Watch a Bird. Let a Bird Watch You!

That’s not a euphemism. Today is the last day of Black Birders Week and is also World Environment Day (it’s also a day in June, my birth month 😁). What better way to celebrate these events than to go birdwatching? That’s what I did today at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook with a few friends from SCOBA. It was a beautiful day to see both birds and California native plants. We took a leisurely walk from the Overlook to Stoneview Nature Center, then to the new pedestrian bridge that spans La Cienega Blvd to connect to Kenneth Hahn State Park. We didn’t cross the bridge, but it’s nice to know that the connection is now there. The trail we walked is part of the recently completed 13-mile, Park to Playa Regional Trail.

We saw our first two birds (Northern Mockingbird, Mourning Dove) in the parking lot before we started walking. We saw the last two (Red-tailed Hawks) in the parking lot when we finished the walk 😊. The birds we saw/heard include:

  • Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
  • Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
  • Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
  • Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)
  • Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)
  • Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
  • Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)
  • Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
  • Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

I didn’t get photos of all of the birds because my binoculars are very basic, not the special ones with a built in camera 🙁, so I was switching between them and my camera. I preferred to see the birds than photograph them 😊.

Several Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) were also out and about.

After the birdwatching, Tiff and I visited another of my favourite places in LA: Theodore Payne Foundation/Native Plant Center, where we enjoyed the plants and made a few purchases. The last two hours of sunlight found me in my backyard, planting some of my new treasures on the slope. On its website TPF shows its respect for the community of Native American tribes by stating: Theodore Payne Foundation acknowledges that it sits on the traditional village of Wiqánga, the ancestral home of the Wiqánvitam who are now known as the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. We acknowledge our neighbors: Tongva, Chumash, Tataviam, Kitanemuk and Serrano, the original stewards of what is now Los Angeles County. We are committed to uplifting the names of these lands and community members from the over 200 California First Nations who reside alongside us and honor their Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

Last World Environment Day I was angry and I wrote about it. Protests against the murder of George Floyd were going strong and growing around the US. I was questioning whether we were having a moment or on the cusp of a movement. Today that anger is still simmering and I’m pondering the longevity of the movement, but I found a bit of peace and joy watching some birds, letting them watch me, and playing in the dirt. Today that was enough 😊.

Happy World Environment Day! Happy Environment Month!  💚💚💚💚💚 

#NatureGottaLoveIt

#BlackBirdersWeek

#NativePlants

#JuneBaby

4 thoughts on “Watch a Bird. Let a Bird Watch You!

    1. I think the sages we use for cooking are part of the same family (Lamiaceae) as the ones I usually see in the wild, but they’re not the same.

      Liked by 1 person

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