Thursday, June 20, 2013


Islay Creek in Montana de Oro State Park (above and below) is a haven for nesting song birds; the creek flows through a canyon dense with willows and riparian vegetation, so dense that the creek cannot be seen unless you are standing on its moist bank.  Last weekend I meandered along the Reservoir Flats Trail until I found the path that went down to the creek.  To say the bird songs were intense is an understatement.  Boldly singing were Swainson's Thrush, Song Sparrow, Wilson's Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Flicker, Wrentit, and California Quail.
I have to admit, I do have a favorite songster, the Swainson's Thrush, whose song is an upward series of musical, whistling notes.  On the following minute YouTube Swainson's Thrush comes through loud and clear.

I was in high hopes of including a "Reservoir Flats Trail" video, but its extreme length at 1.38 min. is causing me to do more tweaking.  Will include it in the next posting. 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Weather mild with overcast gray sky - Oso Flaco Lake (skinny bear)  - 3 miles north of the farming community of Guadalupe - a delightful 35 mile drive from home.  The lake is nestled on the verdant verge of the Oceano Dunes. A riparian lane (above), dense with willow, wax myrtle, stinging nettle, and poison oak, leads from the parking area to the bridge (below) that crosses the lake, and then continues on as a boardwalk over stabilized dunes to the ocean.
Walking thru the riparian area was a treat - Immediately heard and fortunately saw, Yellow Warbler and Wilson's Warbler.  The singing was intense! The songs of Marsh Wren, Common Yellow-throat, Song Sparrow, and Yellow Warbler may be heard in the following 13 sec. video.
I was hoping to see the smallest member (1.5oz) of the gull/tern family, the Least Tern.  They nest in the dunes and feed on small fish in the lake.  There were about 20 Least Tern dashing about, and every once in a while perching on the bridge railing (below).  The young Terns wait on the railing to be fed.  Can get quite noisy as youth and adult are constantly chattering; sounds I find most delightful.
On the lake - Rudy Duck in breeding plumage, White Pelican, Gadwall (a duck I seldom see),  4 species of swooping Swallows, a Common Moorhen, and a mom Mallard with 7 adorable ducklings. 
After 3 strenuous hours of birding, it was time for coffee and an enchilada from my favorite, down home, Mexican Cafe in Guadalupe.