. A few had been reported there earlier in the week. This is probably our fifth or sixth attempt at seeing this duck, having struck out when visiting other places it has been reported in the past year. There are three ponds at Yorba Regional Park. We searched the first two ponds to no avail and didn't spot it when we arrived at the third. Finally Chris saw a male sleeping by the side of the pond. We waited a while and eventually it swam off with a female close by.

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Ducks

I know it's an introduced species and hardly looks like a wild bird, but it was fun to finally find one.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

UCR's Verdin



A verdin has been coming to UCR's botanic gardens for each of the past 4 falls. This year, a friend spotted it building a nest. Chris and I just had to go see it. We think it's building a roosting nest for it to keep warm in the winter.

It's a cute bird, but it would never tolerate an east coast winter.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pin-tailed Whydah: Andulka Park in Riverside, California

Pin-tailed Whydah

A colleague asked Mike to identify a bird she had seen. As he read the description, the pin-tailed whydah came to mind and she verified that it was the whydah. So, the next morning, Mike and Chris head out to the location, Andulka Park in Riverside, in hopes of spotting it. The Whydah is a bird from Africa that has established a small breeding colony in Southern California.

As we entered the park, we spotted a nutmeg mannikin, another introduced species from Asia. We viewed that as a good sign because we've observed them together in other locations such as Huntington Central Park.

Nutmeg Mannikin

We spotted the female first.
Pin-tailed Whydah (female)

It's a fairly cooperative bird, easy to locate and well worth the 3 minute drive from our home.

Pin-tailed Whydah

To complete the day, we also saw an acorn woodpecker and a Say's Phoebe.

Acorn Woodpecker

Say's Phoebe