Huntington Central Park
My name is Joseph, and I have been living in the Westminster area for 4 years now, and just recently my 20 month old son and I stumbled upon the Huntington Central Park. He and I love to go there and take walks, and enjoy the mini-getaway from the urban sprawl that is orange county. The reason I am writing is to try to get some infromation on the birds that we see there. Two species in particular. There is a duck-like bird (pardon my bird ignorance) that is mostly black in color, smaller than most ducks in size, and they have these amazing feet that resemble leaves in their appearance. Any idea what kind of bird it is? The second type are the almost regal looking birds. There are two that frequent the park. They have long narrow legs, one is white the other is greyish-white. When you look at them you just kind of think they were kings at one time or antoher. Again, I'm sorry I can't be super descriptive....oh wait I have a picture...that would help, huh? Hope you get a
chance to help me out. If not, at least point in the direction of resources that would help. Thank you for your time.
Moderators Note: No attachments are allowed on emails to the group as a precaution against viruses. His picture shows a Great Blue Heron. We have advised Joseph in a separate email to get a good birding book and start learning the birds of the area (as well as checking out American Coot, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, and Great Blue Heron on the Internet).
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I spent 8:00AM to 11:30AM, today at Huntington Central Park mostly at
the pond north of the library hoping the Franklin's Gull would return.
But to no avail, All that the pond offered today were about 17
Bonapatre's Gulls in various stages of plummage from full breeding to
non-breeding. There were several ducks there as well, Mallards, 3
Gadwall, several Ruddy.
The fenced garden had Anna's, Allen's, and Black-chinned Hummingbirds.
Regards, Al Borodayko
- Birded the park late this a.m. and saw the following birds:
site #3 - culvert on east side of island area - Plumbeous Vireo
site #23 - about 25 feet east of "wet area crossing" - N. Parula
site #2 - about 50 feet north of this "crossing" - Juvie Blue Grosbeak
also saw some Orange crown warblers, (fos) yellow rumped warbler, and
(sorry Bob) nutmeg mannikens.
- This morning (Friday) there is a Solitary Sandpiper in the Blackbird Pond in the Shipley Nature
Center on the west side of HCP. There is also a Painted Redstart on the east side of the park
in the Eucs north of the Cafe. I had second hand reports of a Black and White Warbler in the
Island area and Blackpoll Warblers near the Slater Street parking lot. Dick Cabe
The park was jammed today - with people and birds. A Boy Scout Jamboree was on the east side and a track meet was all over the west side of the park. There was clearly an overnight push of migrants that included a few vagrants. A female Rose-breasted Grosbeak was in the dry basin in the northeast corner of the eastern half of the park (on other side of fence from maintenance yard). No report of the Ovenbird, but the wet spot and island area were completely overun by the boy scouts. Irene Horiuchi reported a Worm-eating Warbler and Chestnut-sided Warbler in eucalyptus trees west of Huntington Lake. Several birders were able to relocate the Chestnut-sided Warbler, but as of about 1230 no one had refound the Worm-eater.
The "Crescent Pond" is a fine name for that spot. I vote we add it to the burgeoning glossary of HCP site-names. I further propose that the linear pond along the maintenance yard fence, just east of the second crossing be dubbed "Loren's Ditch." For twenty years, Loren was Mr. Central Park, and while he was still with us, we called the surrounding area "The Loren Hays Memorial Trail." If you weren't lucky enough to meet Loren, you can still sit on his bench at the SW corner of the Jack Green Nature Area ("Jack Green") near the Park Bench cafe and see if you can spot any new birds in the surrounding eucalyptus trees to add onto the bench-list.
As for the heading of an old post getting attached to your recent one, that is one of the more irksome 'innovations' of this revamping of the website by Yahoo. Who hasn't been confused the first time the title of your post happens to match a previously used title, and an ancient post appears in conjunction with yours?
"I've had one phone call and 2 emails asking where the crescent pond is
since I posted.
If you enter the park from the Slater Parking lot, go over the first bridge
and go to the left. It is on the right side, halfway to the next bridge
- The female Rusty Blackbird (presumably first-cycle, on the basis of brown primary tips) flew up into a willow tree at around 4:30pm, called, gurgled, and whistled for a few minutes, and then took to the sky, heading far to the southwest.
