Saturday, January 7, 2012
Field Notes 1/7/2012
We let the morning temperatures warm before starting out to the Blanca Wetlands. Diane rode and I drove. Near Splashland she spotted an American kestrel preening on a power pole. East of Highway 17 a ted-tailed hawk sat high in a tree over a farmstead. When we arrived at Blanca Wetlands, we spotted a large dark bird flying to the north--probably a Golden Eagle. As we walked near a frozen empty playa a small bird chirped and flitted into a bush. It was a song sparrow. We flushed a large brown bird, possibly a great horned owl, but it disappeared before we could make a positive identification.
At North Mallard Pond (an open water pond due to its artesian water source), a great blue heron rose up and soared in the sky before landing. A duck took wing before we could get a good look. I thought it was a common goldeneye. Diane thought it might be a gadwall.
Leaving the wetlands we spotted a few LS’s (LS is a little bird that flits into the bush too quickly to identify -- as in a “little something.”)
Turning down country roads on the way home--scouting some future sites--we saw a common raven.
It was a good day—we learned that you will not identify every sighting but every sighting is a discovery.