Friday, August 31, 2012

Santiago Oaks Regional Park

The second stop on my while-the-family-is-at-Disneyland birding day was Santiago Oaks Regional Park. It is similar in many ways to Oak Canyon but much more expansive and wilder.
One neat aspect, a grove of orange trees, a symbolic gesture more than a real horticultural one. Orange County used to be orange country, but development is edging the orange groves out.

Acorn Woodpecker, Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange, CA
It was already noon by the time I arrived and the sun was out so I restricted my exploration to the short interpretive Windes Nature Trail and the adjacent hillside Pacifica Trail. Among the birds, mostly familiar (by now) friends, the California towhee
the lesser goldfinch
 and the oak titmouse.
Plus lots of fence lizards, the main cause of rustling sounds at the trail edge.
Narrow Santiago Creek, which gives the park its name, runs through the property.
 Here I encountered a green heron (!) and my first ever Western tanager.
Quite a beautiful bird, that one.

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