For Father’s Day weekend my daughter and I went up to Paso Robles, CA to visit family. It was not a trip where I got much time to go explore or bird watch, but we did happen upon a few birds of interest while there. The first of these was a nice Northern Bobwhite. I had never seen a Bobwhite in Paso Robles before. These are not often seen in the Western US and mostly considered to be escaped birds. Well, escaped or not, she was very beautiful and certainly running around free. I was really surprised when I had trained my Nikon EDG II binoculars on her expecting to see a California Quail.
Also on my list of notable birds were several Laurence’s Goldfinches. This is certainly a favored bird for me among the Goldfinches. The Lawrence’s Goldfinches have a very limited range in North America being found only in California with some very infrequent records east to Texas. I was quite surprised to find so many of these since I don’t recall having seen them in the past in such high numbers. It is a beautiful little bird that I was pleased to see.
Last of the noteworthy birds of which I have added pictures of here is a California endemic species that a trip into Central California would not be complete without… Yellow-billed Magpie. For those of us here on the west coast these birds are fairly common in Central California, distinctive in appearance and very noticeable. Although I have seen many of these, a trip up north just would not seem right without going to find them. They roost and feed in small flocks in the open oak grasslands and don’t seem overly effected by people as long as there remains dry grasslands (habitat).