Friday, January 16, 2015

Birdy Weekend

A little slow getting to this post, but I wanted to post a summary of the birds last weekend.

Saturday, January 10, was the monthly bird walk at Lake Arrowhead State Park. Jenny, June and Mike came. It was a chilly morning out at the Park--I was surprised so many came out. The morning started out with some good sightings, but then tapered off.  But for an hour walk, we did well on birds. I think we all enjoyed the eastern bluebirds most. We watched a flock of 10 - 12 for some time. Birds seen included: Canada goose, hooded merganser, bufflehead, white pelican, double-crested cormorant, ring-billed gull, ladder-backed woodpecker, northern mockingbird, cardinal, eastern bluebird, white-crowned sparrow, eastern meadowlark, junco, and red-winged blackbird.

On the way home, I noted an American kestrel on the wire.

On Sunday, I had Wild Bird Rescue, so while feeding the birds there, did see a few birds. A male ladder-backed woodpecker was calling and working hard at excavating the mulberry tree. I am hopeful that means he might decide to nest there. In addition, the feeders hosted dozens of goldfinch, house finch, house sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, red-winged blackbird, starling, Eurasian collared dove and white-winged dove. I did not see my Inca dove, which was disappointing.

Leaving Wild Bird Rescue, I decided I would check out the Nature Bluff as I haven't gotten there since a dirt trail was put in. Well, I still haven't had a chance to walk it--a construction sign greeted me when I arrived and the trail was torn up and muddy. If I had been birding with someone, I probably would have just struck out cross country, but the terrain is very uneven and my balance is very poor. Another day. The only birds I saw from the parking lot were a great-tailed grackle and a cardinal. So I decided to go to Lucy Park.

For the most part, local birders have written off Lucy Park since the city tore out all of the excellent habitat as an attempt at flood control. Although it is true that Lucy Park is not near the birding hotspot it was a few years ago, it is still as good or better than many of the other local places. If you don't remember it as it was, you can still have a decent morning birding. There are still a lot of nesting sites for cavity nesters, so it is still a good spot for woodpeckers and titmice. However, I noted a lot of the best trees for cavity nesters are marked for removal, so I expect the habitat decline to continue.
Pair of common goldeneye (you'll have to enlarge the pic--I am not good at
editing photos on my new computer yet.)

The highlight for me was a very shy pair of common goldeneye on the river. The list of birds there included: mallard, common goldeneye, red-bellied woodpecker, downy woodpecker, ladder-backed woodpecker, northern flicker, white-winged dove, northern cardinal, blue jay, American robin, tufted titmouse, house finch, goldfinch, eastern phoebe, spotted towhee, junco, and song sparrow.

Although I didn't have a lot of time to bird this weekend, the time I had yielded some good birds and I had a good time. All in all, no complaints.

Good birding!

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