Wednesday, January 05, 2005

AV04/52 The Year in Review

Our final bird walk of the year was remarkable only for the six brave participants and the inclement weather that they faced. Six Big Morongo Birders, at 43° in light rain, and a gusty wind (for pleasure!) saw 24 species including Barney in flight to the meadow, and his sister or brother in the cottonwood behind the yard in which we had seen the Harris’ Sparrow. It was with relief that we repaired to Morongo’s own fine dining establishment, which visit included a very low-key presentation of the ‘Intrepid Birder’ award to DD for attendance above and beyond…

The Year in Review

Although birding moves in seasons rather than calendar years, we had significant changes to birding at the Preserve this year and comment is perhaps appropriate. We extended Wednesday walks to cover the summer months, and to cover every Saturday except the first in the month (we did not want to compete with Linda). This worked well and although with limited attendees was well received by both hard-core locals and visitors alike.
We asked Margaret Hoggan, who has assumed the mantle of BMB statistician, for some statistics and comments on what she has gathered over the last fifteen months. In addition to our well known and well attended spring migration we have a fine showing of species in the summer, high temperatures notwithstanding, including such rarities as the Yellow-billed Cuckoo (well photographed by Mark Chappell on 4th July), the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Black-and-white Warbler. Note also that specie counts this year are well up on 2003, for which the unusually heavy October rains may have some responsibility. We recorded 116 species in the year OCT 2003 to SEP 2004 since when we have already recorded 80 species.
We have a solid all-year-round Preserve for birding, and our very many visitors from around the country and over the water can always rely on finding an interesting walk. Margaret concluded
‘ So maybe there is no best season. Every season has a new display of birds, and each year is a little different than the one before’

Good Birding in 2005……….bb


Friday 7th January San Jacinto Wildlife Area. Meet for carpool at Big Morongo 7am or Denny's Palm Springs at Indian and I10 at 7.30am. Bring water and lunch.

Friday 14th January Salton Sea. Meet for carpool at Big Morongo 7am, T/A Truck stop (Burns Bros) at Dillon & I10 in Coachella at 7.30am. Bring water and lunch.

Barry Parkes