The San Bartolo arroyo has always been one of our favorite birding areas in Los Barriles. We took our first quad ride of the year up the valley to find good news and some surprises. Along with the usual and beautiful White-winged Doves we saw a Peregrine Falcon soaring the canyon rim. This bird was shy and quickly took off for parts unknown.
Heading up towards the distant ponds we like to visit, darling Debbie peals off in a different direction. I can see she’s going across the flats to a group of lush-from-the-recent-rains bushes and trees. Probably a great idea. Should be birds there hunting around for insects attracted by the new and moist growth. If you remember from our blogs last year, birding was pretty slow. The seed eaters and flycatchers in particular were hard to find. I never heard of any die-offs, which sometimes happens, so I think the birds just found other places they liked better.
I go on ahead and leave Debbie to some peace and quiet so she can shoot solo for a while. I pick a spot in the shade and wait for her. Everything is so green, signs of life much unlike last year.
Here she comes and we chat and share for a few moments. Whats this bird, as she holds her camera up. Well I’ll be, that’s a female Lazuli Bunting. I think that’s the first female we ever saw up here. Take a look…
It’s pretty cloudy today so the light is not great for photography. Just the way it is sometimes.
We head on up towards water and Debbie spots a perching Red-tailed Hawk. We pause and watch the bird watch us for a while.
Nice looking bird. We make it up to the first pond and shut off the motos. We were greeted by the sounds of life and that made us feel good. I could hear a Spotted Sandpiper. There it was, chasing insects with it’s tail constantly bobbing.
Then I could hear the ascending peeP of a Pacific Slope Flycatcher . The bird was obviously annoyed by our presence so we took a few shots and moved on.
I see a guy walking up behind us that looks like a family member or worker from the pig farm down the valley. They get their water from this pond and I supposed he was there to check on one of the many leaks in the line, we waved, he waved back. He walked along the shear rock wall on the other side of the pond like it was a sidewalk. As he got near the reeds on the upper pond a bird flushed. Up into a tree it flew and Debbie and I are both surprised to see a young Green Heron. Never, never saw one way up here before. We watched as it distastefully glared at the man as he walked away. The bird put on a little show for us as it walked up and down the tree branch flaring it’s crown in anger.
Funny guy! I’d like to remind you that we support ovarian cancer research with a portion of our book’s profits. Buy one for yourself or a friend. Christmas is coming. It’s also available from Kindle. We will be at the up and coming Art Fair in Los Barriles Nov. 24 with books to sell. Happy Birding!