Wednesday, August 03, 2005

BMB05/25 Oak Glen & Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

We had a fine walk on Monday at Oak Glen. Very pleasant weather, but with a paucity of birds; we saw 22 species, which is fine and included a Great Horned Owl and Western Bluebirds. We did not see the usual flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds or Great-tailed Grackles, which we usually see around the pond – and in fact, did not see a Grackle at all! Note; don’t try using a scope on a floating platform.

Butterflies were abundant which was fortunate as Shawn was with us for the first time, and we saw Lorquin’s Admiral, Common Buckeye, Pale Swallowtail and Funereal Dusky wing among others. The Evening Primrose was very much in evidence at up to eight feet tall!

Today’s walk at Big Morongo started with a halfhearted attempt at a shower and turned out to be very pleasant. We saw more than thirty species including a Western Tanager, yet another good view of the Blue Grosbeak and of course the Vermilions.

We saw a CDF helicopter ferrying into our meadow fire teams, which had been fighting fires in the mountains overnight, to be bussed out from the park – the fires were distant but the men looked distinctly weary

Top of the Tram Friday 19th August. We plan to take the first tram at 10am, carpool at Big Morongo at 9am, and go to Hidden Lake, which is round-trip three miles from Long Valley with an elevation gain of less than 400 feet. Hidden Lake is very pretty with more water than for several years and with the best overlook of the Valley I have found – we will picnic there so bring a suitable snack and water; Margaret will have ample opportunity to feed the Stellar’s Jays.

Good Birding……….bb