Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Juvenile Western Bluebird at the Black Diamond Mine

I still catching up on the richness of birds that I've seen and photographed this summer. Back in May our Geology Club took a tour of the underground mines at Black Diamond Mine Regional Park in the Pittsburg-Antioch area of the Sacramento Delta.
As we walked up the valley towards the mine entrance, I saw a LGB (little gray bird) that I couldn't immediately identify (there are lots of little gray birds that I haven't yet learned to identify quickly). After watching it move around, I began to suspect it was a baby rather than an adult, so I started looking for the mother.
Pretty soon I spied momma, and realized that the little one was a Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana), one of my favorites, judging from the number of posts I've put up (this is the 13th).

Black Diamond Mine was a source of coal and glass-making sands a century ago (California is not known as being much of a coal mining region, but the energy demands in the late 1800s led to the use of even marginal coal deposits). The park is a pleasant place for hiking and bird-watching. Many of the scars of the mining have faded away.

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