Orange-crowned Warbler

An Orange-crowned Warbler with orange crown actually showing forages high up in a stand of shrubs with nothing but a blue sky behind.

These grayish to olive-green birds vary in color geographically and have few bold markings. There’s rarely any sign of an orange crown, which is usually only visible when the bird is excited and raises its head feathers. They might have you scratching your head until you recognize their slim shape, sharply pointed bill, and warmer yellow under the tail.

An excited male sang this morning moving from shrub to shrub and tree to tree as we intently listen and tried to learn his song.

The male Orange-crowned Warbler’s song is far more variable than that of other wood warblers—so much so that the males can be told apart by their distinctive song patterns. Breeding males often form “song neighborhoods,” where two to six birds in adjacent territories learn and mimic each other’s songs. These “neighborhood” songs can persist for years.

A true burst of sunshine was a nice start to the day.


On the same beach on which the Oystercatchers we feasting on Mussels there was a small group of Whimbrels hanging out, resting, and also foraging on the exposed bounty of the sea.

Like their large relatives the Curlew, Whimbrels nest on open tundra of Alaska and Canada. It seems that this must have been a group heading towards their breeding grounds and perhaps took a stopover on this beach to rest and fuel up.

Most of the group was resting on freshly exposed mussels beds a veritable Whimbrel bed and breakfast so to speak.

Beautiful birds we rarely get to observe so seeing this flock was quite a treat.

Little Bear Scarab Beetle

The Little Bear Beetle is in the genus Paracotalpa and ranges throughout the western united states principally in the drier regions of the great basin from Southern Washington south to Northern California and Nevada.

That Fuzzy body is what gave them the common name Little-Bear.

Little-Bear in a little bush on a early spring day.