Saturday, June 20, 2009
Off to the YBC
Just now that I've gotten back into the regular swing of things after my family's vacation to Yosemite, I'm leaving again. Tomorrow I'm leaving for the American Birding Assocation/Leica Young Birder's Conference based in San Diego. Young birders from all over the country will be there, and we'll have a fun week of birding southern California (Santa Cruz Island and the Salton Sea are just a couple of the hot spots on the agenda.) I'm not expecting to see very many lifers (I'm predicting three), but I'll have plenty of fun laughing at the non-Californians as they get excited over Heermann's Gulls, Anna's Hummingbirds, and other backyard birds for me. It should be fun to hang out with other young birders as well. Keep an eye out for a report next week!
Also, I thought I'd quickly toss up some photos I took at Silverado Canyon this morning. I took a drive up there and found some interesting birds, including breeding Black-throated Gray Warblers, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Mountain Quails, Dark-eyed Juncos, and others.
Clouds and fog often linger in Silverado Canyon, but once you climb high enough you break out into the sun.
Fog and clouds often obscure the road!
I tried taking Main Divide Road to the top of Saddleback, but the road became increasingly worse until I had to give up and turn around. Ford Windstars don't do too well on rough, rocky roads.
You must be careful not to drive over the edge of the road, or you will be treated to fine views of this as you plummet down.
Fog in the pine trees gives the place an eerie feeling.
I was pleasantly surprised to find several Black-throated Gray Warblers, including two singing males and a female carrying food. I don't think this species has ever been confirmed breeding in Orange County; the Orange County Breeding Bird Atlas lists it as a hypothetical breeder.
I stumbled upon a Dark-eyed Junco nest near Maple Springs. The nest was tucked under a small bush on a steep hillside, rendering it nearly invisible. The female, visible in the photo if you squint, was sitting on a nestful of tiny nestlings.