Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Irvine Regional Park IV

I spent several hours birding Irvine Regional Park this morning, which is close to my home. Irvine Regional Park has a fair variety habitats: open, grassy parkland with lots of old sycamores and exotic trees, oak riparian, willow riparian, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub. There were lots of birds there this morning. I started out in the park area before it got too crowded. I found a small flock of Lark Sparrows (state bird, finally!), and a few Chipping Sparrows foraging around a children's play area. Lark Sparrow has got to be one of the most beautiful sparrows! Warbler migration has really picked up too - there were Orange-crowned Warblers everywhere, along with a few Yellow Warblers and a single gorgeous Townsend's Warbler. A bout of pishing brought in this very curious Hutton's Vireo, which came within three feet of me! If those branches weren't in front of the face, this would have made a decent photograph...

I biked around the park (it is quite large), birding the whole time. I poked around a dry, rocky wash looking for rattlesnakes, but I couldn't find any. I did find this Mournful Duskywing (Erynnis tristis), however.

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