A soggy Greer Lake between rain showers.
One of the great places to go birding in Orange County is in small neighborhood parks. Greer Lake View Park in Huntington Beach is a fun place to go for a quick birding fix. Greer Park Lake View is on the west side of the intersection of McFadden and Golden West near Golden West College. Two halves of the park are separated by McFadden. The North part of the park has play ground equipment, picnic tables, and the south part of the park is the lake.
Muscovy Duck drinking from the gutter with his back to the lake.
This is a great short stop especially for fall or winter birding. By mid-Spring, it hasn't got much to offer as far as birding goes. The lake is surrounded by grass, but the south park is mostly lake. There are some tables and an eroded asphalt path. The lake is man-made and fed at least in part by neighborhood run off water. The ends are lined with stones.
At least partially fed by neighborhood run off water.
This is not a really beautiful park, but it is a place where you can find some birds. The lake has turtles--probably released from the neighborhood--and since I saw a Great Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret, fish. It is a nice oasis from the work day or for walking with the kids.
Great Blue Heron peaking from behind the stones.
When you are on your way somewhere or only have a short time for lunch. You can stop, check to see if there are any unusual birds there. See if there are any herons or egrets, and then head back to work or finish your errands. This is not a place to bird for a long period of time.
Several domestic duck breeds front to back: Runner Duck, Pekin Duck, and a Crested Duck. They may all be hybrids.It is small, and the landscaping consists of grass and lake with trees mostly on the north side of the park on the other side of McFadden. There are very few trees or shrubs on the south side of the park near the lake or it might be a better habitat for birds. Still, it does attract small groups of wintering water birds.
Snowy Egret, feathers blowing in the wind.
Most birds who are wanting to get a drink want a bit of shelter near the water so they can look for predators before they drink. Although there are rocks to perch on to get a drink, there is not much shelter so it is not too safe for them.
Now some of these birds are suggestive of Eurasian Wigeons or hybrids, but I didn't see that when I was there. A trick of lighting?
Runner Duck, Pekin Duck and a crested hybrid.
This pond is occasionally stocked and attracts some interesting birds on occasion that are interested in fish. According to the OC Rare Bird Alert in November of 2007, a small group of American White Pelicans was seen, several double-crested cormorants (I am assuming a typo in the person's report), and several species of gulls. So it might attract birds that are similar to those seen at Carr Park also in Huntington Beach. Carr Park has more landscaping and an island in the middle of the lake. It seems to get a bigger variety of birds.
American Wigeon with a partially white cheek.
The city doesn't have a website for this park. It has no parking lot. You just park on the street. There is a little side street on both sides of McFadden to park on.
Great Blue Egret, Snowy Egret, and a Mallard hybrid.
Don't forget the small neighborhood parks that can have some fun birding stops and sometimes even a few jewels. Huntington Beach alone has around 70 parks according to Stockman.com. That's a lot. Huntington Beach is a great place to birding whether you stop by Huntington Central Park for hours of birding or just stop at a small neighborhood park like Greer for a few minutes of birding.
View Larger Map
Note: The lake is on the south side of Greer Park.
Greer Park Lake View Picnic Facilities
Stockman.com news on Huntington Beach. Has a short page and pictures of Greer Lake.
Rare Bird Alert: List of Birds seen at Greer Park 11/19/2007
Includes no rare birds, but some interesting ones.
Chris Carr Park
Another small Huntington Beach park with a lake. (Note that strangely enough, the Huntington Beach Park called "Lake Park" has no lake. It was filled in years ago. )
Male American Wigeon taking a break from his swim.