Last Tuesday, I met up with my birding buddy, Tom Starcic, at Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale to look for kites. The White-tailed ones, not those that are tethered to a piece of string. First we tried for Cactus Wrens near the Nature Center, but despite playing back their raucous calls, we got zero response. The place was as a quiet as a library when there were no people around.
Near the spillway, we got the White-tailed Kites - there were two of them - rather easily.
The morning turned out to be quite raptor-filled as we also saw:
A Northern Harrier,
At least two Red-shouldered Hawks
A Sharp-shinned Hawk
And a Cooper's Hawk
Out flying in the distance were Turkey Vultures. An American Kestrel did a fly-over and a Merlin got into a spat with a Coopers. Surprisingly, the usually common Red-tailed Hawks were a no-show that morning.
Our predatory instincts satisfied, Tom and I called it a day at 11 am, absolutely enraptured..or shall I say.. enraptored?