Wednesday, June 30, 2004

AV04/16 Pipe's Canyon 26th & Big Morongo 30th June 2004

I felt guilty about Saturday 26th at Pipe's Canyon. Seven of us, including Pipe's Ace Margaret Hoggan, set out hoping to show Phyllis (and family) and Barbara the much heralded Mountain Quail. Four of our party left of necessity to prior engagements and Murphy's Law prevailed; a few minutes after we parted the remaining Margaret, Dorothy and your scribe saw their first MQ, and subsequently more than a hundred. There were no very small chicks, the smallest being about six inches.

This morning at the preserve was most pleasant and not at all hot - less than seventy for openers! Ten Big Morongo Birders covered the Marsh, Barn and Mesquite Trails (no Park) and saw 35 species, including Bell's Vireo, several good sightings of Blue Grosebeak, and a particularly fine, close-up, view of a Chat in song (if song is the right word). Yet another Virginia Rail, this time a young chick with down rather than feathers, seen below the weir on Mesquite. We also saw a Bobcat near the Nature Centre (David), a Shrew (deceased) on the Marsh Trail, and a Raccoon which passed behind the feeders and crossed the driveway. There's no doubt, it's all happening on the Preserve!

We hear that Sharon Mattern has a comparative dearth of birds in Poipu,Kauai, compensated no doubt by the weather she enjoys. Wander Woman was last heard of in Canterbury and enjoyed the Mens Choir, and then the Boys Choir........

We have changed the timing of the Wednesday walks to 7am, with effect from July, and hope we see more and in comfortable weather. No specific planning yet, although we are hoping to visit the Malki Museum (since fixed for July 29th), and have tentatively reserved Monday July 19 and Thursday July 29; more to follow.

Enjoy your holiday and your summer - and Good

Barry Parkes