Of lesser note, a Yellow Warbler was in a eucalyptus tree along Golden West Street, about 75yds south of the Park Bench cafe. On the Huntington Lake side of the park, along Inlet Drive off Edwards Street, a White-throated Sparrow was feeding with White-crowneds near the plumbago shrubs. It was briefly joined by a pseudo-red Fox Sparrow, of the 'altivagans' race, with red-toned streaks on the underparts and indistinct streaks on the back. Also present was a drab first-cycle female Black-and-White Warbler in the adjacent eucalyptus trees, first found by Steve Morris on the CBC.
- We birded Huntington Central Park this morning (Sat 2/22) and found a few of the continuing rarities. The Rusty Blackbird was on the peninsula where it has been reported previously. A Red-breasted Sapsucker was in the same area. The Northern Waterthrush was both heard and seen well at Loren's Ditch. One or two Golden-crowned Kinglets were still in that area as well, as was a Nashville Warbler. We had a Nashville Warbler in that same area two months ago, so maybe this bird has been around all winter?
Cathy McFadden & Paul Clarke
- I've been asked to clarify where the Northern Waterthrush was seen yesterday, and simultaneously chastised (offline) for echoing numerous recent reports by referring to the spot as Loren's Ditch. I'm not an OC birder and don't bird HCP frequently enough to know all of the accepted terminology, but I've been informed that "Loren's Ditch is not known by anyone except apparently a few people now, and therefore of no value to the general birding public." So, to find the spot where the waterthrush was, enter at Slater St. parking lot, go straight across the first small footbridge and about 100 yds later bear left at the first fork in the path until you reach the second footbridge (aka the spot where the Golden-crowned Kinglets have been seen all winter). Across the bridge and in to the left is a small pond that backs up against the maintenance yard fence. I assume this is Loren's Ditch. Whether I'm correct about that or not, it is where the waterthrush was seen yesterday.
While watching the WINTER WREN this morning (seen and heard by many) at Huntington Central Park I heard the "yank yank" call of a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH come once from the eucs on the east side of the boggy pond. I also heard a PURPLE FINCH toward the Slater lot. The NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH called intermittently from the vicinity of the fallen pepper tree on the north side of the boggy pond but was not as cooperative as the wren. Also saw 1 VARIED THRUSH in a pepper tree at the far west end of the broad lawn west of the Gothard lot. Many of the reed stands around Talbert Lake were mowed down so some of the resident exotics - Orange-cheeked Waxbills, Bronze Mannikins, and Scaly-breasted Munias - are now appearing at the boggy pond where the wren and waterthrush are. It was a productive albeit brisk morning to begin the new year.
- I now understand (not really) that vegetation is being removed during the avian breeding season in an effort to thwart the homeless from camping in the park. I can appreciate that this is a problem at the park, as it is in riparian areas throughout southern California. However, current attempts at a solution to this problem are invariably at the cost of habitat to birds, especially those that are secretive in nature and require low, dense foliage. Thus, I'm told that a location that recently harbored a wintering Northern Waterthrush and a Winter Wren, will likely not harbor either in the future. And, given that both the Jack Green nature area and the famed 'island' are also prone to visitations by the homeless, is there any reason to believe that they too won't be denuded by park personnel in the weeks or months ahead? Huntington Central Park has been a premier place to bird in the county because it was once replete with what are now dwindling commodities in the county, healthy native willows and shrubs, and low, rank, weedy undergrowth. I'm sure that park personnel would prefer that all of the park was more like Mile Square Park (or, after the most recent bout of trimming, the western side of the park), with expansive manicured lawns and tall, overly-trimmed trees, and no place for a tent (or bird) to hide. One day I expect they'll achieve their goal.
This morning we had a few interesting birds. The first Yellow-rumped Warblers north of the library, a few Townsend's Warblers, two Western Wood-pewees, American Redstart (male), and Pat found and I photographed our first White-crowned Sparrow near the fig tree at the east end of the island. Things are looking more active.
Greetings, I went to Huntington Central Park for bit this morning, Mon 26 Oct. The best bird was White-tailed Kite sitting at the toip of a bare tre overlooking Talbert Lake just southeast of the cafe. This was at about 8:30 AM or so.
Regards, Al Borodayko