Thursday, February 21, 2008


American Robin - Searching through the duff for a meal.
(O'Melveny Park)

Bluebird Houses for Rent. (O'Melveny Park)

Oak Titmouse - (O'Melveny Park) very secretive & a lovely singer.

Say's Phoebe - Hansen Dam.

Say's Phoebe - Another view.

The man-made lake behind Hansen Dam. Plenty of water this year, due to more rain. The island in the background was a roost for Double-crested Cormorants.

Another island, with the top of the dam visible in the background.

Ruddy Ducks. All of them were resting with their heads tucked back between their wings.

Three weeks ago, on Feb. 2, Paula and I went to a couple of places around the San Fernando Valley. The first stop was in the north valley, to O’Melvaney Park. The morning was dark and cloudy, and a chilly wind was blowing down the canyon as we hiked up from the car. It didn’t look all that promising for bird watching, but we kept going.

Finally we spotted some activity in the trees: Yellow-rumped Warblers and American Goldfinches. Farther on we saw a Robin scurrying across a lawn area, searching for worms. We finally ended up at a point on the trail that had a sign that said it was closed. So we turned around and headed down along an area where some bluebird nesting boxes have been put up. No bluebirds though.

A little farther on I heard some curious singing noises from a tree nearby—a song I didn’t recognize. When I finally glassed it, I was looking at my very first Oak Titmouse! What a lovely song it has, too.

The air was really getting chilly, so we decided to drive to the southeast to Hansen Dam, thinking it might be warmer away from the foothills. Sure enough, as soon as we arrived there, the clouds parted and the sun came out.

As we hiked down to the water, I spotted a bird I’d never seen before, which turned out to be a Say’s Phoebe—another first for me. We then hiked along a path that skirted the lake. On the water there was a small flock of about twenty Ruddy Ducks, all of them snoozing with their heads tucked back between their wings, while a Ruby-crowned Kinglet flitted around in the bare willow branches, searching for small insects. We spied a Kingfisher perched on a broken branch near the water, but it soon took wing in search of a fish.

Around the far side of the lake we came upon an odd congregation of birds: three Great Blue Herons and four Cattle Egrets, all standing together. It was like they were having some sort of meeting. They scattered when they saw us though—apparently the meeting was private.

On the way back to the car we were treated to the sight of an Osprey flying very close by, that made a few passes over the lake, then flew off.

It was a good day of birding and a fun adventure going to places we’d never been before. Some of the trips we have been taking were recommended on the L. A. Audubon Society’s website. They have a list of local ‘hot spots’ for birding that have turned out pretty good for Paula and I so far. This is a good way to find out about local birding spots near your own home!

[Composed while listening to Tangerine Dream's "White Eagle"]


Him said...

Hello, Linda....I saw that you commented on one of my old posts, and came to see you. I am impressed, and I am very glad to meet you, from one old pagan to another.......merry meet, and merry meet again!

Linda Navroth said...

Glad you stopped by! Always happy to meet a kindred spirit!