Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Walk in Huntington Central Park East

The blue flowers often attract hummingbirds and squirrels.
My mother and I went for a walk at Huntington Central Park after the rain this weekend. We only had time for a short walk. We parked to the right of the library and took the path behind the library on the path by a bank of pretty, blue flowers. We saw several Black Phoebes, and heard finches and fall warblers flitting about in the trees. I thought I heard a hawk in the eucalyptus trees, but couldn't locate it. Here's a Black Phoebe we saw below:

Black Phoebe on a post holding up a young tree.
There is a small garden surrounded by a chain-link fence behind the library. We headed toward it.

The shady path on the way to the garden.
The inside of the garden is very pretty--even if it is small. There is a flag-stone path and fountain grass (I think).

Path into the garden behind the library.
And there are trees and flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies love. There are lots of skippers (those little triangular-winged butterflies), orange Gulf Fritillary butterflies fluttering fast among the flowers and bushes, and a few Tiger Swallowtails, yellow and black fluttering lazily through the trees like they have all the time in the world. The trees, flowers, and shrubs create a lovely tangle that the rabbits, squirrels, and birds enjoy.

Skipper drinks some nectar.
Here's a skipper I managed to photograph above. There were latana bushes, fuchsia, and other plants with yellow flowers and others with purple and white flowers (above) that I don't know the names of. As we rounded the path away from the flowers, a mob of agitated sparrows, finches, and unidentified twittering, frightened birds nearly mowed us down on their way out of the garden and I caught sight of large, fluttering wings. The large bird disappeared behind the garden shrubbery, then pulled up and landed on a tree outside the garden. Here he is:

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk who had a clumsy approach that scattered all the birds and left him with an empty belly.
There sat an unhappy, frustrated juvenile Cooper's Hawk. (It could have been an immature Sharpie--Sharp-Shinned--but my money's on the Cooper's.   A few months ago, there was a nest with three Cooper's Hawks across the street outside Shipley Nature Center on the West side of the park. They just fledged a few months ago.)  He perched on the branch and re-grouped. He looked kind of annoyed to me. His bold, frontal assault into the birds' garden party yielded him not a feather. All he did was clear the garden of any possible meal. After few minutes of stewing, he seemingly had another plan. He flew back into the garden and settled quietly deep inside the thick foliage of a tree to wait. This young hawk was learning.

One of several bodies of water at Huntington Central Park that fluctuates with the water table.
The garden exit lets you out overlooking the muddy puddle that used to be the lake in the spring. Gone were the Northern Shoveler , the Mallard Ducks, the Double-crested Cormorants , Pied-billed Grebes, Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, and Great Egrets that were there in May. Instead, dragon flies and Black Phoebes flew over the mud. You can see the longer, greener grass where the water used to be. We are in the middle of a drought. We headed back over the grass toward the library and the path that wound around the top of the muddy puddle. On our way back to the path, we passed by a lot of holes in the grass. Some really well hidden. They were made by California Ground Squirrels and the library side of the bank around the former lake is full of holes and squirrel--although we didn't see any actual squirrels that day. When they are there, they are very cute and way too used to friendly. They are used to people feeding them. Around the top of the loop, are more bushes of blue flowers, red berries, and eucalyptus. The smell of the eucalyptus is almost strong enough to clear out your sinuses. As we completed the path's U-turn, we came upon some tall trees of various kinds. A spider web glittered against the blue sky overhead.

A Spider web hammocked between the branches high above our heads.

There were sounds of finches and warblers in the high branches of the trees. I could see flashes of yellow as the birds flitted from branch to branch. I pointed my camera and tried to get some shots of the fast-moving birds. Here is one (below), right in the middle of a eucalyptus tree.  This one is a Townsend's Warbler reaching for an insect most likely. To tell you the truth I couldn't see what the bird was when I clicked the shutter because I left my binoculars in the car--I just saw a yellow bird. I figured I could see it more clearly from the photograph. And I did.

A Townsend's Warbler stretches for insects.

And then up on the branches like a sentry, a Western Kingbird.

Western Kingbird

For a short walk, it was very relaxing. We sat on one of the concrete benches, and then headed back to the parking lot refreshed and ready for our ride home.

OC Birder Girl Links
Central Park

Central Park in Huntington Beach

Central Park after the Rain

Shipley Nature Center

A Walk Among the Fall Leaves at Huntington Central Park

A Walk in Huntington Central Park East

Birds of Central Park

Allen's Hummingbird---Selasphorus sasin

Anna's Hummingbird--Calypte anna

American Avocet--Recurvirostra americana

American Coot--Fulica americana

American White Pelicans--Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Audubon Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Black-crowned Night Heron--Nycticorax nycticorax

Black-necked Stilt--Himantopus mexicanus

Black Phoebe--Sayornis nigricans

Cedar Waxwing--Bombycilla cedrorum
Common Yellowthroat--Geothlypis trichas

Cooper's Hawk--Accipiter cooperii

Double-crested Cormorants

Great Blue Heron--Ardea herodias

Great Egret--Ardea alba

Green Heron--Butorides virescens
Great Horned Owl--Bubo virginianus

Mallards--Anas platyrhynchos
Mourning Dove--Zenaida macroura

Osprey--Pandion haliaetus

Northern Pintail--Anas acuta

Northern Shoveler--Anas clypeata

Odd Ducks
Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk--Buteo jamaicensis

Snowy Egret--Egretta thula Turkey Vultures--Cathartes aura

White-crowned Sparrows--Zonotrichia leucophrys
The Wild Ducks of Orange County
Wood Duck or Mandarin Duck?

Home - Index - Contact - Shop -

Ask the OC Birder Girl

No comments: