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Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 WCC 2nd day

Traffic to and from the venue was horrendous..!

Dunno what happened, the match went by so fast, the Waves won on 3:47 pm(it started a bit later than 2pm) then the Gaels won on 4:06 pm. Doubles took like 40 minutes.


Scores from WCC page

Did coach Nilsson wear a brimmed hat....??!!(not his usual cap)

M3: #1 Pepperdine def. #4 Santa Clara, 4-0

Doubles | Order of Finish 1,3

Didn't really watch this; my focus today was on Gonzaga, which methinks I saw for the 1st time(except Apollo who by now I've seen a fair amount).  Just glimpsed from time to time from the verandah.

1. Stefani/Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) def. Silva/Farah (SCU) 6-3
2. Cooke/Clarke (SCU) vs Maddox/Cutura (PEP) 5-4 unfinished
3. Gulbe/Milovanovic (PEP) def. El Tawil/Stephens (SCU) 6-4

SCU were actually pretty competitive, maybe they woke up from yesterday's blitz lol.

 Singles | Order of Finish 6,1,3

Only could watch top 3, since the view from the lower 3 was hampered somewhat by the Media seats(they occupied the front section), didn't really mind though, since my focus was on top 3 anyway.

1. Luisa Stefani (PEP) def. Daniella Silva (SCU) 6-1, 6-2

Stefani didn't need too many balls to win points, attacking the sidelines and such. Too good.

2. Laura Gulbe (PEP) vs Madison Clarke (SCU) 6-2, 5-2 unfinished

Clarke was aggressive as usual on both wings, and she did manage to push Gulbe somewhat(Gulbe once kicked the ball back to Clarke in frustration lol).. But the Waves top 3 were overall too good. They all served well.  Lots of points ended in Clarke's errors, Gulbe returned really well, and in turn her counterattacks caused all sorts of problems for Clarke.


3. Dzina Milovanovic (PEP) def. Chelby Cooke (SCU) 6-3, 6-0

Milovanovic successfully moved Cooke around methinks(Cook's movement seemed a bit suspect, did yesterday's injury still affect her). Nice follow through, hence her shots were quite penetrating. And the Waves approached the net a lot, and methinks were quite successful as well.

4. Matea Cutura (PEP) vs Nabila Farah (SCU) 6-0, 3-3 unfinished
5. Jean Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) vs Zeina El Tawil (SCU) 6-4, 3-0 unfinished
6. Michaela Capannolo (PEP) def. Elizabeth Stephens (SCU) 6-0, 6-1

M4: #3 Saint Mary's def. #2, Gonzaga, 4-0

Despite the early shutout, was pretty impressed with this Gonzaga team. They were quite aggressive.
Naturally concentrated on top 2, Whittle and Poles.

Oh was that Megan Falcon? :)  She must be proud that LSU is doing so well now! At first she was on the upper courts, then she banished lol, maybe she moved to lower courts.

Doubles | Order of Finish 2,1

1. Clement/Critser (SMC) def. Polayes/Whittle (GON) 6-4

The Zags were pretty sharp; their bh dtls especially. Actually they were leading throughout the match.
Not only this #1 team, overall their defense was pretty good as well. Volleyed pretty well, too.

But dunno, methinks Critser's penetrating drives were quite effective later on, and the Gaels didn't really lose the battle of aggression.

2. McCord/Pawid (SMC) def. Yates/Bourguignon (GON) 6-1

When even McCord shows nice variety..Pawid is in best condition this tournament.

3. Kaur/Manji (SMC) vs Koehler/Garley (GON) 5-5 unfinished

Couldn't really watch much, but the tall? blonde won once defended very nicely at net.

 Singles | Order of Finish 2,5,3

1. Sophie Whittle (GON) vs Jana McCord (SMC) 7-6 (4), 0-1 unfinished

Whittle is freshman???  Why didn't I know her before lol.  Verra good. Hit rather concisely, and pretty efficiently methinks. Could withstand McCord's barrage with good movement and swing, and her attacks using angles were quite lethal. McCord was as usual aggressive targetting serve and such, so the match was quite exciting. I've noticed that McCord's handshakes the last 2 days in singles are quite...lukewarm haha.

