Sunday, December 2, 2007
It rained almost all day Friday. After months of beautiful, cloudless weather, it was very welcomed and needed. The rain started in the wee hours of the morning Friday, and continuously fell until late afternoon. It started up again for a few more hours during the night. At times, it rained very hard, transforming the Yellowthroat Creek from a small, gentle stream to a wild raging river! The water rose quite a bit, carrying debris and litter downstream. There weren't many birds out, but I spotted a drenched Green Heron stalking around on the creek bank, apparently flooded out of the creek. Even the drainage ditches were filled with rushing water.
I spent most of Saturday morning scouting out Peters Canyon Regional Park for the Inland CBC with several other birders. We met at 8:30 a.m., and walked the Lakeview, Willow, and Cactus Pt. Trails. We finished up by 12:30 p.m. Soon after arriving, I noticed a Bald Eagle soaring over the lake. I was happy to see it, since Bald Eagles aren't nearly as common in southern California as they are in Michigan. A state/county bird for me. We were pleasantly surprised to find at least four (two male and two female) Hooded Mergansers on the lake. Other interesting waterfowl on the lake included Canvasback, Redhead, Green-winged Teal, and more.
This afternoon I went to Peters Canyon Regional Park again, partially for mountain biking, and partially for scouting out the southern half of the park, which I had never visited prior to today. I biked all the way to the retarding basin and back. The southern half of the park was really birdy, especially along the creek. The habitat in the southern part is quite different from around the lake - there are a lot more trees, there's a creek with marsh vegetation, and there are several large groves of eucalyptus trees. It looks fantastic for migrants. Wish I had gone there earlier in the fall! I also found lots of sapsucker wells in the eucalyptus - a couple trees were completely covered with the wells - but I didn't actually see any sapsuckers.