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Archive 2012 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)
  
 
trailhiker
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p.1 #1 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


I returned to Big Morongo Preserve, 125 miles from where I live here in San Pedro, last Saturday for a visit along with our little group of birdwatchers we call The San Pedro Kingbirders (me, David, Jose, and Johnny, who couldn't make it). It was Jose's first time there, and being a 15-year-old bird phenomenon -- he's only been birding for about 2 years but he recognizes bird calls and seems to find 'em all the time -- he said Big Mo was "awesome". And so it was, though we were skunked by the Long-eared Owl seen there recently. But we got there at 8am and except for a break for lunch didn't leave until around 6:30pm. Here are some of the birds that we saw, along with a few I've seen on past trips, and a few landscapes to put the place in perspective. The full Big Morongo gallery consisting of pics I've taken there since 2008 is here --
http://www.lonewolfephotos.com/Birds/Big-Morongo-Canyon-CA-2008/4932701_RFFVch

1
Big Morongo Preserve, looking down the canyon, seen from the Yucca Ridge Trail --







2
Mr and Mrs Vermilion Flycatcher are back at Covington Park, across from Big Morongo; they just returned for the season a week or so ago --







3
And here's Mrs Vermilion --







4
Here's David (on the right) and Jose watching the birds at Dee Zeller's feeders at the entrance of the preserve. David is a phenomenal birder, constantly saying "There's 2 --- over there, and 1 --- singing over there, and..." and I can't hear a darn thing. And to augment his hearing, he sometimes carries a parabolic sound dish.







5
A White-breasted Nuthatch at a tree near Dee's feeders --







6
A male Nuttall's Woodpecker, also in the same tree near the feeders (waiting for his turn) --







7
Here's an interesting one; a hybrid of Nuttall's and Ladderback Woodpecker, that the local birders call "Nutty-backed" --







8
The Marsh Trail, home to Virginia Rail, Woodpeckers, and a lot of other good "stuff" --







9
Here's an Oak Titmouse along the Marsh Trail --







10
Fisher's Point, a house across from Covington Park, can have some interesting birds at its feeders; here's a Lawrence's Goldfinch, which was a Life Bird for me when I saw it in April 2010 --







11
The view from Yucca Ridge Trail looking west to the town of Morongo Valley and part of the Preserve --







12
Late that afternoon, while hiking down the Canyon Trail, David and Jose heard an Owl-like call. Well, as we were in Owl Mode at the time, we decided to check it out, which meant thrashing through underbrush to get to the other side of the creek where the call was coming from. Jose called it Xtreme Birding, and it was! Once on the other side, the call was at another location, of course, as we'd made enough noise getting there to wake up the dead (Natty Bumppos we ain't ) but after 15 minutes Jose said, "I see it!" and pointed to an area where David and I couldn't make out a darned thing. But Owls are good at concealment, so we kept looking, and looking, and then --- out flew a bird --





It had been a White-winged Dove all the time. Sibley's guide says it sounds just like a Barred Owl's "Who-Cooks-For-You" call -- and we'd been fooled.


13
All good things must come to an end, so here's Mr. Vermilion saying, "Goodbye!" to viewers as he takes off --







What a place!
Questions, comments and critiques all welcome.

Best Wishes,
Steve



Edited on Mar 08, 2012 at 12:43 PM · View previous versions



Mar 07, 2012 at 04:16 PM
gschrade
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p.1 #2 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Wow, nice set Steve. I have never seen a few of these. Love the Vermilion shots.

George



Mar 07, 2012 at 05:48 PM
thehotel
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p.1 #3 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


I have to get out there and check this place out.

Wacky roger



Mar 07, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Callisto
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p.1 #4 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Steve,
Very nice series and story - love the vermilion shots. Thanks for sharing. - RC



Mar 07, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Tim Kuhn
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p.1 #5 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Super set Steve!! Love those Vermilions 2 is a shot to die for Man you make me want to head that way

Tim



Mar 07, 2012 at 07:34 PM
David Leask
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p.1 #6 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Fine shots Steve. The last one is my favourite. Well done.
David



Mar 07, 2012 at 08:45 PM
jdc562
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p.1 #7 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Nice shots, Steve. The first one is really special. I never realized that Big Morongo could look so exotic--like something out of Africa. Thanks for sharing these.
---John



Mar 07, 2012 at 08:55 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #8 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


it's a lovely set Steve


Mar 07, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Lecani
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p.1 #9 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Wow! Sure looks like there are a lot of different species there Steve.

Really like the Vermillion and a BIF to boot!



Mar 08, 2012 at 01:39 AM
KCollett
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p.1 #10 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Nice looking set Steve. The vermillion sure is pretty.


Mar 08, 2012 at 01:52 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



surfnron
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p.1 #11 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


A very nice set Steve. I like to see where people shoot. Mr VF stands out for me ~ Ron


Mar 08, 2012 at 02:14 AM
jfwoodman
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p.1 #12 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Looks like a great spot! Thanks for sharing.

JIm



Mar 08, 2012 at 04:10 AM
vphan
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p.1 #13 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Excellent set. #2 and 12 are my pick. Great detail and lovely color on all of them.

Vince



Mar 08, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Conrad Tan
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p.1 #14 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


My god, 2 and 12 ROCK


Mar 08, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Birdlover
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p.1 #15 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Excellent series, Steve! I like all of them!


Mar 08, 2012 at 06:44 AM
Valjr
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p.1 #16 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Great set...I really gotta get outa the house more. Thanks for shring.


Mar 08, 2012 at 06:49 AM
trailhiker
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p.1 #17 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


gschrade wrote:
Wow, nice set Steve. I have never seen a few of these. Love the Vermilion shots.

George


Thanks, George! Big Mo and Covington Park (right across from Big Mo) are best in spring, and a birding friend said it was too early for "good stuff" there, but I think the warmish weather this winter has pushed things up by about a month. And when Mr. and Mrs. Vermilion come back for the season, then all the fun begins!

Best Wishes,
Steve



Mar 08, 2012 at 11:11 AM
trailhiker
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p.1 #18 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


thehotel wrote:
I have to get out there and check this place out.

Wacky roger


Rogelio my friend, let me know when you come out there so I can meet you and we can fill a few CF cards together.

Best Wishes,
Steve



Mar 08, 2012 at 11:15 AM
trailhiker
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p.1 #19 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Callisto wrote:
Steve,
Very nice series and story - love the vermilion shots. Thanks for sharing. - RC


Thanks Rodyon! Big Morongo is one of those places that, like San Jacinto Wildlife Area, literally begs to be described and experienced. Hopefully I've captured at least a small part of its interest in this post.

Best Wishes,
Steve



Mar 08, 2012 at 12:05 PM
trailhiker
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p.1 #20 · Last Saturday At Big Morongo (13x)


Tim Kuhn wrote:
Super set Steve!! Love those Vermilions 2 is a shot to die for Man you make me want to head that way

Tim


Well Tim, how's about you, me and Roger (the hotel) doing a GTG there? Spring is coming up, and it's the best time of the year at Big Mo. Guaranteed Vermilions and Summer Tanagers, and who knows what else may pop up? Something to ponder over...

Thanks!
Steve



Mar 08, 2012 at 12:47 PM
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