01home02babybrain05lifelist04tastebuds08bbbs10roguewedding11nerdybirdy12travels

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nerdy Birdy: Villa Park Flood Basin Bird Walk

040310_hills

There are many free bird walks throughout southern California, so when my bird shoot went so well yesterday I decided to join one of the bird walks. I wanted to pick a place I had never been before which is how I ended up in the car at 6:45am on my way to Irvine. It was super hard to get out of bed but every time I join a tour I learn a little more about the art of birding. Unfortunately there are not a ton of opportunities for great photo opps, the group is usually too big or moves to fast for a photographer to get great shots but like I said you do learn a lot and you make valuable friends.

This group ended up being particularly large. With 25 people it was a bit uncomfortably full and it was difficult to hear the guide some of the time. I can say though that I met a bunch of birders with wonderful tips and suggestions for new places I can visit. And with 25 people we managed to see more birds than I thought possible.

040310_theGroup25

There were many birds that I had seen before such as the:

040310_WesternScrubJay
387.WESTERN SCRUB JAY

Although I see the mourning dove all the time I loved the composition of this photo.

040310_mourningDove
272.MOURNING DOVE

040310_annasHummingbird2
313.ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD

040310_lesserGoldfinch
594.LESSER GOLDFINCH

The Lark Sparrow is my all time favourite sparrow. I love his face paint. He is a shy somewhat quiet bird so they are hard to find. I was super excited to be able to photo two for a little while.

040310_larksparrow3
531.LARK SPARROW

040310_larkSparrow
531.LARK SPARROW

There was this little house wren flying back and forth from her nest to the field always returning with some bug or another.

040310_HouseWrenBug
419.HOUSE WREN

Mamma bird only let me stay for a shot while before she started having a fit. I guess I was just a bit too close to her nest.

040310_HouseWren2
419.HOUSE WREN

And then I saw this White Tailed Kite. I only caught the tail end of him retreating but it was a nice shot.

040310_whiteTailedKite
114.WHITE TAILED KITE

But most exciting were the new birds that I get to cross off my nerdy birdy list.

This little Song Sparrow that I snapped just because I liked the lighting and he was out in the open. I could have sworn that I had taken a photo of this bird before so you can imagine my surprise when I got home to find that this little guy was a new one for me.

040310_songSparrow
541.SONG SPARROW

On our walk we found this Nuttall’s Woodpecker but he would just NOT COME OUT from behind all those branches. Of the 12 shots I took of him only this one turned out reasonably well. Although not a great photo by ANY means at least I did see him.

040310_nuttallsWoodpecker
329.NUTTALL'S WOODPECKER

Another not so great shot. This Pacific Slope Flycatcher was quite a ways away. We did get to watch him swooping around catching flying insects which was cool.

040310_pacificSlopeFlycatcher
348.PACIFIC COAST FLYCATCHER

Yet another not so great shot, this tiny Bell's Viero was almost impossible to catch from a distance still.

040310_bellViero
372.BELL'S VIREO

Then on the way out of the park I stopped for a moment to go to the restroom. As I approached the building I glanced up to see this clown like woodpecker. I ran back to the car to snatch my camera up and managed to get a few shots of him staring at me curiously before he took off.

040310_AcornWoodpecker
322.ACORN WOODPECKER

And then lastly this tiny little guy.

040310_oakTitmouse
407.OAK TITMOUSE

Sometimes you learn things that are VERY sad. Today I found out that the Cowbird cages you see out in the field hold birds that are marked to be killed and not just held. You see the Cowbird is not native to California, it lays its eggs in other birds’ nests, and these adoptive birds take care of the chicks like they were their own. The problem is that the cowbird chick generally eats out or kills the natural bird’s chicks. The Cowbirds therefore greatly impact indigenous species. I was under the impression that these birds were just held for the breeding season, I was crushed to find out that these birds are in fact killed.

040310_deathtotheCowbird

The world is hard and to me this just feels WRONG.

   DIRECTIONS TO VILLA PARK FLOOD BASIN
Take Chapman Ave. east from the Newport Freeway, to Irvine Regional Park (which has an entrance fee). Immediately after entering the park (just past the entrance booth), make a left turn at the first opportunity. After passing the 1st parking lot on the left side of this road, park in the 2nd parking lot on the right-hand side. Across the street there is a path that takes you to the flood basin.

2 comments:

Courtney Marie said...

You were right by my house! I love that park, that's where you took the bullie pictures :)

paul peggy zeus said...

Some tremendous shots in this birdy edition. I haven't seen the lark sparrow - he is very cool!

Post a Comment