01home02babybrain05lifelist04tastebuds08bbbs10roguewedding11nerdybirdy12travels

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nerdy Birdy: Ken Mallory Harbor Regional Park

Yesterday was Mothers day. Since I so desperately want to be a mom it is a hard day for me. I couldn’t spend time with my mommy as she is in another state and of course Mr. Rogue had to work. My options were to stay at home depressed in bed or get up early and go birding. Surfing the internet I found a bird walk at the Ken Mallory Harbor Regional Park, a park I had never been too before, so I dragged my butt out of bed bright and early.

051412_01kenMallory_landscape
KEN MALLORY HARBOR REGIONAL PARK

I was surprised at the super large group, a good 15 adults and 15 teens were waiting in the parking lot. Having such a large group, especially with the camera equipment makes it really tricky to bird well. Most of the time I don’t have a problem with the camera gear and a group but sometimes birders are annoyed by the camera equipment. The tripod takes space to set up and when hiking people have to be careful not to run into poles; so it’s a bit of a pain. This group however was fantastic. They were all super careful not to accidentally trip over the tripod legs and often they were stepping out of the way so I could have room to set the camera up. Most of them at some point or another helped point out interesting birds to me or even interesting gophers.

051412_02kenMallory_gopher

Often I offer to send images to people on our walk but I got a surprise back from one of the people on the walk. One of the women in the group took a bunch of photos with her phone and sent me a few photos of me. It was so sweet and the first time that I got a photo in the field of myself without asking someone to take my picture. LOVE IT!!!

051412_03kenMallory_me

A birder walking into the park to meet the group just happened to see another White Eyed Vireo, the rare bird I had seen at another park last week, see here. Although this bird wasn’t as cooperative to come out and get his photo taken like the other bird we all at least got to see it.

051412_04kenMallory_seeingWhiteEyed
OUR GROUP LOOKING TO FIND THE WHITE EYED VIREO

051412_05kenMallory_WhiteEyed
WHITE EYED VIREO

It is the tail end of spring migration and this is the time where we end up with rare migrants in Southern California like the White Eyed Vireo. Of course this park has a ton of birds and other more usually seen birds for the spring/summer time of year.

The Orioles and Tanagers were out in full force. We saw quite a few of them. I caught a pretty nice photo of a Male Hooded Oriole. This birds name always threw me off a little because I would think that a Hooded Oriole should have - you know – a hood. But with just his throat black I always pictured it as maybe a Black-chinned Oriole (which does not exist). The same woman in our birding group that took my photo suggested that perhaps he has a YELLOW hood. OF COURSE. So simple - I will never forget this bird’s name now, and I will always remember who finally got me to ‘see’ this bird correctly.

051412_06kenMallory_oriole
HOODED ORIOLE

The American Goldfinch is usually a winter resident here and we don’t often get to see them in their pretty breeding plumage.

051412_07kenMallory_americanGoldfinch
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH

The sun really wasn’t cooperating, it would get cloudy fast and then be bright and sunny. Photos in the clouds ended up grey and washed out like the one below of the Western Tanager. Managing the lighting conditions is always the hardest part of birding.

051412_08kenMallory_WesternTanager
WESTERN TANAGER

We did find a few birds that are relatively new to me. The Olive Sided Flycatcher I have only seen a few times just recently so it was fantastic to get good views of this bird this trip. There were quite a few at this park.

051412_09kenMallory_oliveSidedFlycatcher
OLIVE SIDED FLYCATCHER

We also spotted the Warbling Vireo a new bird for me to cross off my Nerdy Birdy List. It is strange that I am missing some of California’s common birds like this one but I was excited to get a good look and a good photo of this one.

051412_10kenMallory_warblingVeiro
WARBLING VIREO

The bird of the day was a bird we only got to see for a few minutes. Thankfully the second we saw it I happened to be close to the leader and I managed to snap a few quick photos. After referencing the books and my photo we were sure we had spotted a Dickcissle, a very rare bird for this area. I was ecstatic!!! Two new birds on this trip.

Sadly when I got home and emailed the photos to the leader to double-check our identification he came to the conclusion that this wasn’t a Dickcissle but rather an off looking female Orange Bishop. Orange Bishop is a captive bird not even recognized on my Nerdy Birdy List. SIGH. But at least my photo kept us all honest!

051412_11kenMallory_BishopFemale01
ORANGE BISHOP FEMALE

I was excited to find in the same filed a Lazuli Bunting. This is one of those birds that has proved to be photographically elusive. Lazuli’s are super shy and I haven’t been able to get that Kodak shot of one. This one sadly isn’t up to par but it was still a beautiful bird to see.

051412_12kenMallory_lazuliBunting
LAZULI BUNTING

Year round residents that we get to see more often but are just as pretty. I love this shot of the Lesser Goldfinch, not because it is a technically fantastic shot but because of how the yellow and the green colors really pop.

051412_13kenMallory_lesserGoldfinch
LESSER GOLDFINCH

We spotted a Eurasian Collared Dove browsing through some pine needles for tasty things to eat. By me getting down low to the ground to take the picture it makes this photo a more interesting shot.

051412_14kenMallory_eurasianCollaredDove
EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE

The Western Bluebirds are always gorgeous with their bright blue and rust coloring. These birds nest in this park so we saw both the male and female quite often trying to feed their chicks.

051412_15kenMallory_westernBluebird
WESTERN BLUEBIRD

A Double Crested Cormorant cursing low in the water was found. I love how just his head shows with his beautiful blue/green eye and bright orange bill.

051412_16kenMallory_doubleCrestedCormorant
DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANT

One of my absolute favorite birds I saw today was the adorable baby Pied Billed Grebe. His facial markings were just so darn cute. Love all the little babies!

051412_17kenMallory_piedBilledGrebe
BABY PIED BILLED GREBE

The Grebes weren’t the only ones with little ones. There were tons of Mallard families and the little ones were all resting in the shade piled up and cuddled together. So cute!!!

051412_18kenMallory_ducklings
MALLARD DUCKLINGS

All in all Ken Mallory Harbor Regional Park was great little urban pocket filled with birds although I was sad to say it was a little rough. A huge plan is approved to revitalize the entire park but because of rare nesting birds the project is currently on hold. I think that I would love to come back and bird with a group again but because of all the bums I sadly don’t really feel safe here birding alone.

A great day – happy birding!

2 comments:

paul peggy zeus said...

You take birding to a whole different level. Great birds and two new ones!

Jennifer Arens said...

Glad it turned out to be a flap-happy good time!

Post a Comment