Southern California

29th April - 7th May 2006

Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Santiago Oaks is one of several good parks in the otherwise largely urbanised Orange County. Several different habitat types can be sampled here in the space of a relatively short walk, and the riparian woodlands are particularly good during migration.

Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)

Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)

The Wrentit's taxonomic status has been a contentious subject over the years with it having been classified in several different families, including the Old World Warblers (Sylviidae), Long-tailed Tits (Aegithalidae), Tits (Paridae) and in a family of its own (Chamaeidae). Currently, the AOU (American Ornithologists Union) classify it as the only member of the Babbler family (Timaliidae) to inhabit the New World.

Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens)

Pacific-Slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis)

Townsend's Warbler, a winter visitor to coastal California, was abundant in the trees lining the creek.

Townsend's Warbler (Dendroica townsendi)

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)

The numerous wildflowers provided a colourful display. I don't currently have any books on Californian flowers, so if anyone can identify any of the species below I'd be happy to hear from you.

Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary California map