Thursday, February 28, 2013—Another Beautiful Day In Paradise

It’s Thursday—that means it’s birding day. I rode with neighbor Lorna to Santa Ana NWR, our last birding trip of the year, and perhaps for all times since Jerry and Karen Smith have bought a winter place here in the Valley.

It was an interesting commute; just outside the entrance to BPVRV Resort . We were met with a speeding Border Patrol vehicle, which turned around and passed us as if we were sitting still. With lights flashing, another 11 city, county, state, and Border Patrol enforcement agents passed us; we never discovered the reason. As we neared Santa Ana NWR, we saw eight illegal aliens leave a cornfield and jump into the Tahoe, which then sped away. It was definitely an orchestrated event, as we suspect are most illegal entrances into the US in this area. Quite interesting!

130228_EEThere were 24 birders this morning (Jim & Ruth Alexander, Marie Burke, Elton & Donna Combs, Donald Dunn, Dottie Farrer, Lou & Jan Frase, Aileen Garvin, Lorna Graham, John & Romola Laninga, John & Donna MacNeil, Dave & Marcia Marsh, Ernie & Karen Martelle, Steve & Suzette Mazur, Pat Riek, Jerry & Karen Smith), and before we began, Lorna presented Jerry and Karen with a thank you card and $200 in cash as a token of our appreciation. Truth be known, it’s much too little for the time and expenses they incur, but for them it is a labor of love. We had a great day today, ending with 71 species. 

We did karaoke tonight at the palapa, and it was fun.

Just for fun I’m including a list of the birds we identified today.

130228_EE-5Ducks & Geese:   Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck

Chachalacas: Plain Chachalaca

Grebes: Least Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe

Cormorants: Neotropic Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant

130228_EE-2Herons, Egrets & Ibises: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, White-faced Ibis

New World Vultures: Turkey Vulture

Kites, Eagles, Hawks & Falcons: Northern Harrier, Harris’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel

Rails, Coots & Allies: Common Gallinule, American Coot

Plovers, Sandpipers & Phalaropes: Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs

Mockingbirds: Northern Mockingbird

Starlings: European Starling

Wood-Warblers: Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, (Myrtle) Common Yellowthroat

Sparrows: Olive Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow

Cardinals:   Northern Cardinal

Blackbirds & Allies: Red-winged Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle

Old World Sparrows: House Sparrow

Plovers, Sandpipers & Phalaropes:  Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher

Pigeons & Doves: Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove

Owls: Great Horned Owl

Kingfishers: Belted Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher

Woodpeckers: Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Tyrant Flycatchers: Eastern Phoebe, Great Kiskidee, Tropical Kingbird

Shrikes:   Loggerhead Shrike

Vireos: White-eyed Vireo

Jays & Crows: Green Jay

Swallows: N. Rough-winged Swallow, Cave Swallow

Titmice: Black-crested Titmouse

Wrens: Carolina Wren, Marsh Wren

Kinglets: Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Gnatcatchers: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

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