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Many Scott's Orioles at Hellhole Canyon's Palm Trees

Maybe not as exciting as a Tundra Swan but I hiked out to Maidenhair Falls in Hellhole Canyon out in Anza Borrego and there was a large gathering of Scott's Orioles foraging and chasing each other around the fruiting palm trees.  I had 12 in view at one point but there honestly may have been more. Climbing up on nearby boulders allowed for an eye-level view of the tops of several palms and great photo opportunities.

If you've never done Hellhole Canyon before it's a pretty easy-going hike, mostly flat the entire way with only a couple spots that require going over small rocks.  The first portion of the hike is your typical un-shaded desert but once you reach the canyon it's cool and shaded the rest of the way, until the sun gets high of course. I got to the palms around 9am and the birds were highly active and there were no other people around yet.  On the hike out, however, I passed a lot of people heading into the canyon, many of which were mask-less. There is also a parking lot at the trailhead but it requires a $10 fee or state park pass.

Andrew Newmark
Hillcrest, San Diego CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports