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.