Monday, April 14, 2008


Ash-throated flycatcher - a new bird for me.

Wild Cucumber

Branches contorted by heat from a brush fire years ago.

Oak twins

Tadpoles in the stream - a spring chorus in the making!

Tadpoles - soon to be frogs & toads!

The final Saturday of the four-week birding class wrapped up this past Saturday. It was a fine day of bird watching and a large group. The birding class joined up with a club that meets the second Saturday of the month, so there were 26 of us! It was a bit too large a group for my taste, but they were fun folks.

Paula and I 'ditched' the group at one point because it was getting too warm on the trail. We headed back towards the nature center and sat on the benches at the outdoor amphitheatre and had our own bird show. The oaks and sycamores all around us were alive with birds, mostly Yellow-rumped Warblers, but there were also Acorn Woodpeckers, Oak Titmouse, Pacific-slope flycatcher, and a first for me--an Ash-throated Flycatcher.

During the course of the two hour class we saw the following birds:

  • Western Blubird
  • Bullock's Oriole
  • Western Kingbird
  • Red-shouldered Hawk (near its nest)
  • Kestral
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Common Raven (the adult & two young from the nest we saw at our first class. They were all soaring over the ridge.)
  • California Towhee (with a big green work clutched in its beak)

We were sorry to see the class end, as we enjoyed the people in the group and our guides Bob Ross and Bob Fischer very much. But Paula and I are anxious to try other spots, especially since we are getting into the peak spring migration. The classes are ongoing though, and a new one starts next week if anyone is interested. I highly recommend this class to beginning and advanced alike. It's a great way to meet other birders and share sightings.

[Composed while listening to Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark."]

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