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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nerdy Birdy: Sand Dune

Some of the birders that I met at the Bird walk on Sunday mentioned that I had to check out a tiny park in Manhattan Beach called Sand Dune. I had never been there before; apparently it is named after the gigantic sand exercise dune that was created at this park. I was in the area for appointments and had a bit of time in the afternoon. It isn’t the best time to bird, but other than bird I wanted to check out the area, I thought it would have to do for a first time visit.

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Although I didn’t come to hike the dune.... uhhh no thank you, I did get a good workout while I was there on all the stairs at the park adjacent to the dune.

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This park is full of tangled masses of trees, so it was a lesson in how to find birds in thick vegetation. I didn’t stay long, a little over two hours, but in that time I was happy with the variety I saw. In particular I am working on spending more time with single birds. Working on getting them to really accept my presence and allow me to photograph them more intimately. My patience is paying off. Although I am not getting as many different birds when I go out I am seeing a significant difference in my ability to get better photos.

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PACIFIC SLOPE FLYCATCHER

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PACIFIC SLOPE FLYCATCHER

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OLIVE SIDED FLYCATCHER

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OLIVE SIDED FLYCATCHER

I was told in particular to look for the Golden Oaks, a native tree to Australia. Because its spring this tree is in bloom and the birds I found DRIPPING from this one tree was astounding. Sadly nothing new or terribly exciting but it was fun to see so many in one place. I saw the 1 Western Tanager, 15 or so Bushtits, a Black-headed Grosbeak, 3 Hooded Oriole’s, 2 Bullock’s Orioles, 4 Townsends Warblers and 2 Wilson’s Warblers. Apparently most of the birds I saw were in this one single tree. Next time I will have to come out early morning and see what other treasures I can find at this park.

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BUSHTIT

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TOWNSEND’S WARBLER

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WESTERN TANAGER

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WILSON’S WARBLER

I also brought our new 14mm lens and tried it out on a few flowers. It gets some weird results around the edges, almost a fish-eye effect, but the detail is sharp.

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And while looking at flowers I ran into a pretty butterfly. Sometimes finding out the names of these butterflies is super difficult but mom gave me at least the area to look into, she identified it as some type of swallowtail. From there Google helped me figure out which one it was. What a beautiful Western Tiger Swallowtail.

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WILSON’S WARBLER

2 comments:

paul peggy zeus said...

Every time we've enhanced our photography equipment, we've noticed a mark improvement. You've got the best money can buy and it shows.

Jennifer Arens said...

Love me some bushtits :)

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