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Friday, May 4, 2012

Nerdy Birdy: San Jacinto Wildlife Area

After my not so great morning at Idyllwild I had just enough time to swing by San Jacinto Wildlife Area on my way home. I have been to this place twice before and for me it is either hit or miss. The first time I went three years ago it was incredible and the second time it was terrible. I didn’t really know what to expect.

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On the drive in there were about 15 Cassin’s Kingbirds on the barbed wire fence. The car didnt seem to bother them at all but the second I stepped out they would all take off. This little guy was wary but he let me approach pretty close.

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CASSIN’S KINGBIRD

I was surprised to see a Female Phainopepla a bird that I didn’t really expect to see here at San Jacinto. Generally Phainopepla’s are super skittish but this girl let me get SUPER close; probably my favorite photo of the day.

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PHAINOPEPLA

I was pretty happy with two nice shots of birds before I even entered the park.

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Once I got into the park I was in LOVE LOVE LOVE, not with the birds but with the carpet of gorgeous flowers sprawling across a small field. SO PRETTY with the yellow and the orange and the green and the blue...SWOOOOON!

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Once I could tear my eyes away from the pretty flowers I could focus on the birds. I found some pretty tree swallows resting in the afternoon. I am always excited when I see a swallow perched. These guys are NOT fun to try and photo when they are flying. They are so fast, like flying acrobatics.

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TREE SWALLOW

This is a drive through park and although I would rather be hiking on the third day straight of birding taking photos from the car was super nice. Some of the marshy water areas, that had been full with birds before, were virtually empty. And then there were other parts that used to be FULL of water and now are sadly dried up.

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WET LANDSCAPE

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DRIED UP FIELD

Even with it much drier than I have ever seen it there are always some birds around. The Say’s and the Black Phoebe are everywhere in southern California and of course they were both present here.

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SAY’S PHOEBE

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BLACK PHOEBE

There were also a few hundred Red-winged Black Birds at this park. It was insane how many this park can sustain.

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RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD

I was just leaving the park not thinking I was going to find anything great when I spotted a large white bird flying. I jumped out of the car and was excited to see a pretty rare bird for here; the White Tailed Kite soaring the fields.

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WHITE TAILED KITE

My last bird of the day was an Oriole... of course I had to look up WHICH Oriole it was.

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BULLOCK’S ORIOLE

Time to go home and have dinner with my husband!

2 comments:

Jennifer Arens said...

WING

paul peggy zeus said...

I've learned sometimes bigger is not always better when it comes to places to go birding. Great shots of what you saw.

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