Friday, April 11, 2014

Magic Tree West

Have you ever noticed that you can go birding or walking and see very few birds and then all of a sudden, there is this one tree that is full of them? If you go back to that tree the next day and it is full of birds again, do you wonder why? The answer is easy - it's a magic tree! Magic trees are only magic for part of the year. Either when they are in bloom or when they are oozing sap. There is a pretty famous magic tree in Cape May which attracts warblers in fall - only around 4 PM when the sun hits it just right and the sap starts to flow. The sap attracts bugs and the bugs attract birds. The tree is a Chinese Elm.

I found a magic tree in Los Angeles this week. I went to a park called Sand Dune Park. It is called that because it has a giant sand dune - like 3 stories high that people climb up and down for exercise. I think they are nuts. I did not attempt the climb. I used the stairs that are off to the left of the photo.

Sand Dune Park
I was there due to reports of a Lazuli Bunting which would be a cool bird to see - I didn't. But I did see alot of other birds. Guess where - in the magic tree. This tree is called a Silk Oak. It first caught my attention because it was covered with yellow flowers - and birds. Black-headed Grosbeak was one of the birds that I wanted to see in California and I did. It was pretty high in the magic tree but just like the other birds, it was focused on those flowers.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Orange-crowned Warbler

Townsend's Warbler

Western Kingbirds
As you can see, I could barely shoot a frame without catching the yellow flowers in the shot. A local birder told me that the Silk Oak flowers like that throughout the migration season so that it attracts birds. And here I thought I discovered it - HA!
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