2. Jamie Pawid (SMC) def. Samantha Polayes (GON) 6-2, 6-1

Was actually pretty impressed with Polayes. Small steps seemed real good, setting up for her monstrous bh. Nice weight transfer too methinks. But probably made too many errors. Pawid did really well to withstand those aggression. And, did Polayes initiate hugging after mp? That's a first lol, quite impressed with that as well!

3. Clementine Clement (SMC) def. Nevada Apollo (GON) 6-3, 6-4

Umm dunno, maybe Apollo's condition wasn't too good, but CC's aggression(drives) really troubled her methinks. She kept fighting, and later approached the net quite often.

4. Kareena Manji (SMC) vs Alex Bourguignon (GON) 7-5, 5-0 unfinished

Manji is now playing #4 now? Wow. Where is Alex's sister Madison is going? She was once highly ranked at TRN(now HS senior, class of 2016).

5. Emma Critser (SMC) def. Graciela Rosas (GON) 6-1, 6-3

Critser at 5....naturally she'll overwhelm the opponents. This is the one point where SMC could be quite competitive...wait she plays Jean R. not easy either lol.

6. Parminder Kaur (SMC) vs Domonique Garley (GON) 6-2, 6-5 unfinished

Thursday, April 28, 2016

2016 WCC tournament Day 1

Thankfully SMC vs USF doubles started way later; in fact after BYU won the doubles. Verandah was open so boldly? marched in lol. Front part was occupied by the Media, but had no problem watching both matches. Later Pepperdine coaches came up. Lorraine Guillermo was there, and Matea Cutura/Jean R roamed the courts.

It was quite cloudy and chilly, and later even windy.

Scores from SCU

No. 4 Santa Clara 4, No. 5 BYU 3
 Apr 28, 2016 at Claremont, Calif. (Biszantz Family Tennis Center)

Why didn't Toby Miclat play, was she injured.

There were like 4 coaches for BYU, and was that McCall???!!! Is she pregnant? Congrats? Lol hope it wasn't too stressful or something, coaching.

Doubles competition

1. Daniella Silva/Nabila Farah (SCU) vs. Mayci Jones/Brittanie Eraso (BYU) 0-5, unfinished
2. Nicolette Poulsen/Savannah Ware (BYU) def. Chelby Cooke/Madison Clarke (SCU) 6-0
3. Natella Nabieva/Taylah Beckman (BYU) def. Zeina El Tawil/Elizabeth Stephens (SCU) 6-0

What is this..#2 finished in like 22 minutes lol.  Overall took about 27 minutes to finish.
Cougars were absolutely fired up, and just routed the opponents. Ware seemed especially in good condition lol. Jones served well as usual, and Eraso had nice touch.

Singles competition

BYU definitely had chances to win; Jones and Ware, but Silva and Cooke were tough as nails.

1. Daniella Silva (SCU) def. Mayci Jones (BYU) 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4

Jones was the bigger hitter. But just could not hit through Silva. Silva's defense was superb, and especially her bh was very good. Felt that Silva forced a bh rally with Jones, probably because Jone's fh is her go-to-shot, but Jones actually held quite well on that wing. So the points were generally quite long. And many points ended in Jones' errors, for example her sinking fhs. Her finish at net like drive volleys were unstable as well. DFing didn't help either, especially later in the 2nd set.  Thought this was quite a HQ match, both hitting so well. Play of the day was probably Jones reaching Silva's drop shot, then maintaining composure at net and making a volley winner.

2. Nicolette Poulsen (BYU) def. Madison Clarke (SCU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3

Likewise, HQ match methinks. Clarke was very aggressive, especially her bh(She defeated Hardebeck in the Fall). But Poulsen was definitely a match for her, both hit quite aggressively, and moved well.

