Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guess whooo returned!

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The great horned owl returned this morning to roost outside the Visitor’s Center giving me and some other lucky people the chance to enjoy an up close look at this denizen of the dark.  As you can see, he swiveled his head 180* to show off his feathery horns.  :)  What a hoot!!

Another day working the VC.  Not very exciting, but I did step out several times to check out the bird life. 
_MG_4962The California quail are pretty skittish, but…
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I was able to sneak in a few close ups before they all took off in a noisy flurry of wings and squawks.  The male, on the left, was blasting out his warning calls the whole time I was skulking around trying to get a good shot.  :)  Don’t you just love those little top knots?
_MG_4955A new visitor to the bird feeders this week is the American goldfinch.  They’ve already molted into their winter plumage, so they’re not  the brilliant yellow of springtime that earns them the common name of a wild canary. 
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Here are my latest attempts at a decent picture of a Lewis’s woodpecker.  Obviously, my quest is not over.  :)
_MG_4967Lest you think birds are the only concern at this refuge, I include this picture of the refuge manager out in the pond in front of the VC.  He is pulling a fish net behind him.  The invasion of carp have really had a detrimental effect on the refuge marsh vegetation, and the natural red band trout population.  He is out there trying to net some of the unwanted carp.

The thought of working the not very busy VC four days this week was a little depressing to me, so this afternoon I worked on a plan to get out and about for at least one of those days.  If the weather cooperates tomorrow, I may have something new to report.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  :)

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Great pics today!! Hope your plan materializes for you...when you are not too busy the day seems to drag.

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  2. You are so lucky to have the Owl around.

  3. It's amazing the difference in the plumage of the goldfinch this time of year.

  4. We had a great horned couple nest above our backyard patio in Cedar Park last year. It was such an honor to watch them raise the little ones and to see the "kids" literally leave the nest!

  5. Hey, I think that is the very same Goldfinch that was at our feeder this spring:))

  6. Love Mr Owl,they are so smart looking, Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  7. I love the owl photo and yes, I love the top knots on the quail. When we used to camp on a rifle range near Tucson we had lots and lots of quail.


    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  9. The owl reminds me of the exorcist...swivel head...SCARY!.. I love the Gambles Quail we had in Ajo...They looked like Talulah Bankhead, with the feather on their cap!! Good luck keeping busy...Just photographing can be busy enough!!

  10. Wow I have never seen so many diffrent kinds of birds.

  11. Thanks for the great photo's especially the one of the Goldfinch. We have them around here in spring and summer but I never would have recognized him in his winter duds.

  12. Whoooo! When your blog page opened I was close to my computer screen and HELLO there's an owl staring at me! HaHaHa. It made me jump a bit in my chair and then I had a good chuckle. The husband and kids are looking at me like I'm a little nuts....even more reason to laugh. Thanks for the update and the beautiful pictures of all the birds!! =)


  13. My question is--are there ANY birds not on your life list? While I have heard many G.H.O. in my life, I have never "seen" one, other than in Oxbow. I think I would faint. Wasn't there a cartoon featuring these quail when we were kids? The Dad quail would whistle the top knot out of his eyes. Maybe it's flashbacks..........

  14. Oh, what lovely pictures. The owl especially. Though I am not too fond of them since one killed the pigeon that I had nursed back to health from a broken wing.
    You must have a very good camera?
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX