On the Way
(Burrowing Owl Update Below)
Such is the bounty of nature in the park these days that on my walk from the car to the Burrowing Owl’s perch, I often see other sights that deserve a photograph. In the last few days, on my way to the owl, I’ve seen several Savannah Sparrows in the grass about midway north. Very near them, I saw an American Pipit; I saw another (or the same one moving quickly) on the west side of the park. A Say’s Phoebe, always a treat to see, was flitting around the first picnic area, using the big green boxes as perch to spot bugs in flight nearby. I saw a Belted Kingfisher, a female, perched on the rocks of the Open Circle Viewpoint. I’ve never seen one this far north. I’ve only seen them on the wires over the Virginia Street Extension. A covey of Western Gulls was making a big noisy fuss over an issue that escaped my intelligence; I photographed two of them. A Snowy Egret nearby regarded the racket with disinterest. A solo Clark’s Grebe has been cruising the waters making the raspy mating call that they do, without getting any response. A Willet perched on the rocks by the water’s edge. On the grassy areas, flocks of a couple dozen Western Meadowlarks worked the ground, using their strong beaks to pry a gap in the soft soil and uncover worms, grubs, or similar protein for their breakfast. The Meadowlarks have started to sing, though just timidly and intermittently. If they remain and go into breeding mode, they will sing concerts to match the Philharmonic.
Burrowing Owl Update
The Burrowing Owl in the park at around 9:30 this morning perched again at Perch B, much to the delight of a steady stream of park visitors who wanted to see it. I was particularly pleased that some parents brought their kids and helped them get high enough to see the bird with their own eyes.
There was considerably more activity up among the observers than down on the owl’s perch. The bird looked left, right, and up, and occasionally glanced at its ever-changing troop of admirers, but did not have any visitors, alarms, or urges to preen while I was filming. Consequently I’m posting another still image instead of a video for the bird today.
I’m hoping that the bird remains in Perch B over the weekend. With the expected nice weather (except possibly scattered showers Saturday morning) lots of people will be in the park and many will want to see this remarkable charismatic and existentially threatened bird.