Saturday, September 24, 2022
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My Do-over – 10,000 Birds


Anytime I journey, I do what it takes to get in some birding. In any case, one of the simplest ways to search out new birds is to look in new locations.

Nonetheless, I not often get to journey with household or pals who share my obsession. So I have to discover a approach to indulge myself with out inconveniencing others an excessive amount of. Normally, my answer includes delicate sleep deprivation. Birding being greatest within the early morning, I rise up earlier than they do, and attempt to be again by breakfast — their breakfast.

My latest transient journey to California made this technique particularly straightforward. First, California is 2 time zones additional west, so I used to be capable of get out the door at 8 a.m. (Morelia time), and nonetheless begin birding at 6 a.m. (San Mateo time). I had determined beforehand to make no effort to regulate to the time distinction, so no actual sacrifice was concerned. Additionally, my daughter (with whom I used to be travelling) and my sister (our host) each like to sleep in. So I may hen two, even three hours every morning, and they’d hardly discover.

I had deliberate to observe this technique, whereas including only one longer birding journey throughout our five-day keep. However, as I detailed final week, that drive to the Pacific Coast was a moderately spectacular failure, due to a extremely unseasonal rain, and my failure to recharge my digicam battery.

Nonetheless, God generally smiles on fools, and he smiled on me the next day. We have been going to get along with my niece on our final night in California, however she cancelled. My daughter requested that we go someplace, wherever, and my sister urged we may go to the seashore. And the place was the closest seashore? Precisely the place I had gone the day earlier than! However this time, it could be within the afternoon, with robust winds and sensible sunshine… and a full digicam battery.

The one downside, for running a blog functions, was that each one the motion could be taking place to the west, straight in the direction of the setting solar, and with highly effective glare from the ocean. So if you’re anticipating nice footage, I strongly recommend you take a look at any one in every of Kai Pflug’s many posts.

Listed here are a few of my highlights from that afternoon:

The day past, regular rain prevented me from getting an excellent view of what was taking place out on the ocean waves. However this time, it was quickly clear that there have been some geese bobbing amongst these waves. I had by no means truly seen marine geese on the ocean earlier than. Higher but, these geese turned out to be Surf Scoters. What could possibly be extra Californian than a Surfin’ Fowl?

There have been Brandt’s Cormorants flying over the Surf Scoters. So I may add this species to the Double-crested Cormorant I had beforehand seen on the lake that runs up the San Andreas rift valley, which shaped the San Francisco Peninsula. And the opposite Double-crested Cormorant that flew over us by my sister’s home, two miles from any open water, shortly earlier than we left for the seashore. California is bizarre.

It was an excellent factor that I stored photographing that Cormorant, as a result of in any other case I might have fully missed the Western Grebe over which it flew. I confess that earlier than this journey I had no concept that Western Grebes could possibly be seen on the ocean.

There have been many Western Gulls round, and, as I had confirmed the day earlier than, a minimum of just a few California Gulls. However this afternoon I observed some gulls that had fully grey our bodies, with solely their heads being white. Heermann’s Gulls!

I noticed no Snowy Plovers that day. No downside, I can see these a half-hour from my house in Mexico. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that California takes care of its plovers.

After which, my birding-at-the-beach do-over got here to an finish. In any case, this was not formally a birding journey. I have to admit it was a aid to take just a few extra images on our means again to our automotive, with the solar at my again, and away from the sand-and-surf glare.

Lesser Goldfinch

White-crowned Sparrow



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