I love the light in winter. It makes for beautiful sunsets and golden colors. Our December was quite mild and I got out often. This is how I avoid some of the chaos and stress of too many ads, over consumption, and major commercialization of Christmas, not to mention political polarization of the season. I was successful. I enjoyed the company of nature and a few like-minded friends.
On my continuing surveys, there weren't many butterflies this month, but we still counted them. It was a beautiful walk with comfortable temperatures and a little time to enjoy the birds. At the wetlands, the Northern Harrier seems to have stuck around despite being harassed by a Cooper's Hawk.
I went Whale Watching out of Long Beach and into the Catalina channel. We saw four Humpbacked Whales, thousands of Common Dolphin, and several pelagic birds. The weather was warm and the seas were flat. This made for perfect viewing.
Last month I went to the Antelope Valley and St. Andrew's Abbey with Pasadena Audubon. I went back again with two friends to spend more time and go at our own pace. We got there very early. The Ferruginous Hawks were cooperative for my photography, and I saw a new life-bird, Sage Thrasher. We then went on to the the Abbey and looked for Sapsuckers, which we found.
I went with El Dorado Audubon to the Seal Beach National Wildlife Reserve. We drove around in vans and saw many birds. Many of the birds require a spotting scope to get a good look, but a Peregrine Falcon managed to fly in front of my lens for a decent shot.
I participated in two Christmas Bird Counts (CBC's). At the one in Long Beach, I found a Black-and-White Warbler, Palm Warbler, Hooded Merganser, and a Hybrid Cinnamon X Blue-winged Teal. An Osprey entertained us greatly while it was taking a bath in the LA River. At the San Pedro CBC, the highlights for me were the sunrise and sunset, the Mew Gulls, and the fun plumage on the teenage White-crowned Sparrow and the Surf Scoter. A Large-billed Sparrow (Savannah sub-species) was new for me.
Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.
Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.
Local stuff: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_dec_2017
Butterfly Count: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_dec_2017
Whale Watching: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/whale_watch_2017
Antelope Valley and St. Andrew's Abbey: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/north_slope_san_gabriels_dec_2017
CBC Long Beach: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/cbc_2017
CBC San Pedro: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/cbc_san_pedro_2017