Saturday, February 12, 2005

BMB05/08 UCR Botanical Gardens 11th February 2005

Having asked MrsM some time ago to lead the UCR excursion, I was smug yesterday, given the dreadful weather in the high and low deserts, thinking “I can’t have missed much anyway”. How wrong! MrsM told me at length that four hardy BigMorongBirders had a fine day, notwithstanding some rain, though not heavy early in the day, and were re-introduced to the delights of birding from the SmileyMobile. In all they had 47 species at the Botanical Gardens, Fairmont Park, and en route to both in true Smiley fashion. The specie list included an interesting array of water birds, and if you would like a complete list please contact

Clearly a great success that will be repeated.

This morning nine BMBs spent a very pleasant two and half hours finding 31 species including a fine Scott’s Oriole, Pine Siskin and Vermillion, but no Barney or Sapsuckers.

The Town of Morongo Valley saw fit to bring to Covington Park a CDF team to take care of tree felling and clearing of undergrowth. This appears to have been indiscriminate and much of the nesting infrastructure has been destroyed. As an example, the copse below the three Palms (where Barney was) has lost more than fifty trees including all the trees with hollows in them, and only time will tell what damage this has done to our breeding and visiting programme. There was no prior consultation and no obvious concern for wildlife.

I leave you on this sad note, except to mention that Linda Charest is monitoring a Hummingbird nest in a grapefruit basket on the front steps of their place in Seniorsville. As of now, one egg of two has hatched. The eggs were laid two days apart and not incubated until the third day; Linda continues to monitor.

Good Birding…….bb