Thursday, April 05, 2012

Same Ol' and Surprise Encounters

The last few days of our stay in California were spent birding familiar places. Birding areas that were close to where we used to live such as Veteran's Memorial County Park in Sylmar where we got some nice looks at the Chipping Sparrow and White-breasted Nuthatch.

Eaton Canyon in Pasadena was the place closest to home and despite harboring a great number of visiting Homo sapiens, was still birdy enough to produce California Quail, the always skulking Fox Sparrow, the winter resident Golden-crowned Sparrow and another winter visitor, albeit uncommon, the Pacific Slope Flycatcher.

Finally, Legg Lake in South El Monte, another park where humanity congregates, also had White Pelicans, Great Blue Herons and Ring-billed Gulls inhabiting its three lakes.

The surprise came after we had our lunch at Waba Grill. As we were driving out under a drizzle, I caught a glimpse of a small brown bird hawking for insects by the wire fence. I asked Kurt to stop and for the next half hour or so tried to photograph the skittish Say's Phoebe. As fitting finale, rain started to fall and a Common Raven dropped by and perched on the same fence where the Phoebe was and protested the cold downpour.

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