3. Chelby Cooke (SCU) def. Savannah Ware (BYU) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)

That was weird. In juniors Ware's bh drive was her go-to-shot. Dunno if she was injured on her bh side but she mainly sliced on that wing, albeit doing it very well. Didn't know her variety was that good lol. Still it was a slice, so Cooke mercilessly probed that wing. Hence Ware was on the defensive lots of times. Served well, but eventually Cooke's aggression paid off methinks. Cooke actually seemed injured mid-match, maybe it wasn't serious.

4. Nabila Farah (SCU) def. Natella Nabieva (BYU) 6-3, 7-5

Just could watch the start of the match a bit. Their bhs were pretty good(both #4 and #5 positions), and felt Farah used angles quite well.

5. Zeina El Tawil (SCU) def. Taylah Beckman (BYU) 6-3, 6-3

6. Brittanie Eraso (BYU) def. Elizabeth Stephens (SCU) 6-1, 6-2

Match Notes
No. 5 BYU 6-16
No. 4 Santa Clara 13-9
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,5,4,2,3,1)
Opening-round of WCC Championships

====

Scores from USF

Saint Mary's 4, USF 2

Doubles

Also finished early methinks.

1. Ka-Taune (USF) d. Clement-Crister, 6-0

The Dons too powerful? Taune usually finished with overheads. She was pretty aggressive, attacking serves too?

2. McCord-Pawid (SMC) d. Borjeson-De Santos, 6-1

Gaels too good.  Didn't know Pawid's variety was this good.

3. Kaur-Manji (SMC) d. McCloskey-Sharma, 6-3

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3

Singles

1. Ka (USF) d. McCord, 6-2, 7-6 (8)

Could watch from the 2nd set. HQ match methinks, because McCord was very aggressive, attacking serve and all. Her condition seemed pretty good, in fact. Always a pleasure to watch her aggression, her knifing fh drives.
Ka could still handle those drives, so the points were rather long strewn with high pace rallies. And Ka applauded the opponents' nice plays a few times.

2. Taune (USF) vs. Powell, 3-6, 6-3, 4-5, DNF

So they actually didn't finish, had to leave because I was afraid being stuck in traffic lol.
Now who is this 'Powell' haha. I really didn't recognize the Gael lol, is she really Pawid? Did Pawid use variety that much? Thought Pawid was basically an aggressive hitter..lol anyhow, both weren't afraid to charge the net, and Taune was again quite aggressive.

3. Clement (SMC) d. McCloskey, 6-1, 6-2
4. De Santos (USF) d. Manji, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1
5. Van Ross d. Borjeson, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1
6. Crister (SMC) d. Shama, 6-1, 6-3

I thought Critser played #5? They also spelled her name wrong...couldn't really watch low position matches, mainly checked how good Ka and Taune was, and also since BYU vs SCU got tight later.

Order of finish: 3, 6, 1, 4, 5

2016 WCC Day 1 pics

Birded Thompson Creek Trail. Lewis's Woodpecker was no longer there, and it was chilly and cloudy; not too good for birding. Tallied about 20 species.

Highlights



 male Hooded Oriole

 female Western Tanager

 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 California Towhee
 Cedar Waxwings
Spotted Towhee

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ASU recruiting for 2016?

3 seniors and they only signed Slaysman. Are they getting international players or transfers?

True Romance

Pasadena/Arcadia area is also famous for Parrots. For example La Pintoresca Library is one of its roosting grounds; at dusk, the area is deafening with all those parrots coming to roost.  Actually they were formerly more numerous at Temple City area, and there's still some there. A White-winged parakeet(pretty rare, compared to more numerous Yellow-chevroned) was spotted at Legg Lake not so long ago.

The most common species is Red-crowned Parrot. There's also Lilac-crowned, Yellow-headed, Red-Lored, also Mitred Parakeet, Red-masked Parakeet, Monk Parakeet, Nanday Parakeet(these are numerous at Malibu area). Rose-ringed Parakeet is regularly reported at Del Rey Lagoon, and a Budgerigar, surely an escapee, was spotted at Vina Vieja late last year.

