Saturday, March 15, 2014

Santa Ana in Late Spring - Hawk Watch

Spring is has come to the once dry refuge.   is now green, bird migration to the north keeps the refuge in a constant change.  It would be interesting to see it in the summer and fall. 

Finding Pauraque is a challenging activity since they camouflage so perfectly into the underbrush.

Common Pauraque

Lesser Goldfinch 

   Blue-gray Gnat-catchers

Female on right
More colorful male below
Dave Seal, an avid life long birder is working at Santa Ana for the Hawk Watch Count starting March 15th. He has been banding birds since 1957 starting in his hometown near Rockfort, Ill. Dave, at 78 still has a great eye for the skies carries the scope on the Bird Walks. I first met him at Estero Llando 3 years ago  on a bird walk. Here he is looking good after a trim on his usually wiry beard. Gunnar enjoys hanging back with him exchanging life stories. Dave started identifying birds like Audubon, by shooting them on his grandfather's farm in the 1940s. The first photo of Dave is at Pintail Lakes looking for Northern Roughwinged swallows.

Dave with fellow Hawk Watchers on the first day of the Watch

    The ice storm a month ago took down the power lines  to part of the Refuge. To repair the lines some ponds had to be drained, making Willow Lakes lower every week.  Today there were power crews out to restring the lines over the once wet bough. In Willow there were mostly White-face Ibis and Northern Shovelers and a few Teal.

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