W9 and I find ourselves walking the mulched path along the racetrack of Jefferson Blvd.
Now the light is better. Thin clouds pass overhead. The sun is lower in the sky.
We haven’t traveled far but apparently this duck has.
I set my camp stool up at the water's edge. The ground is soggy and spongy. The stool legs are slowly sinking. Unevenly. I do my best to dig my heels into the soft muddy soil. My Marsh Pilates will have to do to get my lens as close as possible to this exciting visitor.
I feel something crawling on my shin and look down to see it was standing room only for the ant-palooza festival on my socks.
The water seemed to bubble and boil as the duck took a dive. Underwater 15 seconds. 15 seconds to frantically smack the ants off my legs without falling off the tilting camp stool...then boom. Back to focusing and waiting for the perfect shot.
Gotta get this wonderful duck who traveled so far to see us. It’s the least we can do…
Tags: fulvous Whistling-duck pekabo90401 Canon Camaraderie Friendship Fugl Lightroom SX 50 southern california birds Rare bird Canon SX 50 chim Bird watching Bird watching Los Angeles Ballona Ballona Freshwater Marsh birds of playa vista ducks video has grebe call canard eend Marsh monkey had to delete first attempt at posting video 鸭 ente vogel Wesen suiriri bicolor dendrocygna bicolor πάπια アヒル 오리 утка vivid setting on SX 50 HSS Happy Slider Sunday pushing the sliders เป็ด dendrocygna fauve con vịt lind Lifer Life bird rare for us duck
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Every day is different. The same location a day apart … hours apart, can hold excitement and perhaps sobering disappointment. A lovely nest we found the day before is gone. The parent perches nearby. The winds carried the nest away.
Or a gate that was open is now locked. A bird seen one day is elusive the next.
Our schedules change. Our priorities change. Our physical capabilities are challenged.
Just for the time we are bird watching, troubles seem to fade.
Having a few photos to capture the moment is not essential but a great way to connect with a community and invite conversation.
We knew about the Indigo Bunting ( 2 down and two from the left) because a flickr friend posted photos. This tree monkey was out there days before a note showed up on LACoBirds. This was a life bird for many of us. We used email and IM to pass the location intelligence and encouragement along.
Birds on the top row are Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Blue Grosbeak ( so pretty he gets represented twice), Say's Phoebe fledglings, Yellow Warbler, and Wrentit.
The second row has the Great Blue Heron, a Rough-winged Swallow, a Northern Mockingbird, and the Pepla-guy (Phainopepla) who is still in Los Liones Canyon. We thought they had left.
The third row has the gorgeous Lazuli Bunting.
This month I almost skipped doing a collage. The muggy June weather zaps my energy and I'd rather be out birding than cursing at a photo processing program. But it was a very fun month with spectacular highlights and punch in the guts lows. The highs, of course, include the Indigo Bunting as well as the Indigo's handsome cousin, the Lazuli. Baby season was a highlight unless you think about the poor Pacific Slope Flycatcher feeding the huge Cowbird baby. We were run out of the area around Wadsworth Theatre, a hummer haven, because we had cameras: “Photograph is verboten!” Oh well. We don't write the rules.
I've been told that Fall migration is already underway.... but I'm not so sure. I think July is going to be very slow but maybe there’ll be a surprise or two.
The fireworks are just about to start. Happy 4th of July.
Fingers crossed that everyone is safe.
Thank you all, my little flickr monkeys. It’s a journey.
Tags: southern california birds Bird watching Birdwatching Los Angeles canon Camaraderie friendship inceville pekabo90401 pacific palisades birds malibu birds malibu creek malibu creek state park indigo bunting Lazuli Bunting blue grosbeak rough winged swallow great blue heron Phainopepla Phainopepla nitens Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus hooded oriole Icterus cucullatus Oriole masqué Bolsero cuculado Bolsero encapuchado Calandria zapotera Jaranjero canon 80D 80D 100-400 new gear Passerina cyanea Passerin indigo Azulito Gorrión Ruicito canyon monkey Passerina caerulea Guiraca bleue Piquirgrueso azul collage lightroom collage lightroom Ruiz azul grande Passerina amoena Bruant azuré Gorrión cabeziazul Gorrión de cabeza azul northern mockingbird northern rough-winged swallow oriole Nanday Conure Nanday naturalized parrots los liones canyon magic bowl vance ave monkey life bird adventure Ballona Freshwater Marsh Ballona Mimus polyglottos Moqueur polyglotte centzontle jilguero ruiseñor Stelgidopteryx serripennis BLue-gray Gnatcatcher gnatcatcher oak titmouse house wren wren nest temescal canyon
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Another Sump Monkey...
