Back to birding. This morning, Wednesday, September 26th, we went to San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine to look for the Virginia, no, not warbler, Virginia Rail.
As we were walking out to pond D, I reminisced where I had seen the rail in past years, the east side, along the back and over on the west end. We scanned the back, walked forward a few feet and started to scan the east side along the reeds. There it was, sitting out on the mud! 654 John got pics even. After a few minutes, it had slunk back into the reeds and a Sora strolled out.
A few weeks ago, while we were gone, of course, a Virginia's Warbler was reported at Huntington Beach Central Park. Maybe it was worth a walk-about. There were some Orange-Crowned Warblers and I got a glimpse and chirrup of a Western Tanager, but not much else. We searched the trees near the library for Great Horned Owls. I am not supposed to get a lot of exercise for a few weeks, so I asked John to continue the circle around the park while I went back to the cafe to wait.
We parted. I walked back several yards and met a guy with binoculars. 'Sure, the owls are roosting right around here.' It took us a while to find the owls and by then it was too late to chase after John. So I walked back to the cafe to wait. After John got there, we walked back to the corner, I found the owls again and John got some pictures. Yes, he has already heard them for the year. Still it was great to get a visual and pictures.
Just another time we could have used our cell phones to connect and neither of us were carrying!
A little like Pale Male of Central Park in NYC, a lot of non-birders know of the owls and keep tabs on their activities. A couple passing by said that they had come at night to watch the owls hunt and that this spring there were three fledglings. I think there has been an owl family at the library continuously for several decades. The city even modified remodeling plans to avoid disturbing the owls.