By Carolyn Vance, Trip Leader
We had a great turnout for the JPL trip in Nov. with 11 participants. Even though we didn’t get our target bird, Phainopepla, there were plenty of other great birds to be seen. We had several families of Acorn Woodpeckers, flying back & forth and drumming on phone poles: a large Band-tailed Pigeon flock flying so close to us we could hear their wing-beats: a conspiracy of Ravens circling high in the air and calling out to us; CA Scrub-jays flashing blue as they flew back and forth between trees, scolding us for bothering them; bushtits flitting from tree to tree; a small charm of Goldfinches, both American and Lesser feeding in a berry bush; and a secretive Bewick’s wren serenaded us as we started our walk.
But the (unexpected) bird of the day were two Wrentits! We all know their call- the sound of a ping pong ball dropping, but they didn’t give us that thrill today, but instead came eye-to-eye with Elias, to check him out from within the safety of a tree. He wasn’t sure what they were, having never seen nor heard them before (lifer!), but finally they came out, flew back & forth between a couple of trees, giving us decent looks at them. But not a peep to be heard out of them. Many thanks to Kim Moore for her photos.
All in all, a total of 24 species were seen, but no Bobcat (we may have seen scat). Join us on our next trip to Area III of El Dorado Park on Dec. 5th for our winter migrants search. (Check the Events Calendar for details).