About two weeks ago birded Arcadia County Park, and look what a found; a scandal!










At first I thought an adult Parrot was feeding its young, but no, that smaller parrot was a White-fronted Parrot, another pretty rare species. And the bigger one was a Red-crowned variant. It was actually...kissing!!!(consulted an expert and he confirmed that it indeed was a courtship behavior, and even he expressed surprise in this 'inter-racial' scandal!). Such ardor lol, no shame at all, kept going at it right in front of me! I guess it really is Springtime. 

It being weekend, it was crowded with picnickers and whatnot, but it was still a pretty productive morning that day.

Some other pics;

 White-crowned Sparrows are now pretty rare; like Yellow-rumped Warbler, this bird is a Winter species. Actually I found a rarer White-throated there at the NE oaks area. This joined it(that one was too shy and active, couldn't manage to take a pic of that one).
 Acorn Woodpecker
 Not sure what this is?
 Western Kingbird! Spring really has arrived. Cassin's winters here but from Spring, Western one takes over. As I said before, it has more diffused color on its chin and neck. Cassin's have more sharply demarcated white on its chin. Also note that whites are on the sides of the tail, unlike Cassin's, which has white only at the end of the tail.
 American Robin, at the top canopy
 Lark Sparrow!

 Red-crowned Parrot. Parrots are very noisy in the morning and at dusk flying and roosting, but they are surprisingly silent during foraging, making them very difficult to spot. Fortunately spotted this inside the canopy of trees at the south parking lot; it was gorging on berries!
Another berry lover is this sleek Cedar Waxwing; they are notorious for their gluttony, eating till they're literally intoxicated lol. Some are reported to even fall down to the ground in absolute stupor, just like us humans!

Birding schedule during WCC Tournament

Should bird the Webb Canyon Rd. extensively; only birded that Lewis Woodpecker stakeout at Glen Way, but the path to the west seemed much promising. And look at this extensive bird list reported by a local birder!

Definitely a time for Flycatchers; not only Pacific-slope and Ash-throated, now Western Wood-Pewees and Olive-sided Flycatchers are reported as well. Also my target species these days! Hope I can take some decent pics!

Webb Canyon Rd., Los Angeles County, California, US ( Map )

Date and Effort
Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:40 PM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
2
Duration:
2 hour(s)
Distance:
0.7 mile(s)
Observers:
Joshua Smith
Species
39 species total
1
Turkey Vulture
1
Red-shouldered Hawk

Heard only
3
Red-tailed Hawk
1
Killdeer
8
Band-tailed Pigeon
5
Mourning Dove
3
White-throated Swift
3
Anna's Hummingbird
2
Allen's Hummingbird
3
Acorn Woodpecker
2
Nuttall's Woodpecker
1
Olive-sided Flycatcher

State Lifer! Photographed by Desmond Owers.
1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Heard only
1
Say's Phoebe
1
Cassin's Kingbird

Calling
3
Western Scrub-Jay
2
American Crow
1
Common Raven
2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
1
Oak Titmouse

Seen and heard
15
Bushtit

Estimate
1
House Wren
1
Bewick's Wren
3
Wrentit

Seen and heard
1
Western Bluebird

Female
2
California Thrasher

We both got killer views and photos! Song heard also.
1
Northern Mockingbird
3
European Starling
5
Cedar Waxwing

Flyover
1
Phainopepla

Calling female
1
Yellow-rumped Warbler
1
Black-throated Gray Warbler

Calling
5
California Towhee
2
Spotted Towhee
1
Brown-headed Cowbird

Heard only
1
Hooded Oriole

Male visiting feeder
5
House Finch

Estimate
7
Lesser Goldfinch
1
House Sparrow

Ummm, maybe I could bird Encanto Park area on the way to or back.


