Today, once more, in the Fallbrook area we had our COMBO walk: the first half in Live Oaks Park and the second half in Los Jilgueros Nature Preserve. The trip was hyped up more than usual since it was followed by the PAS Annual Picnic, consequently, we had a large turnout of approximately forty birders, composed of several faces we had not seen for a long time and other new ones that we had never seen before.
In Live Oaks we discovered 30 species, not the largest number in the world but it is always fun to see species such as the White-breasted Nuthatch and catch sight of the big bright black-eye of the Oak Titmouse (clearly Live Oaks Parks is an appropriate place for him). We also had a surprising sighting of not just one, but four Red-shouldered Hawks. Missing was the Band-tailed Pigeon , a nice bird to pick up anywhere in San Diego County but a regular at Live Oaks. Perhaps the presence of all those hawks meant the pigeons had found safer ground.
Next, we venture over to Los Jilgueros and discover 40 species. So that makes 70 species altogether, right? 30+40=70! But wait a minute, alas, didn’t we have some duplications? Yes indeed-dee! There were some duplications, so all in all we saw 47 species. Now, I, to the best of my recollection, have never seen a Band-tailed Pigeon at Los Jilgueros, but, dang it, we saw one there today. Spring migration is almost over, yet a few Black-headed Grosbeaks and Yellow Warblers were still seen. A couple other notable birds were the Ash-throated Flycatcher (which I also like to purposely mistake for the rarer Brown-crested Flycatcher) and, one of my favorites, the noisy California Thrasher. Los Jilgueros is a home to the rare Least Bell’s Vireo, and he did not disappoint. Who has that chip anyway? Unfortunately, the Yellow-bellied Chat, a regular, has not been sighted since Rick Weaver saw five of them on May 5, a month too early for us.
The wildflowers were speaking loudly to us, as well as we were to each other. We did have a couple of good flower-identifiers along but were missing the extraordinaire Sally Sanderson.
Should I have not been descriptive enough with birds, check out the two lists below. Our thanks go out to a couple of our photographers who have added photos. These help because, it seems for me, I am always looking the other way when the group discovers a neat bird.
Until next time, flyin-high