Tick, tick, tick. Another life bird in the bag. I didn't care about seeing these parrots at first, but after seeing a different parakeet that we both thought was a Red-crowned Parrot at first, it made me a little more competitive towards getting the Red-crowned Parrot as a lifer. After eating Denny's for the third time on our trip, we headed towards the Laguna Mountains. The Lagunas have an interesting habitat array, and we were heading up the Sunrise Highway and were soon in conifer and oak forest. It was awesome!
Our main target up in the Lagunas was a new life bird for both of us, the Purple Finch. When Gordon and I got into appropriate habitat, we heard one singing and weren't able to get visuals for some time. Gordon said, "I would really hate to give this a tick on my list as a heard-only". And I agreed with Gordon, and the Purple Finches continued to sing up high and out of sight. Eventually, we heard more singing by a trailer park and came upon a foraging flock of birds within the trailer park. We had perfect views and study opportunities of this new lifer.
The Purple Finch was fun to see as a lifer. We also enjoyed the coastal form of Western Scrub-Jay at this elevation as well as Pygmy Nuthatches coming to the same water feature as did the Purple Finch. A good variety of forest birds were present besides these ones mentioned.
Seeing the Wrentits along Kitchen Creek Road in the Laguna Mountains was a nice way to end a fantastic trip. Thanks Gordon for a great time!