Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Gone with the Wind

We thought we should end the year with a bang. The Tundra Swans at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Riverside would be quite apropos. What we didn't know was that it was going to be blustery. Blasts of cold wind would torment us as we fruitlessly searched for the swans. Perhaps the big, white birds had more sense than us in prudently staying out of the prevailing chilly conditions. Not all birds shared the swans plight for we were still able to get some nice shots of Northern Harriers in flight.

Then there was this Loggerhead Shrike, a species known for its skittishness, who stayed put even as we moved closer to take it's photograph.

The winds getting stronger as the day progressed, it finally sunk in our brains that the swans were right - we need to hightail this place pronto. Inasmuch as HIdden Valley Wildlife Park would be on the way, we decided to pay the Roseate Spoonbill a visit. This was the same Spoonbill that everybody and his uncle chased in the city of Orange early this month. The pink bird decided that it cannot stand that much attention and "migrated" to the relatively peaceful haven of the Hidden Valley pond.

The winds were at the pond,too, though not as strong, yet enough to drive the Spoonbill to take refuge under the branches of the riparian woods. There it tried to doze off but would awake with a start whenever the wind would almost knock it off its perch. The park closes at 4:30 pm and the winds have not abated so we called it a day.

Despite our misses toward the end of the year (Bald Eagle and Tundra Swans), 2007 had been a good one for us. We tallied 35 new lifers altogether. We hope 2008 would even be better.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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