Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Birding Ballona Freshwater Marsh & Royal Palms Beach

This morning, early, I headed out to Ballona Freshwater Marsh, a birding “hotspot.” There I saw my first Common Yellowthroat, two Eurasian Collared Doves, several California Gnatcatchers (and I walked along the path with one female for a stretch). A delightful, highly vocal Song Sparrow who did me the favor of flying out, perching on the high branch of a bush, and singing her little heart out! I saw lots of ducks: cinnamon teals, gadwalls, mallards, greater scaups, green-winged teals, pied-billed grebes,  as well as American coots and a White Egret and a Snowy Egret. I see these commonly, and they stand out because they are so large and bright white, but I still love to see them, especially when they are standing still, reflected in still water.

Inspired by a movie, a book, and L.A. eBird (as well as the virtually empty freeways during the holiday!), I realized I could go birding in two places today, so I next drove over to Royal Palms Beach. There I was thrilled to see nine Black Oystercatchers keeping company with one American Oystercatcher. I also saw four or five Whimbrels (including one who looked back at me!) and a Spotted Sandpiper on the rocks, doing her characteristic bobbing about. Really wonderful to see! In addition, there were many willets, terns, and gulls as well as yellow-romped warblers and white-crowed sparrows. One of the yellow-rumps flew down to the rocks right by the ocean and was sprayed by the waves!


Melian the Maia

Melian the Maia by kimberly80

An image of Melian the Maia with three birds,

from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion,

by kimberly80

She taught the nightingales to sing.

Royal Terns, Western Gulls, and Heermann’s Gulls

Today I went to the beach in Santa Monica. I was delighted to ID several Royal Terns on the edge of a rocky shore, with the help of binoculars, and I heard them making their distinctive calls. There were a number of gulls, too, including first-year Western Gulls and first-year Heermann’s Gulls.

Common Buckeye Butterfly

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 2.16.45 PM

spotted on the service road from Brackett Airfield
to Bonelli Regional Park

Cloudless Sulfur Butterfly


Western Tiger Swallowtail

Fullerton Arboretum

Zen Heron at the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock, Wiltshire


Karen Knorr