Date: 5/31/19 10:12 am From: Lisa Larson <lisafaylarson...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Let's try this again - Pinto Lake County Park yesterday
Oops, I hit send by accident!
Yesterday at Pinto Lake there were lot of fledgling CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES and OAK TITMICE. PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, WARBLING VIREOS, WRENTITS NUTTALL'S and ACORN WOODPECKERS, AND SPOTTED TOWHEES were calling in various areas on the west side. CALIFORNIA SCRUB and STELLER'S JAYS were observed carrying food. A BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK is still singing in the area near the dip after the closed bathroom/bench area on the 2nd arm of the lake.
The RED-TAILED HAWK nest has a fuzzy-headed baby per Larry Corridon, but I didn't see it. I did see the parents, however.
The RED-SHOULDERED HAWK nest has young as well. AMERICAN ROBINS became extremely upset in the area near the nest. I am 99.999% sure their nest was predated by one of the parent hawks. It is hard for my tender heart to see that, but nature has its ways. I did see a parent Red-shouldered take some food to the nest.
I saw something odd. A pair of OAK TITMICE were foraging in an oak near the picnic bench below the stairs and one of them appeared to be poking her face around in a nest. She even scrunched down and wiggled in it - like she was shaping the nest. Oak Titmice are cavity nesters *only*, right? Maybe she was just trying it on for fun - like a wild pair of shoes that you would never be caught dead wearing in public.
The most exciting thing was seeing *three *AMERICAN BITTERNS in close proximity to each other. There were 2 females and a male. The male had his epaulets tucked in (but I could see them) and he was larger and more dust-colored. The females were smaller and more reddish. The one we could see best had gorgeous, intricate patterning on her back. This female approached the male, and fluffed her feathers three separate times, the second time "presenting" herself for him. I do hope we see babies in June. Last year there were eight young there. The three adults is the highest number of Bitterns I have seen at Pinto this year. I believe for Larry, too. I really thought we might see some mating action, but he did not puff his white epaulets or boom (vocalize) at all. He just eyed her and moseyed away. Maybe he needed Bittern Viagra.
I spotted a "Furbie" GREAT HORNED OWL fledgling in full view on the large oak tree on the north side after the gate nearest the end of the parking lot. It was hilarious when a cheeky red squirrel went right up to it - with a couple of feet! The baby looked at it with a wide-eyed expression that I would caption, "What the hell is *that*???"
Let's keep our primaries crossed for bittern babies!