San Gabriel River Channel--Encanto Park bridge, Los Angeles County, California, US ( Map )
Date and Effort
Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:36 AM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
1
Duration:
3 hour(s), 10 minute(s)
Distance:
1.0 mile(s)
Observers:
Amy Williamson
Species
36 species total
3
Mallard
3
California Quail
1
Cooper's Hawk
1
American Coot
2
Killdeer
7
Mourning Dove
20
Vaux's Swift
4
Anna's Hummingbird
3
Allen's Hummingbird
1
Nuttall's Woodpecker
2
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet
1
Western Wood-Pewee
2
Western Scrub-Jay
1
Common Raven
6
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
2
Violet-green Swallow
10
Cliff Swallow
5
Bewick's Wren
1
Red-whiskered Bulbul
1
Wrentit
2
California Thrasher
6
Northern Mockingbird
4
Common Yellowthroat
1
Yellow Warbler
1
Wilson's Warbler
1
Yellow-breasted Chat
6
Song Sparrow
4
California Towhee
4
Spotted Towhee
2
Black-headed Grosbeak
1
Lazuli Bunting
1
Hooded Oriole
6
House Finch
4
Lesser Goldfinch
1
American Goldfinch
1
Scaly-breasted Munia

Eaton Canyon pics

Not many today, since I was just mostly content with watching. It's nesting season now; Bushtits, both Wrens, House and Bewick's, European Starlings..all are busy bringing yummy foods such as insects and worms lol to its nest(found at least two nests, both a hole in a tree branch, of House Wren's and Euroean Starling's).

Quite lucky with those pics, especially that Wrentit pic was pure luck, since it's notorious as a champion skulker lol(it vies with Yellow-breasted Chat in this regard!). It 'banished' a House Wren on top of a branch and vocalized for a while, which gave me sufficient time to fumble my camera and 'shoot' it :)

 female hummer; could it be Black-chinned??!!! It's a summer species, which has long 'bill' ; but nah, the bill is too short, could it be Costa's
 Wrentit; very lucky to take a pic at all! Note the yellow eye and long tail. It usually skulks amid the dense tangles of low bushes; a characteristic chaparral species.

House Wren were also quite bold, zipping past me bringing foods to nourish its young!

California Towhees and Western Scrub-Jays were also quite active. Couldn't spot Warblers with any certainty though.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cobb Estate / Peck Pit pics

Nice to be back to my familiar romping grounds again lol. Only birded Peck Pit leisurely today morning but still tallied around 45 species! Even spotted a Black Swift methinks. Truly a Swallow season; Spring of course. Everywhere I go, those are swarming; at IWTG parking lot, so low, almost touching the ground and whipping past me!

I don't have any secrets to my close-up pics. I dunno anything about exposure, aperture, etc., just set the setting on auto mode and click away. Very satisfied with my camera;

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS 16.0 MP Digital Camera (Old Model) with 16x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3.0-Inch LCD

bought it second hand for less than $60, and it's by far the best I've used. Can zoom it to 64 power, but as I said, it takes time to do it, like 3 seconds lol.  In terms of birding it's eternity, and that's why veteran birders are armed with fast-speed cameras that costs in the thousands. They can click away in split seconds, and the picture quality is superb as well. 

And of course, as I said, I put my 'creeping skill' to good use! Lol. Oftentimes I happen to approach the birds 'behind' them!  Heard about white clothes being not good in forest setting, but my hoodie is part white and they don't really seem to notice.  Another 'secret' is to keep still. And pulling the arm slowly to put the bino to your eyes; these birds are super sensitive, so best not scare them with sudden movements. But we humans are so clumsy!

First Cobb Estate yesterday













New shoes, new start!
 
From here Peck Pit
 

 This Green Heron was pretty energetic, even patrolling the NE shore briefly!







 Red-winged Blackbirds were numerous at Ojai Meadows. But it's here at Peck Pit too lol. The variety of this hotspot is just terrific!

 female Bullock's Oriole
 female Northern Red Bishop! Peck Pit specialty :)

 Phainopepla!
Cassin's Kingbird