Sunday, June 19, 2005

Seeing Red

It is Father's Day today but since we had our lunch with my daughter and her family yesterday, and my son is still out of town, my wife, Cynthia, and I decided to go to the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve for some birding/photography. We left Pasadena at around 6 am and arrived at Big Morongo at 7:30. Just as I was unloading my camera gear, my wife shouted, "Look at that red bird!". I peered through my binoculars and my heart skipped a bit. It was a Summer Tanager, a life bird for me, and it is actually quite rare in southern California. I managed to grab a few shots before it flew away. The shots didn't turn out that well, probably because my hands are shaking from the excitement or because the lighting wasn't that good. 

The day progressed quickly and I managed to see the Summer Tanager again, this time it was backlighted, but still good enough for a couple of shots. I also got some pictures of yet another colorful bird, the Vermillion Flycatcher.

At about 10, we left the preserve and proceeded to Yucca Valley to attend the service at the Calvary Chapel in that town. After the service we had a sumptuous lunch at Sizzler's where the food is outstanding and the service is superb!
We came back to the Preserve after lunch but light has become harsh and the birds scarce so we decided to call it a day and headed for home.
It was a wonderful Father's Day experience for me.