Monday, December 01, 2008

Short-lived Birding


We didn't know when we went to Peck Park last Saturday that we would be birding next to a crime scene. We were quite unaware of that fact as we innocently birded along the lake. For starters our target birds - Glaucous-winged Gull and Canvasbacks - were on the far side of the lake. The filth along the shoreline probably drove them farther away, we thought. So we contented ourselves with whatever we could encounter along the way. Luckily, we saw some Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a very skittish Green Heron and what looked like an overstaying Pacific Slope Flycatcher. Other than those, it was just the usual smattering of Yellow-rumped Warblers, House Finches, American Goldfinches and White-crowned Sparrows. When we tried to take the road to the far end of the lake, we noticed an unusual number of police cars and firetrucks blocking the way. We quickly retraced our steps and as we approached the parking area, more emergency vehicles were coming in.

Just as we watched the scenario, wondering what was going on, Chet King, the forensics person for the Arcadia Police engaged us in conversation. It turned out that he does professional photography on the side. We also learned from him that a body was found earlier floating on the lake.

After a while, Renny and Lynn Maddox, birders from Burbank, joined us and told us that they saw the Canvasbacks. "But they were quite a distance", they said. Noting the commotion going on, they, just like us, decided to cut short our birding activities for the day.



8 comments:

mick said...

Wow! Not nice! Good thing that doesn't happen on too many birding outings.

Vickie said...

Its fortunate that not too many birding trips are interrupted this way! Nice heron photo.

Glad to find your blog sites.

Sparverius said...

The bird is a bittern? I haven't ever seen one, so I'm not sure. Great capture of it hurrying away.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Wendy, it was a Green Heron.

The Bokerns said...

The usual smattering of birds you mentioned sure sounds good here in Wisconsin where we are knee deep in snow already!

Bernie Krausse said...

I love your take off shot. It fits the situation, having to leave your birding haven too. Sorry to hear about the sad event.

Mel said...

What a way to ruin a birding trip :S

Felicia said...

My husband had a similar adventure: he and some friends were about to do some night scuba-diving at a lake, and saw lots of police in the area. An officer approached them, told them that a child had been reported missing in the area, and asked them to "tell us if you see anything" in the water. Definitely put a damper on their outing!