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Huntington Central Park: Exotics Rule! – Oct. 14, 2017 Field Trip

October 24, 2017

Lincoln’s Sparrow (Ray Juncosa 10-14-17)

Huntington Central Park turned out to be a wonderful place for birding this year. Within a few minutes we saw a Lincoln’s Sparrow perched on a limb and posed nicely for the cameras.  It was the best view some people have ever had of that bird.

Hermit Thrust (R. Juncosa 10-14-17)

As we were admiring it, a Hermit Thrush walked by, giving us a great beginning for the trip.  We were fortunate  the birds in this park are used to people.  To our surprise, there was a huge boy-scout campout that day and their shouting and singing created a wave of noise.

Western Bluebird (R. Juncosa 10-14-17)

The only flighty birds were the flocks of Nutmeg Mannikins (aka Scaly-breasted Munia), Japanese White Eyes, Orange-cheeked Waxbills, and Bronze Mannikins.  Although Huntington Central Park has had these flocks of exotics for many years, they seem to be flourishing in spite of all the people.

The Nutmeg Mannikins are so well established here that they have been added to the California bird records list, although the name was (yet again!) changed to Scaly-breasted Munia. First recorded in Florida in 1964, all U.S. wild-living Nutmeg Mannikins are descendants of escaped cage birds. They are a very popular pet species, and the descendants of escapees can be found nearly worldwide, living in fields and parks and busily gobbling up seeds, especially grass seeds.

White-faced Ibis in the pond (R. Juncosa 10-14-17)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (R. Juncosa 10-14-17)

As we wandered through the park, we found the following  warblers: Wilson’s, Townsend’s, Orange-crowned, Common Yellowthroat, Audubon’s, and Black-throated Grey.  The trees in the park gave us lots of shade so we had a nice leisurely walk and found a Hutton’s Vireo and several Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

Townsend’s Warbler (R. Juncosa 10-14-17)

The parks perennial Red-shouldered Hawk called frequently,  but only once did he alight on a branch close to the trail, giving Ray a great chance to photograph him.

Red-shouldered Hawk (R. Juncosa 10-14-17)

Then we started looking for the Cooper’s Hawk and of course we heard him for quite awhile before he made an appearance.  What we didn’t see was a Red-tailed Hawk or any House Finches,  but we did find an American Kestrel.  It was a little early in the season for ducks but we did see American Wigeons and Mallards.  It seems that you can’t leave that park without seeing the Downy Woodpecker but we found the bird only at the end of the walk. One of our newcomers found the Great Horned Owl.  [Jean Garrett]

Huntington Central Park Bird List – Oct. 14, 2017
American Wigeon Bushtit
Mallard House Wren
Pied-billed Grebe Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Great Egret Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Snowy Egret Western Bluebird
Black-crowned Night-Heron Hermit Thrush
White-faced Ibis Orange-crowned Warbler
Cooper’s Hawk Common Yellowthroat
Red-shouldered Hawk Yellow-rumped Warbler
American Coot Black-throated Gray Warbler
Great Horned Owl Townsend’s Warbler
Anna’s Hummingbird California Towhee
Allen’s Hummingbird Chipping Sparrow
Belted Kingfisher Song Sparrow
Nuttall’s Woodpecker Lincoln’s Sparrow
Downy Woodpecker Red-winged Blackbird
American Kestrel Lesser Goldfinch
Western Wood-Pewee Scaly-breasted Munia
Black Phoebe Orange-cheeked Waxbill
Say’s Phoebe Bronze Mannikin
Hutton’s Vireo Japanese White-eye
American Crow Total Species – 43

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