Wednesday, June 23, 2004

AV04/14 Big Morongo Canyon Preserve 23rd June 2004

Summer birding on the Preserve is quite definitely different. We have a very small group of dedicated birders - five this morning, including David Novick back from fishing-induced injuries - and follow different routes than most walks during the 'season'. This morning we took the Marsh, Mesquite, then Canyon to the first Cottonwood copse, back to upper Mesquite and across to the park. Very pleasant indeed, and with much of the walk in the shade, quite comfortable.

We found forty species including a wonderful view of a Yellow Breasted Chat from the Marsh Trail; at the top of a willow, it faced the sun, and us, and posed and sang for ever. The Marsh also showed us a Brown Crested Flycatcher being fed, including what looked like a particularly tasty underwing-moth. We could have charged for this! We also saw a very young Cooper's close to the nest in the canyon - but were not bombed as some have been, found Bell's Vireo and Oak Titmouse on the Mesquite, and a good view of the Blue Grosebeak below the road to the Nature Centre.

Mark sent us pictures of Mountain Quail taken around the trail head at Pipe's Canyon (he hates to be left behind, being local) and Mary Norlund came down from Cheyenne looking for 'our' Mountain Quail as a life bird (stretching it, but it sounds good). I intend to return to Pipe's this coming Saturday to check on the progress of the chicks; 8am at the trail head if anyone would like to join. Big Morongo Birders intelligence is aware that MrsM is back in Yucca but is laying low for the moment; Wander Woman is already missing her!

Wednesday walks continue at 8am. Don't forget Top of the Tram on Friday 25th June. Meet at the tram at 9.45am, bring water and snack/lunch.
Barry Parkes