Rain Flows through Bimini Park

Bimini Slough Ecology Park creek flow during rain on December 22nd 2010

The Bimini Slough Ecology Park was flowing mightily under this week’s rains. Federico wrote about this park earlier at the Eco-Village Blog, referencing my long piece about it at L.A. Creek Freak. It’s located at the end of the Los Angeles Eco-Village block at the corner of Bimini Place and 2nd Street. It was created and is maintained by the Bresee Foundation. Continue reading

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Matilija Poppies in Bloom at Bimini Slough Park

California Native Matilija Poppies in Full Bloom

California Native Matilija Poppies in Full Bloom

Second in a scintillating series on flora and fauna of the Bimini Slough Ecology Park – Oh Boy!

I mentioned them in the comments of the last post about the Bimini Slough Ecology Park, so here are a few shots of the Matilija Poppies. Matilija are native California poppies – actually a really tough, nearly-invasive (look out – they spread and get big!) plant… with big dainty beautiful yellow and white flowers. (See the earlier post for some explanation of the park, links, and more second rate photos from Joe’s cell phone.)

They’re in full bloom right now – at the east end of the park. In the background of these photos you can kinda see the opening where the park’s creekbed enters the storm drain system.

They Look Like Sunny-Side-Up Eggs, Don't They?

They Look Like Sunny-Side-Up Eggs, Don't They?

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Bushtits Nesting in the Bimini Slough Park

Bushtit Nest in the Branches of a Willow Tree at the Bimini Slough Park

Bushtit Nest in the Branches of a Willow Tree at the Bimini Slough Park

At the south end of Bimini Place, there’s a small park called the Bimini Slough Ecology Park. It used to be called just “2nd Street” until the Bresee Foundation, with some help from Los Angeles Eco-Village, got the street closed… or should I say opened?

The Bimini Slough Park probably deserves its own blog entry at some point, but I will give a brief background here, and maybe do another entry later. You can get more information and see videos, etc. at the link. The park was designed by North East Trees, and includes a creekbed running though it, where street runoff gets cleansed before entering a storm drain, then on to Ballona Creek and the Santa Monica Bay. The Bimini Slough was a historic wetland in this area, and part of Arroyo de la Sacatela – a creek that ran through here. Each of those deserves their own blog entry too.

Bushtit (from Williamalane Parks and Rec website)

Bushtit (from Williamalane Parks and Rec website)

The bushtit is a small brownish-gray bird – not much bigger than a hummingbird – I’d say about 3 inches from head to tailfeather. The bushtit nest is about 10 feet off the ground, in a willow tree, very near the front entrance to the park. The nest is made mostly of small branches and leaves, but being an urban bird, it also incorporates small bits of paper and other trash. The wholes nest is maybe 8-12 inches tall, and shaped like bag. There’s an entry hole in the side that’s propped up by the nest being woven through a small branch.

There were two bushtits (a mated pair) going in and of the nest this afternoon, so there are probably already baby birds inside the nest.

Here’s a story I like to tell about the willow trees there. When the park was opened in, I think 2002, it included three large sycamores – probably 12+ feet tall when they were planted. There weren’t any willows, but thanks to urban runoff water soaking into the creekbed, willows have sprung up – probably the seeds were brought there by birds, who pooped them out and they just grew. Within 4-5 years, the willows are as tall as the sycamores.

I also spotted a hawk nesting in a tall ficus tree at Shatto Park. It’s a good day for bird nest spotting! Thanks to my friend Vicki for some background on bushtits. Here’s one more shot (apologies for the mediocre cell-phone photos) of the bushtit nest:

Closer Shot of the Bushtit Nest

Closer Shot of the Bushtit Nest