I woke up super early Saturday morning to hit the road and drive far into the desert. My goal: see a male Hooded Merganser (the awesome bird in my profile photo).

I arrived at Apollo Park in Lancaster, CA at 7:30AM. I walked all around the two lakes there several times with my camera and binoculars in hand. These photos are what resulted.

I ultimately did not find my dream bird (even though it is often reported there on eBird) I found the female counterpart which is a consolation I suppose.

Species by order of appearance: An angry Great-Tailed Grackle, a Great-tailed Grackle taking a baff, a beautiful European Starling showing off its iridescence, female Hooded Merganser, House Sparrow collecting nesting material, a spiffy Ruddy Duck showing off a blue beak, and a Black-Crowned Night Heron snuggled in a tree.