Black Point Historic Gardens and Golden Gate Park (3/30/2023)

Today was my volunteer day at Black Point. And, sadly, it’ll be my last one for a while. I’m also not going to be volunteering at Tunnel Tops regularly. Hope to return to both when I can. But I’m starting a new volunteer gig at the Cal Academy of Sciences soon, assuming I pass a background check! And it should take up more of my time, so.

But it was so nice to be back after a while of not volunteering because of RAIN. Great to spend some hours pulling weeds (the usual suspects) and scattering California Poppy seeds and admiring the unique variety of Daffodil cultivars that are still out and oohingandahhing over some Yellow Fieldcaps (?). And catching up with Natalie, yep.

AND, she had some news for me. TWO Great Horned Owls were hanging out in a PALM TREE there lately! She pointed them out to me, and YES. In a FLIPPIN’ PALM TREE. The local and regular birders there told her they weren’t nesting there. And I’d also find it odd that they’d do such a thing? But David the Wildlife Science Technician had told her that he’d seen owlets in there some time ago??

It’s all a MYSTERY, but how amazing!

After all that, I made a stop in GGPark to try and find my owls. Ok, so for anyone that doesn’t read the SF Rec and Park e-newsletter, there was a Great Horned Owl that was recently caught/trapped in netting at the top of the Bandshell.


They safely removed it, and it’s currently at Animal Care Control. But I SO TOTALLY flipped out when reading it! Worrying it was Ma or Pa Owl!! It’s like the worst time for a parent to go missing for a bit. My theory is that Ma Owl is nesting right now. Which means she’s busy doing THAT. And Pa Owl would be assisting with food needs. Horrible time to be away for either of them!

Not that I thought I’d FIND ONE or anything. Not these days. Not so far from sunset time. But I HAD TO TRY. And, one of them was high up in the fakenesttree!! Didn’t spot the other. And can’t be sure which one I was seeing, though my theory is it’s Pa Owl. Since he’s been in that spot before.

I’m SO TEMPTED to call Animal Care Control and ask if the GHO they have is male or female. But. That’d be PRETTY WEIRD, right??

Took a short stroll through the Secret Gardens and caught sight of a Wilson’s Warbler! One blurry photo of its back is all I got. MEH. But so exciting to see one! Can’t remember the last time I saw one. Such cutie-pies with those berets.

Two Townsend’s Warblers were nearby. And one spent a good amount of time in a Rhododendron shrub, trying and failing at those huge flowers!

All was quiet at the Lily Pond. Not a single duck or bird in the West end. WEIRD. But a Red-shouldered Hawk was high up in a tree, looking down at all the nothing happening below.

Took one last look at one of my owls, and it was time to head home. As you can imagine, I’m still disturbed that one of them might be apart from the other. Maybe it’s an entirely different GHO? Which would also be sad that it got caught. And how the heck did THAT happen? Trying to console myself that I saw two other GHOs for the first time today. Maybe it’s a good sign. But you can be dang sure I’ll be anxiously awaiting seeing both of my owls ASAP.

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