28 February 2012

Hermit Gulch Trail (the Cub Scout version)

Date: 18 February 2012
Who Hiked: Me, Hubby, Thing 2, and two other Cub Scouts
Route: Hermit Gulch Trail (out and back)
Time: afternoon -- didn't much keep track of time
Weather: sunny, clear, warm (70s)
Distance: probably a bit less than 2 miles roundtrip

Did you know that California public schools celebrate both Lincoln's birthday and President's Day?  Isn't the point of President's Day to roll the whole Lincoln/Washington thing into having one holiday rather than stealing two days from the shortest month of the year?

I vote that we convert Lincoln's birthday to "Darwin Day" -- they were born on the same date after all (yes -- day, month, and year) and then I won't be so annoyed by the whole thing and the kids will still be happy with their two days off during February.

What does this have to do with hiking?  Yeah, I'm getting to that...

Bolsa Chica V

Date:  10 February 2012
When: 0745 - 1100
Where:  Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach

As I've said a number of times on this blog, I love to bird at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. I was there earlier in February and had a banner day...  

Today I parked in the lot off of Warner Avenue and hiked about 3.8 miles along the tidal marsh and then along the canal. I've included a map below.

Two of the best things about this foray into Bolsa Chica was meeting Ramon, a wildlife photographer, and Steve, a docent with the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Ramon showed me some lovely pictures of a loggerhead shrike and great action shots of American kestrels mating and Steve was a great source of information about where to find birds and other animals on the Conservancy lands. Thanks very much to both of you!

The highlights:
  • a Cinnamon teal! All by itself in the canal, just hanging out.   
  • a Loggerhead shrike perched on the chain-link fence between Bolsa Chica and the adjacent land.
  • A flock of American coots, foraging and loafing in the grass near the Warner Avenue visitor's center.  Coots are common at Bolsa Chica, but this was the first time I'd seen a large flock on land.
  • A Black-chinned hummingbird - a new species for my life list!
  • Some interesting omissions:  Western gull, for example. I don't have it on the list, but I've rarely gone to Bolsa Chica and not seen one...  but I'll trust the list I made in the field...