May 6 bird walk—an ode to spring, by Kay Loughman

 A handsome male Black-headed Grosbeak visiting Kay Loughman's property overlooking Claremont Canyon in May of 2017.

A handsome male Black-headed Grosbeak visiting Kay Loughman's property overlooking Claremont Canyon in May of 2017.

Especially with spring birding trips, our May 6 walk was as much about listening as seeing. We identified 29 species (see list below), many by sound alone. Resident singers, American Robins, were among the first species we heard. Newly-arrived Swainson’s Thrushes announced their presence with single chips–they’ll be producing their spiraling ethereal song in another week or so. Then the “what  peeves you?” call of a distant Olive-sided Flycatcher let us know it too had completed its northward migration.  All were treats to hear; but first place in the musical competition goes to multiple Black-headed Grosbeaks whose rich warbled songs accompanied us throughout the morning. What a treat! "

1.     Canada Goose
2.     Wild Turkey
3.     Accipiter (sp.)
4.     Red-tailed Hawk
5.     Mourning Dove
6.     Acorn Woodpecker
7.    Allen’s Hummingbird
8.    Anna’s Hummingbird
9.    Olive-sided Flycatcher
10.   Pacific-slope Flycatcher
11.    Hutton’s Vireo
12.   Steller’s Jay
13.   California Scrub-Jay
14.   Common Raven
15.   Chestnut-backed Chickadee16.  Bushtit
17.   Bewick’s Wren
18.   Wrentit
19.   Swainson’s Thrush
20.  American Robin
21.   Orange-crowned Warbler
22.  Wilson’s Warbler
23.  Spotted Towhee
24.  California Towhee
25.  Song Sparrow
26.  Dark-eyed Junco
27.  Black-headed Grosbeak
28.  House Finch
29.  Lesser Goldfinch