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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Grasshopper Sparrow Hunt

Went birding this morning along Meiss Road. As I drove east on Sunrise Boulevard I got a glimpse of a shiny pelt and my heart nearly stopped - was that a RIVER OTTER??!!!

Unfortunately it was - a dead River Otter. Not too gruesome, but decided not to post the poor thing's photo (yes, I took photos, what of it?). It was amazing to see such a gorgeous critter, one of nature's cheeriest and fun loving, out there dead on the roadside because it tried to cross the road. And to see one so close to civilization was, impressive, yet as it was dead, sobering. Little Otter, hope your spirit runs wild and free.Now!

Following the depressing discovery I made my way to Meiss Road where I go fairly frequently these days. My goal of the day was to find the every-elusive Grasshopper Sparrow. I've seen them before but never in California. There were lots of birds along the rutted dirt road.

Cranky, overheated Western Meadowlark.
One of the usual Meiss Road residents, a Horned Lark

Amazingly, there was even a glorified 'bug'. Oh yeah, I know it's not a bug, it's an dragonfly, another 6-leggedy thing altogether. Heck, when I was a kid in the Bronx we called them 'darning needles'.

Found it! It's a Common Whitetail with uncommon good looks- I mean, for a BUG
And just when I thought I'd have to come back another day, there it was, sitting on a metal fence post - a Grasshopper Sparrow! TADA!

Grasshopper Sparrow
Love the double yellow stripes on its flat topped noggin
I was thrilled to get off three shots of this bird before it took off. It was a cooperative little imp, it didn't budge while I maneuvered my birding blind (known to you as my Honda) to allow a good camera angle. Really, that was one sweet, aiming to please little fellow. That bird has a nest someplace out in the grassy meadow. Good luck with your family young Grasshopper!

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