Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quail at Last


"Chi-ca-go!" A California Quail trumpeted from the bushes at Peters Canyon. A couple scurried across the path in front of me, and others rustled and called in the brush. I tried to imitate their comical call, and a couple responded. One male even popped up onto a bush right next to the trail, and I was able to sneak up close to it for photo Strangely, today was the first time that I've seen a California Quail for my Bigby list. Last year, I would stumble across at least one covey almost every time I visited Peters Canyon.

I didn't see anything spectacular this morning. It was very pleasant though, with mild temperatures and extremely lush vegetation. Birds were very active and vocal. Wildflowers were abundant, and I found this interesting-looking one growing right along the trail. I really need to get a guide to wildflowers...


On Monday I hauled my scope over to Irvine Regional Park to try to get some good digiscoped photos. Unfortunately, it seemed that as soon as I got a bird in my scope, the bird would fly away. However, a couple Pied-billed Grebes on the upper lake made good subjects. Surprisingly, I had never photographed this very common but interesting species before.

4 comments:

Parus said...

Nice flower. I'm pretty certain it's in the family Fabaceae, sub-family Faboideae. I can't give a genus though without my flower book.
Just off the top of my head, I think it's in the genus Lupinus. The Lupin family. I think it is a Lupin and is about the same species that is found here in WI.
I know I've seen that plant before though.

Nice Quail. That's one of the ones I want for my year list. I got my lifer in Coeur-d'Alene Idaho.

Parus said...

Correction, it's not the same Lupin that we have here. I'm pretty sure it's a Lupin species though.

Tim H said...

Definitely a Lupinus species on the wildflower. However, narrowing it down to a single species would be a tedious task, as there are 68 species. My best guess would be the Wild Perennial Lupin (Lupinus perrenis), but with all the exotic plants in SoCal, that could very well be incorrect.

Once I saw an illegal Gambel's Quail family by my house!

Allen Chartier said...

The flower is definitely a Lupine, of which there are maybe 30+ species in California, and 150+ in the world, ranging well into Central America. It is not the one we have in Michigan that the Karner Blue Butterfly prefers. Yes, if you're into butterflies you'll eventually be into nectar plants and larval food plants...