We spent Saturday evening and most of the day on Sunday in Los Angeles and area, and one of our highlights was hiking in Griffith Park (near the Hollywood sign). I didn't really care for the touristy stuff, but was happy to bird watch on the trails and scrub that is prevalent throughout this area.
One of my favourite species I saw here was the numerous Acorn Woodpeckers! They were loud and conspicuous throughout the area.
We also stopped by the La Brae Tar Pits in central LA. It was really neat to learn all about the cool fossils that they found from ice age animals that sunk into the tar. I also got to see some cool birds including these California Gulls.
Most of the day on Monday was spent in San Diego, which was experiencing some very foggy conditions. The air was quite cool by the water, and the water was frigid.
|La Jolla coastline|
In the afternoon on Monday we drove several hours to Joshua Tree National Park where we camped overnight. This spot is a real gem that I would recommend checking out. I could spend days exploring the desert in Joshua Tree - which comprises both part of the Mojave and Colorado deserts.
|This is our camping spot - car camping but still pretty neat!|
One of my bird highlights was seeing my first ever Costa's Hummingbird.
Cait and I had fun exploring the desert and found all sorts of interesting wildlife.
We had fun hiking the Skull Rock trail, named for this creepy looking rock. Can you see the face?
|Collared Lizard?? -update: Zebra-tailed Lizard, thanks Mark|
On Wednesday we were in Santa Barbara, which is definitely the most beautiful city of the trip (and really the only city I actually liked). It has a small feel, is neat and tidy and has a perfect mountain backdrop and ocean front views.
Wednesday night was spent camping at Morro Bay State Park. There was plenty to see in this small park that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The mudflats were a boon for migratory shorebirds, and we saw hundreds of Marbled Godwits, Willets and Longbilled Curlew.
|Acorns stored in this pine by an Acorn Woodpecker!|
|Golden Eagle and ground squirrel|
On Friday we crossed the Golden Gate bridge and headed to the world famous Muir Woods National Monument. The trees here are enormous California Redwoods and Sequoias, some of which are 3,000 years old!!
We didn't see any Spotted Owls, but did see this Great Horned Owl that was calling in broad daylight to its mate. I noticed this bird was very pale, a trait common to southwestern Great Horned Owls.
|Great Horned Owl|