Sunday, October 18, 2009

My short bird list- JT/29 and surrounds

My bird list is pretty sparse, to say the least, but as my time here is winding down, thought that I would share what I have so far.
WHITE PELICAN - no, not really here, but Betty and I drove down to the Salton Sea where they were plentiful and beautiful.
TURKEY VULTURE - I was really lucky to see them as they only come around to this area twice a year, once around Easter and again in October. After work, I was heading to a meeting in Yucca when I saw what looked like a funnel of circling birds over the desert. I looked and found a dirt road that would take me in their direction and I got close enough to see they were the famous visitors. I didn't dare get any closer as the road was becoming a rut and I didn't want to get stuck.
RED TAILED HAWK - I mentioned him/her earlier. I saw her just sitting on something along side the road and there was no place to pull over.
FALCON -This was a rare treat for me and my first. I saw him twice. A water line had broken hear the housing area and he/she was taking advantage of it, but having issues with a family of crows who had already claimed it as theirs. Saw him/her again in the same area about a week later, this time sitting on a phone line. (Yes, kestrels are more common around here but this bird was black/white/gray and kestrels, at least the local ones have some red. I absolutely could be wrong and probably am.
GAMBLES QUAIL (Why not Californian? Cause the Gamble is common to this area but again, my eye isn't trained to know the nuances of their different coloring) Gary and Mary Frans back yard was full of them yesterday and as there was a window between them and me, I was able to watch them play and squabble with other birds. (Gary was telling me that he saw a Chuckar in his yard. That would have been a sight to see. )
MORNING DOVES are plentiful as is the ROADRUNNER. Brandy has a owl nesting in her back yard, thats so cool.
When I lived here before there were tons of Hummingbirds and I've seen some but not up close and personnel. I bought a feeder but all it attracted was ants.
FLYCATCHER/PEWEE. Lots of them around but again my eye just isn't trained to know the difference.
JAY - I've told that story earlier and I still feel its a SCRUB
CROWS, RAVENS, STARLINGS are all very common, especially at the Oasis.

So thats my short list. Nothing spectacular and even if I saw something great, I wouldn't know it. One of my favorite BLOGS is a RVer who also BIRDS, but he hasn't posted in awhile. I need to check on him.
I'll be leaving in about a month and next weekend heading for Santa Barbara to meet a cousin I have never met. I'm excited about everything except the drive.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Milky Way

Joshua Tree Institute held a class on the milky way and I went and took it. I was told to bring a coat/gloves and a hat because it get's chilly at night. I was a little skeptical as the day time temps were constantly in the triple digets, but I followed directions and brought a coat and a cap, not a hat. I didn't need either. BUT what a great class. Part one was in the classroom where we're shown pictures from the Hubble( ) and they were so awesome. (Hope the link works, but if it doesn't google it and check them out. Space is NOT just black and white)
After the class, we caravanned up to the park, to Barton Dam, my most favorite hiking area, and set up some huge telescopes. I'm sorry, my eyes aren't very good, and the stars look like bigger stars, but I did see Casiopea, one I didn't know.
Joshua Tree at night is just as awesome as JT during the day. Not only are the stars spectacular, but howling cayotes just make it perfect.