Sunday, June 7, 2009

A LATE AFTERNOON ADVENTURE

Santa Monica Mountains view
Wester Fence Lizard
Acorn Woodpecker
Barn Swallow
Cottontail Rabbit
Cottontail-detail
Sycamore Canyon Beach-late afternoon


Western Kingbird
Near-full Moon coming up over Pt. Dume


Late yesterday afternoon I decided to go on a chase to find two rare birds that had been reported. It was after 3 pm, but it had been a lovely day so I suspected that a drive up the coast would be lovely (and I supposed right!).

Off PCH I turned onto a road that went through a residential area that ended on a dirt road. This turned out to be a wonderful bit of parkland with fantastic birding. There was a meadow area bordered by a riparian area (dry streambed) composed of massive sycamore trees and willows. And these trees were loaded with birds:
Bullock's Oriole
Black-headed Grosbeak
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
Western Kingbird
House Wren
Bushtit
Oak Titmouse
Scrub Jay
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
House Finch
Mourning Dove

It the meadow and soaring over it were:
Barn Swallow
Northern Rough-wing Swallow
Spotted Towhee
Wrentit

And soaring higher were:
Red-tailed Hawk
Turkey Vulture
California Towhee

I never found the target birds (Northern Parula and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, but finding this spot was definitely worth the drive. It was blissfully devoid of people. On the drive out there was a Cottontail Rabbit just sitting along the road. I made sure it wasn't injured and took some photos before it scampered off. I think it was just enjoying the last bit of afternoon sun on an apparently quiet road.

I spent about 1 1/2 hours birding there, then headed north again. Stopped at Sycamore Canyon Beach and was surprised to find a Hooded Oriole with a fledge in one tree and a Western Kingbird in another--two birds that I didn't expect to find along the shore, buy Sycamore Canyon is right across the road and I suspect is where they spend most of their time. Also observed a few dolphins cruising south just out past the breaking surf.

Driving back the near-full Moon was rising over Pt. Dume--a lovely sight. Got home at about 8.45 pm and felt well satisfied about a great spontaneous trip. Sometimes impulse really pays dividends.

6 comments:

Tabor said...

Lucky you to be so rewarded!

Jenny said...

Hi Linda,

I stumbled upon your lovely blog. It was a true delight to look at the photos and read your texts.

The eyes of the adorable cottontail rabbit look so enigmatic and intelligent.

This nature type is so different from the one I am used to (Sweden), yet we also have barn swallows here at this time of year. :)

Linda Navroth said...

Even though I know nature is all around me all the time, I am surprised when I find something like a rabbit sitting in the middle of a residential street (though the street was pretty much off the beaten track).

Jenny said...

I know the feeling. We have two brown hares living in our back garden. They are very territorial.

Jason T. Lee said...

Linda!

I am doing great and am about to head to China tomorrow to help out at an orphanage :)

Hope you are in good health and enjoying summer! by the way, you take pretty amazing pictures...you have quite the eye!

Linda Navroth said...

Hey Jason! Nice to hear from you. Drop me an email when you return and let me know how this experience was for you. I miss you and hope you are doing well.
Peace,
Linda