All my trips this month were local. Some of the places I went were my usual El Dorado Nature Center (where I unexpectedly led the monthly bird walk), Colorado Lagoon, Madrona Marsh, Ken Malloy Park (why did it take me a year to go back?), Cabrillo Beach, Golden Shore, DeForest Park, and, of course, my own yard. Migration is past until later in the year, but resident birds and those that summer here were nesting, and I saw lots of young birds begging for food from their parents. Great-tailed Grackles may not be exciting for many birders, but I enjoyed finding a young one. Even young Black Phoebes are 'cute' (I'm told that is not a thing birders should say). I don't often see Marsh Wrens and enjoyed seeing them protecting their nest. I finally saw a European Goldfinch. Although looking on several occasions in a known location, I finally saw it when not expected. The Blue Grosbeak is a beautiful bird. Fortunately/unfortunately I saw a whole slew of African Clawed Frogs at the newly opened wetlands at Deforest Park. I say fortunately because I had never seen one. I say unfortunately because they are invasive. I rounded out the month with a few insects and spiders from my yard. I played with a feature of iNaturalist and created a guide to butterflies of Long Beach https://www.inaturalist.org/guides/7830. I included only those I have seen in Long Beach proper. Of course others that I have seen nearby could show up, but probably with less frequency. I am working on a guide for my butterfly count in Irvine Ranch, but that's not ready for prime time yet. In the group of local photos, you will also see some of my work practicing different art techniques, and a few cat photos just because.
On my monthly butterfly count, it continues to be very dry and hot, and I suspect this may repeat for the next several months. At times we could smell the smoke from the Aliso Viejo Fire, but we were still at a distance. We seemed to have a pocket of flowers and butterflies at the highest elevation, and then it was downhill from there - literally and figuratively. Bernardino Blues were the most abundant. I tried to stay on task, but managed to find some cool beetles too.
Blacklighting in the same area is always fun. Certainly it is cooler and no hiking involved. Hanging out with friends around a sheet full of insects is my idea of a fun Saturday night. No photos, but we heard barn owls feeding their chicks and also saw bats.
On my monthly bird survey at Los Cerritos Wetlands, it was very quiet. The highlight was a pair of young Red-tailed Hawks. One was very skinny and one was looking healthy. A pair of Ravens were seen harassing mom. I was glad to have my small camera in my pocket so I could get a shot of the Four-spotted Tree Cricket. I have only seen one once before.
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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_jun_2018
Irvine Ranch butterfly survey: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_jun_2018
Irvine Ranch blacklighting: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_night_jun_2018
Los Cerritos Wetlands Bird Survey: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_jun_2018