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.
Male Evening Grosbeak
Female Evening Grosbeak
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Sunday, November 23, 2014
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.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Saturday, November 1, 2014
As we were leaving Fairmount Park on Wednesday, some people found a chestnut–sided warbler and we didn't have time to stay as sometimes Mike's job gets in the way of birding. When there was a break in today's rain, we decided to take another look. We had seen Chestnut-sided Warblers while living on the East Coast and they always had the obvious chestnut side. This is apparently a young first winter bird without the distinct marking, so we were a little unsure about what we were seeing. Fortunately, a group of birders were hanging around the "Prothonotary Warbler tree" and they were able to confirm for us it was the Chestnut-sided Warbler. We also got better looks, and photos, of some Townsend's Warblers today.