Field Journal Entry #10

Date: 04/12/20



900–918 Coopers Ave, Corona US-CA 33.89521, -117.54194


Site description:

I went on my normal walk today so the terrain again remains the same. I walked through the park, which contains both deciduous trees and some coniferous trees. The majority of the park is low grassland with some shrubbery, but not much. The path I walked along contains mostly shrubbery with low hanging trees. The key bird species I saw today was the bushtit. Bushtits, as shown below, have very round bodies, almost circular seeming, with long tails. When I observed them today, they were traveling in a very large group, over 15 of them at a time. They usually forage low through bushes and shrubbery for food.


Bushtit - Caroline Lambert


Species account:

I first spotted the Western Tanager out of the corner of my eye as I was walking in the park. It was a flash of light, a bright barrage of color. As it whizzed by, I followed its path with my eyes. I saw it perch onto a tree and rest there, but it was clouded from my view. I quickly grabbed my binoms and went in closer to observe. The first thing I noticed was the bright yellow body of the bird. I wasn’t sure what bird it was until I finally got to observe it at a closer look. I noticed the stark red head against the black wings. I looked up what type of bird this could be and once I saw the description of the Western Tanager, I knew that this was the bird I had seen. Considering that these birds are generally found in higher elevation areas, I thought it was quite unique that I saw it where I did. Western Tanagers generally eat berries, fruits, and insects. They generally winter in Central America.


Western Tanager - Nick Saunders



It was actually quite a crazy day birding. I saw a lot of birds I don’t normally see out there so that was nice. It was also a very eventful day because I went out for another walk later in the day and saw a bat for the first time! That was actually crazy, I had never seen a real live bat ever prior to that. It was a sunny day when I went out for the walk and a very bright day in general. I was using my binoculars so much that I’m pretty sure someone thought I was trying to stare at someone, so needless to say it was a little bit awkward. Seeing all these new birds also just was a great spark of re-interest because it was a bit dull only seeing the same birds every time I went out. Granted, it allowed me to study them a little more in-depth and look at the nuances, but it was still refreshing to see new things.


E-bird link:

1 Comment

  1. Awesome you saw a Western Tanager!! They are so cool. I still haven’t seen one this year so I’m jealous! They have a pretty distinct call they will do as well, so listen for that and then you’ll be able to know when they are around.

    The Empidonax flycatchers may have been Pacific-slope – that’s what I have seen so far, and they are being seen around. Empidomax flycatchers are very difficult to differentiate using sight ID along, usually you have to account for the habitat (some are quite restricted) and learning their calls will be the most surefire way to distinguish them – most have distinct songs.

    Great you saw a bat too – once you see a Pterosaur, you’ll have seen all three vertebrate lineages that have evolved powered flight!!

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