Wednesday, June 09, 2004

AV04/12 Pipe's Canyon 9th June 2004

Well, it took eleven Big Morongo Birders including rookie Paul Anderson (who went home with a heck of an opening Life List) to lay to rest the saga of the Mountain Quail. On an absolutely perfect day, temperature around 60 and sunny, we started at 8am and saw a covey of Mountain Quail between the office and the picnic area, and then went on to see

Black Throated Sparrow, Gambell's Quail, Mountain Quail, California Towhee,
Cactus Wren, Ash Throated Flycatcher, White Throated Swift, Rock Wren,
Mourning Dove House Finch, Scrub Jay, Spotted Towhee,
Lesser Goldfinch, California Thrasher, Bushtit, Black Headed Gorsebeak,
Lawrences Goldfinch, Say's Phoebe, Red Tail Hawk, Mockingbird,
Scott's Oriole, Violet- Green Swallow, Ladderback Woodpecker.

The Mountain Qail were quite remarkable, many more than a hundred and Jeanne thought 'hundreds'. After the trail head we found them from about 1.3 miles out and mostly flushed from lush green areas with water. We saw chicks of all sizes, some as close as ten feet, including a group of six learning to fly. Four made it and two chickened out. We saw how distinctive the twin plumes were - much more so than most of the field guides indicate. This will be a hard act to follow!!

Our Birders Travels. Don & Sylvia saw Elegant Trogon and Flame-coloured Tanager in Arizona, before seeing a bunch of Condors in Grand Canyon, including one not banded or numbered. Cam is all birded and wildflowered up after a great time in Sierra Subettica in Spain. Isabel, volunteering at Rocky Mountain National Park, sent a wonderful story of a pride of Mountain Lions, one youngster being caught and released; no one was hurt, except for an Elk.

Next Date Friday 25th June. We plan to go to the Top of the Tram in Palm Springs. Car Pool at Big Morongo at 9am or meet at the tram at 9.45am to catch the first tram at 10am, fee about $20. Bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water, or whatever for what could be some good birding. I was there recently and had a really good sighting of a White-headed Woodpecker.

Wednesday walks continue at Big Morongo, June 16th at 8am.
Queries and comments to me at 760 328 6750 cell 760 333


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