Happy New Year. It has certainly been a wet January. We have desperately needed rain, so we finally got some...in record breaking amounts. Several of my regular activities were rained out.
I spent the month within about a 40 minute circle of my home, so my photos are local. A young sea lion at Dana Point looked like he was waiting for his mother and making friends with birds. There were plenty of interesting mushrooms and I discover that squirrels like to eat them. I have a few insect photos, but was birding for the most part.
Winter is a time for waterfowl. I found beautiful ducks and geese including a Eurasian Wigeon, a Lesser Canada Goose, Hooded Mergansers, and a Wood Duck. I saw several birds that are vagrants showing up as rarities in our area including Painted Redstart, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Eastern Phoebe. I finally saw my first Tricolored Blackbird. The Tricolored Blackbird lives almost entirely in California and is of special concern. Over just the last 6 years, the Tricolored Blackbird population has decreased by 64%. Audubon California is working closely with landowners and its partners in the Tricolored Blackbird Working Group to protect this species across California. So where did I see this bird? Eating garbage in a parking lot in Torrance with a flock of Brewer's Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds.
Predation is an interesting subject. A Black-throated Gray Warbler was eating a Leaf-footed bug Leptoglossa zonatus in my front yard. A Red-tailed Hawk made a meal of a gopher at Madrona Marsh and posed for photos.
On the last day of the month I was in Escondido and visited a sculpture garden called Queen Califia's Magical Circle. It reminded me of Park Guell in Barcelona, which was indeed part of the inspiration for the artist. It was very colorful and creative.
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_jan_2017
Queen Califa's Sculpture Garden: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/queen_califa