#428-#432 in the Mojave Desert

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

I’m still quite new to Southern California. The good part of that is that there are still lots of life birds to see here. The bad part is I often don’t realize exactly where they are, as was proven conclusively last weekend. I’d signed up for a Sea & Sage Audubon trip to Butterbredt Springs & Galileo Hill. It was meeting in Mojave, but exact directions were to be given later. Sea & Sage is the Orange County Audubon chapter so I figured Mojave must be somewhere in the Eastern part of the county.

When I actually pulled up Google Maps and looked at it a few days before we were scheduled to leave, let’s just say I was more than a little shocked. It was north east of Los Angeles, about 100 miles and 2 hours and 15 minutes away, if I didn’t get lost and there wasn’t any traffic. However we were meeting at 6:15 AM in Mojave so probably I didn’t have to worry too much about traffic. On the downside that meant I had to be up by about 3:00 A.M. to make the meeting. I don’t even get up at 3:00 A.M. for pelagics!

When Nancy called me to confirm on Saturday morning I was very iffy, but then I made the mistake of reading up on the sites we were visiting in my recently acquired A Birder’s Guide to Southern California, and saw all the great birds we might see out there. I figured the opportunity was too good to miss, so I went to bed at 8:00 P.M. the night before, and was on the road by 3:30 A.M.

Who’s a Skrull?

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Maybe I should have been paying more attention to the Avengers over the last few years. The Secret Invasion storyline is actually interesting. So far here’s who we know to be a Skrull:

Warning: spoilers follow:

Mexican Amberwing

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

copper colored dragonfly, perched
Mexican Amberwing, Perithemis intensa
San Diego Wild Animal Park, 2008-06-07

Mail Troubles

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

For reasons that aren’t exactly clear, most but not all e-mail sent to elharo@macfaq.com has not been arriving for the last 24 hours or so. I’m shifting a few things around to try to fix the problem. In the meantime, please try one of my other addresses if you need to reach me.

Hmm, maybe I spoke too soon. In what I can only surmise is simply Murphy’s Law at work, for some reason Thunderbird today started to move all my metalab.unc.edu e-mail into my Junk folder so that wasn’t getting through either. I’ve now recovered that, but bleah. It never rains but it pours.

Hmm, you know. Yes! That’s it! Thunderbird’s spam filters went into overdrive sometime around 8:00 PM yesterday evening and began classifying all e-mail as junk, no exceptions. (Apparently there is one exception: accoounts in my address book are not listed as Junk. That’s why the test messages I sent from me to me still got through.) Now how to fix it?

White-lined Sphinx

Monday, June 9th, 2008

White striped brown sphinx moth
White-lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata
Santiago Oaks Regional Park, 2008-05-04

#425-427 at Covington Park

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Sunday morning (2008-05-18) around 8:00 A.M. Jill drove us over to Covington Park in Morongo Valley. It’s a local hot spot. The greenery and water pull in a lot of birds at the western most edge of their ranges, plus there are feeders.

We started with the feeders at the house across the road when I heard a woodpecker. It didn’t take us too long to locate it, and it turned out to be a Ladder-backed Woodpecker, #425. This is a Western species that doesn’t usually cross the mountains to the coast. One was seen regularly at Irvine Regional Park earlier this year, but I hadn’t really chased it and never saw it. This one cooperatively posed on a telephone pole:

Ladder-backed Woodpecker