Saturday, February 26, 2022

Irvine Regional Park - California

Irvine Regional Park in Orange, California was first established in 1897 on land donated by the James Irvine family. It was the first regional park in California (a park on land preserved for its natural beauty, historic interest or recreational use and under the administration of a form of local government). It covers 495 acres and includes Santiago Creek, groves of oak and sycamore trees, foothills, ponds, equestrian trails, walking/bicycle trails, picnic areas, ball fields, food concessions, a small railroad and the Orange County zoo. 

I visited on January 29, 2022 because I discovered that an eBirder had seen wood ducks there within the last few days. I'd never seen a wood duck and wanted to find and photograph one or more of them. In looking for wood duck sightings in the area I was finding them quite scarce and usually one or two seen at a location. This eBirder reported seeing about 14 of them. 

Upon arrival I headed for the ponds and that is where I spent all of my time, except for few incursions into the nearby trees. The following are some of the birds I saw there:
I was not disappointed at all. There were quite a few wood ducks and I took hundreds of photos of them. 

Bonus birds were a male and female Mandarin duck, a non-native species, considered the most beautiful duck in the world (the wood duck is considered the most beautiful American duck). 

But there were more surprise. Lots of squawking from lilac-crowned amazons, endangered parrots native to Mexico which have found a home in Southern California. 

There were lots of mallards which I didn't pay much attention to, given their
beautiful and rare cousins. 

I saw a few other birds, including this yellow-rumped warbler.

A pair of non-native, mating, Egyptian geese. 

Some American wigeons... accompanied by an American coot with a yellow patch and red-dot on its forehead. 

A raven.

Some mourning doves.

And a bunch of acorn woodpeckers.
As I look at bird lists I see lots of small birds I've not seen before at Irvine Regional Park. I need to go back and look for these other species. 

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking that the wood ducks were a bit gaudy until your mandarin duck pictures popped up. Wow.