Tags: southern california birds 80D canon 80 D 100-400 Canon Camaraderie madrona marsh Marsh monkey Sump monkey torrance birds of madrona marsh Madrona Marsh Sump pekabo90401 ibon oiseau Psaltriparus minimus Sastrecillo Orite buissonnière tiny bird tiny and fast Bushtit Lightroom lind Fugl Wesen chim Vogel Friendship we'll be up late at the bachelor party tonight avem manu 鳥 πουλί 새 پرنده นก female Bushtit I'm a GIRL
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This was a special day in so many ways. Jerry was going to drive several freeways to the Huntington Gardens. It would be a bit of a splurge. The admission is a bit spendy and the gardens have a formality and organization lacking at most of the other SoCal gardens. Do your gardens have the original Blue Boy by Gainsbourough? Didn't think so.
Few people know this but after closing hours the groundskeepers round up the stray peacocks and bulbuls and put them on a bus to the arboretum. Keeping up appearances.
I took a beat to decide what to wear. Usually the decision is easy. Consider the weather and then consider what is clean. I even thought about wearing a nicer pair of boots. Black boots that show the dirt. I think I've worn them to a funeral once. Anything fancy was voted down. I turned my shirt backwards so the bit of a bleach spot wouldn't show.
We had 3/4 of a nice sandwich and a box of power bars in the glove box as a backup. Our plan was to indulge in lunch at one of the atmospheric restaurants.
It wasn't meant to be. We were greeted by signs stating the garden was sold out. Just our luck to arrive on the one day a month that garden entrance was free if you could score tickets via the internet.
We did have the option of buying a family season pass to gain entrance. A fine choice if you live nearby. It boiled down to not wanting to be in a crush of humanity.
So we had to devise a Plan B. Descanso Gardens would fill the bill.
Not terribly expansive and lovely in its own way. The day was overcast and the sun was trying to burn through. Warblers, woodpeckers, and a variety of tiny birds were flitting about the tree branches. Suddenly we feel a big bird swoop closely overhead. A cry goes up. Lookit lookit lookit!!!! There is a term in bird watching: GISS. "GISS stands for General Impression, Size and Shape. a military term originally. also variously known as jizz and gesalt. GISS to birders means learning the art of identifying and mastering birds by their (usually)species-unique quirks, shapes, sizes, antics, behaviors, etc....the impression they give you...." not sure where this quote came from...
Big. Silent. Green. Hey! That's a parrot!
"According to the research of the California Parrot Project, founded by Kimball Garrett of the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, there are at least 10 species of parrots that have become naturalized throughout Southern California, from San Diego to the northern reaches of Los Angeles and east to Redlands. An estimated 2,500 feral parrots are living freely in California."OCRegister
Tags: Urbanized red-crowned parrots Green-cheeked Amazon Mexican Red-head Parrot city parrot Descanso Gardens pekabo90401 parrot southern california birds Bird watching Bird watching Los Angeles Garden monkey Wesen La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County Canon Camaraderie 80D canon 80 D 100-400 オウム Papagei 鹦鹉 papegaai παπαγάλος 앵무새 Tuhinga попугай طوطی loro นกแก้ว con vẹt Lightroom HSS pushing the sliders urbanized parrot naturalized parrots Happy Slider Sunday
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"Wrentits form tight monogamous pair bonds, which are normally lifelong. Both sexes defend the territory throughout the year with distinctive songs that have been aptly called "the voice of the chaparral." The male habitually shares in incubation and is normally in vocal contact at all times with the female, and the pair is even known to roost together, forming contiguous "feather-balls," and to mutually preen. The young commonly remain in family flocks for at least 30 days after fledging and, on occasion, use their natal territory for breeding.
With few exceptions, most of our current knowledge on the behavior, life history, breeding ecology, and demography of the Wrentit has come from two studies, both in the San Francisco Bay region of California. Most information on life-history originated from Mary M. Erickson, under the guidance of Professor Joseph Grinnell, in an intensive 4-year study in a chaparral canyon in Berkeley, California (Erickson 1938). Her insightful and highly detailed study (summarized in a 332-page monograph), followed, year-round, the life history of 21 territorial pairs and individuals. "
Tags: Chamaea fasciata Branch monkey Canyon monkey southern california birds Wrentit Bird watching Bird watching Los Angeles pekabo90401 Pacific palisades birds Inceville Los Liones Los liones canyon Wesen Lightroom lind Friendship Fugl Canon Camaraderie 80D canon 80 D 100-400 ibon avem manu oiseau Camea Cama brune 鳥 นก πουλί 새 پرنده Pleistocene bird птица family Sylviidae https://www.kcet.org/redefine/a-tale-of-one-tiny-birds-twisty-road-to-protection springtime Vogel
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