Sunday, August 1, 2010

Salt Lake and Crystal Cove Parks

After the somewhat grueling pelagic trip yesterday, I did not turn over this morning until 7 AM. After a nice breakfast made by my friend, I hit the road about 10:30 and drove to Salt Lake city park in Huntington Park which is in the center of the greater Los Angeles urban area. I went there to see a spotted dove. I saw one fly by as I drove up, and then heard and saw one in a tree near where I parked the truck. I wandered around a bit and was able to get the 2 photos above. The top one is a good side view that shows the dove's spotted collar. The bottom photo has a mourning dove in there for comparison. Remember to click on photo to enlarge, and a double click will make it even bigger.

I then drove towards San Diego to visit Crystal Cove SP which is along the coast near Laguna Beach. I first hiked the El Moro Canyon part in search of a california gnatcatcher. I saw lots of california towhees, house finches, and lesser goldfinches plus a california thrasher and a house wren. I also saw briefly 2 different birds that were probably california gnatcatchers, but neither stayed in the open very long nor called. So after a nice 3 mile hike on a gorgeous sunny, breezy afternoon, I walked to the ocean side of the park--Reed Point. Within 10 minutes I had up to 1/2 dozen of the gnatcatchers flying around me, with a couple making the catlike mew call of this bird.

Today 13 more new birds were seen for this week, and the dove and gnatcatcher bring the YTD total up to 658. Tomorrow I will be in search of lawrence's goldfinch. Stay tuned!

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