Saturday, January 22, 2005

BMB05/05 Big Morongo Canyon Preserve 22nd January 2005

Seven favoured BMBirders gathered at the Preserve this morning after a long day at San Jacinto yesterday – so many could not take the pace! With a starting temperature of 38° but with clear skies and no significant wind, we hoped for the best with our visitors from Toronto and Salisbury.

We saw 31 species, not remarkable in itself, but the quality quite definitely was. Walking down the ‘authorised vehicles only’ trail, we saw a pair of Scott’s Orioles and a pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers in the Cottonwood in the middle of the meadow. We took the trail to the Nature Centre and in the pine to the left of the centre was something perhaps unusual; the scope – thanks David and Sandra – told us that it was a female Red Crossbill, not seen on the Preserve for many years. We had it in the scope for five minutes or more, but did not see a male. Working through the barn over the meadow we saw a male Vermillion towards the trees bordering the park. In addition to seeing Barney, we saw a Barn Owl in flight (top of the park) and also saw the Harris’ Sparrow (same place).

Pretty remarkable birding for one morning…………

Barry Parkes