Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tis the Season to Migrate One and All

This time of year in Southern California many of us make a sort of seasonal migration which often entails an arduous slog through local jungles of traffic on our way out to family, friends or places of procurement.

Then there is the migratory patterns of birds such as the Bar-tailed Godwits who have the longest known non-stop flight of any migrant, flying 11,000 km from Alaska to their New Zealand non-breeding areas. Prior to migration, 55 percent of their bodyweight is stored fat to fuel this uninterrupted journey.

Okay once again it feels like nature has trumped and taught - here are these amazing birds putting forth what seems an annual fantastical effort of airborne grace which require neither fossil fuels nor the latest gps technology or a bank account to arrive on time and in the place they need to be looking quite unstressed. Even the polliwog park paparazzi (ppp) has not fazed them.

Here are a pair of celebrity Widgeon's, a well-known Northern Shoveler, avid birder Dennis giving Mimi tips and a few more shots of the now infamous Cedar Waxwings. Photos by Julie Gonella, ppp.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast at Julie's

This year the long-awaited rains arrived the morning of the annual MBBG Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast so we gratefully accepted the venue change from the garden to Julie's cozy house down by the pier.

It was so nice to see everyone together and all agreed this year's presents were super. Thanks to Julie the volunteers now have white t-shirts with a ladybug tag on the front and the MBBG yellow flower logo on the back along with a nifty hose nozzle and seed packets.

I have to mention here that the buffet was exceptional with a mouth-watering frittata ala Charlotte, Julie's cheesy quiche and the papaya balls and yogurt with granola being my favorite.

Besides partying the real purpose of the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast was to let all our MBBG volunteers know just how much they are loved and that without them we would not have a garden. So thanks again to all the garden volunteers - you are incredible. Note: If you did not make the breakfast please make sure to stop by the garden on any Friday and pick up your presents and get properly thanked!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cedar Waxwings for the Holidays

This December, the migratory Cedar Waxwings (bombycilla cedrorum) arrived at the garden just as the Toyon aka Christmas Berry shrub was bursting with red berries. The berries are one of their favorite treats - they aren't dummies.

Local birder extraordinaire and owner of Wildbirds Unlimited, Bob Shanman, says they also eat the unripe berries and get a bit tipsy. We aren't certain if they were intoxicated but did get a shot of them imbibing at the garden's local watering hole. Click on the photo to view larger version. Photo by Julie Gonella.

Want to hang with BIRDS of a feather in the South Bay?

Then don't miss out on Sunday Morning Birds Walks at Polliwog Park with Bob Shanman, details:

Sunday Morning Bird Walks at Polliwog Park
-- > All but the 3rd Sunday morning if each month @ 8am

Meet Bob on the corner of Manhattan Beach Blvd and Redondo Ave. @ 8:00 ---anyone is welcome. Binoculars and walking shoes are recommended.