Thursday, December 20, 2007
In early December I had an opportunity to spend a four-day weekend with a life-long friend in Oakland, California. This was a social visit, not a directed birding trip. The only serious birding was a half-day trip to Point Reyes National Seashore in strong winds, where we saw a nice (but not extraordinary) assortment of birds and enjoyed a notable up-close-and-personal encounter with a very curious Common Raven (Corvus corax) at Limantour Beach. Still, I managed to tally four life birds, a benefit of having spent little time in coastal California. These included two parids—Oak [=Plain] Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) and Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)—seen in the neighborhood while walking the dog, a pair a California Towhees (Pipilo crissalis) that awaited us on the front porch when we returned from Sunday brunch, and a Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) foraging for food on the sidewalk at the Oakland International Airport. I guess the moral of this story is, always keep your eyes open and your binoculars handy.