This morning I had a moment of perfection in seeing two California quail perched in a leisurely way atop bushes in the ecological preserve near my house in Irvine. As the birders amongst you know, we often must content ourselves with brief glimpses of interesting species (common species uncharitably called trash birds), so to actually have the time to gaze at the quail was quite wonderful.
There was a pair -- a plump male looking fatter and more regal than the pix in the bird books, and his slighter mate. As I walked down the path I flushed the proverbial covey, and they scattered, but not very far. There has never been hunting in the preserve (at least not in living memory) and the birds seemed unafraid.
The best thing was seeing the quail, or at least the male two days in a row
! Again, a rare birding treat.