Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Here and There Birding

My bad luck seemed to continue as I consistently dipped on my target birds the past couple of days. Fall migration is in full swing and there were a few reports on migrating warblers passing through the San Gabriel Valley area.

When I went to Eaton Canyon last Monday morning, my expectations were really not that high. So I just challenged myself to take a picture of every species I saw. After a couple of hours, I saw about 16 species and had photographed 13 - 3 of which are not good enough for my standards. Among the better shots are: A young Anna's Hummingbird whose head seemed like it was dipped in grape jelly...

Tuesday morning I headed to Legg Lake. At the area where we found the Bay-breasted Warbler last year, various kinds of warblers, including a rare Lucy's, were reportedly seen. Of course when I got there, there wasn't a single bird at all. Not one! To console myself from such disappointment, I wandered around the lake and even visited nearby Whittier Narrows, hoping for some sort of redemption. Thankfully, there was. At a tiny puddle of water in Whittier Narrows, an Anna's Hummingbird, unable to stand the sweltering heat, decided to take a bath.

Soon it was followed by an Orange-crowned Warbler, finally showing why it was given such a name.

I returned to Legg Lake shortly after that, where I encountered a group of birders staring at a young Red-tailed Hawk, uncharacteristically perched low on a high tension wire tower.

I joined the group for a few minutes as they searched vainly for the warblers as well. I even managed to show them a young Bullock's Oriole who tiptoed to look at the bunch of gawking people below.

The heat of the day and the disappointment of not seeing some unusual warblers were both getting to be quite unbearable, so at 10:30 am I called it quits.

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