Moth Tuesday: Unidentified Underwing

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Apparently more people than I thought are reading this since someone actually noticed when I didn’t put up a moth yesterday. So a day late, here’s the weekly moth, another Underwing from Irvine Regional Park:

Moth on ceiling

Catocala californica?
Irvine Regional Park, Orange County, California, USA
September 3, 2008

#447 and #448 at Bonelli Park

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I haven’t done a lot of rarity chasing this year. Coming from Brooklyn, there’s not a lot of excitement in finding a Yellow-breasted Sapsucker, an American Redstart, or an American Tree Sparrow, all of which are common park birds back east. Instead I’ve been focusing on local western birds that are still lifers for me such as Black Turnstone and Surfbird. However when I heard about a Painted Redstart over in Bonelli Regional Park, that seemed worth chasing. It’s a common southern Arizona bird, but doesn’t show up much elsewhere. However this one seems to be pretty reliable, and it’s less than an hour away from Irvine.

I got to the park about 8:30 this morning, and after getting a little lost–I think I was driving down a horse trail–I eventually located the correct parking lot. I luckily stumbled on the monthly bird walk at Bonelli park, and they helpfully pointed me to the correct tree in which to look. They’d already seen the Redstart. I drove to the other end of the parking lot, and scanned the tree. House Finches were singing noisily, but no Redstart. I walked across the road and picked up Hutton’s Vireo, and then came back to the Oak. About 10 minutes later, the redstart flies in with a quick “Che-wee. Che-wee”.

I got a brief look at it, before it disappeared again into the middle of the foliage. It’s a striking and unmistakeable bird though. Then, about a minute later, it burst out again with a lot more calling and activity, and I was able to grab some pictures and study it a bit.

Warbler with black head, bright red chest, and white undertail coverts

GPS and Field Trips

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

A friendly suggestion for local Audubon and Sierra Club chapters and bird clubs everywhere: When posting directions for field trips, please try to provide the nearest possible full street address. These days many of us are using GPS systems, and when wandering through a strange city, it’s a lot easier to find an address such as “120 Via Verde, San Dimas, CA” than to follow directions like, “From the Pasadena (110) Freeway, exit Orange Grove Ave, and proceed south across Mission St. (where Orange Grove jogs to the right) to El Centro St. Turn west (right) on El Centro and park in the first block.”

By all means give the directions too for those folks who aren’t using a GPS. And sometimes, there just aren’t any street addresses anywhere near the meeting site. But when you’re birding in a major metro area like Los Angeles, the street address helps a lot.

Moth Monday: Merrick’s Pyralid Moth

Monday, October 20th, 2008

very dark moth with crambid snout
Merrick’s Pyralid Moth, Hodges 5117, Loxostegopsis merrickalis
Casper’s Wilderness Park, Orange County, California, USA
June 29, 2008


Monetizing Feeds

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

I’m experimenting with AdSense for Feeds to see if I can increase the revenue from these sites from its current level at which my time would be more profitably spent digging in the couch for lost change.

This has required some changes to the feeds (they are now redirected through FeedBurner) so holler if anything looks awry. If it borks up, I’ll just kill the feed ads. The only real money this site makes is from the Amazon affiliate sales anyway. (Hmm, I wonder if I can sneak those into the feeds somehow?)

If this works, soon the feeds too will contain adds for “American Touch Painting”, “Top O.C. Divorce Attorney (Aggressive & Caring Representation)”, “Internet Dispute with a Free Telephone Consultation with Aggressive Lawyers”, and “Tummy Tuck Orange County”. Hmm, Maybe this wsn’t such a good idea after all. I wonder if AdBlock Plus works for feeds?

Moth Monday: The Unknown Moth

Monday, October 13th, 2008

There are somewhere over 10,000 different species of moths in North America. Sometimes even the larger ones can go unidentified. Here’s one from Shoreline Park in Mountain View that has as yet resisted efforts at identification:

Moth perched on ceiling of men's room

If anyone recognizes it, please comment.

Unknown Species, genus, and family
Shoreline Park, Mountain View, 2008-05-07


It took a few years but the current (January, 2011) thinking is that this is in the genus Tetracis. Exact species still indeterminate.