Western Gull

June 3rd, 2019: Farewell to L.A.

Well, I’m all done in L.A. after enjoying nearly a week with my in-laws and finding some great birds down here.

In our last couple of days, we visited the La Brea tar (really asphalt) pits and learned about how large mammals like Woolly Mammoths would get trapped and Dire Wolves and Sabertooth Tigers would come to prey on them, getting themselves stuck too.

Bubbling asphalt at the La Brea "tar" pits
Bubbling asphalt at the La Brea “tar” pits
An excavation site at La Brea where they'd pulled out thousands of Dire Wolf skeletons
An excavation site at La Brea where they’d pulled out thousands of Dire Wolf skeletons
A small selection of Dire Wolf skulls that have been pulled from the pits
A small selection of Dire Wolf skulls that have been pulled from the pits

We also visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (“LACMA”) right next door. One of the most fun exhibits was a perpetual motion city an artist had created with astonishing attention to detail throughout. I had some fun filming it from a viewing platform above.

A cool lighting display at LACMA
A cool lighting display at LACMA

I saw more of beautiful walnut, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub habitat typical in the area and enjoyed a little more hiking at Wildwood Canyon.

Part of the Wildwood Canyon hike
Part of the Wildwood Canyon hike

Having been to California a few times for conferences, I had kept an eye out for a few easy birds I’d missed in previous trips. I’d enjoyed getting accustomed to the California Scrub-Jay, Thrasher, and Towhee, among other specialties (like the Hooded Oriole), it was fun to have a flyover Western Gull to add to my California list as I headed to the airport.

We get Western Gulls in Vancouver too, but they’re far less common because we’re sheltered from the open ocean by Vancouver Island. It was nice to see the big gull drift by in L.A. like it owned the place.

Western Gulls with Brown Pelicans in Westport, WA
Western Gulls with Brown Pelicans in Westport, WA

Anyway, it’s Monday so it’s a new week and that bird counts for this blog! Gotta keep this streak alive!

The walnut, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub makes for a stunning landscape
The walnut, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub makes for a stunning landscape

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