Thursday, January 27, 2011


The entrance to Harmony Highlands State Park is on Hwy I, 5 miles north of Cayucos. The pond is located about 3/4 of a mile into the park.(photos -Monterey Cypress, Red-tailed Hawks) The weather was warm with no wind.

On the pond were Canvasback (the thrill of the morning), Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, Cinnamon Teal, No. Shoveler, Coots, Mallards. Black and Say's Phoebe were abundant. Had wonderful sightings of a male Northern Harrier skimming over the grasslands. Harriers use their sense of hearing to help locate prey. Four Red-tailed Hawks were soaring. For the past couple of years they have nested in a non-native Eucalyptus that is near the pond. Many bird species have become habituated to Eucalyptus, especially the raptors.

A few years ago the state poisoned the Eucalyptus. Eventually, the tree will fall, and the Red-tailed Hawks will have to go elsewhere to nest. Seems rather unfair and illogical to me.

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