Thursday, December 20, 2007

Life Birds Are Where Your Find Them

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.

2 Comments:

Blogger cyberthrush said...

reminds me of another 'rule' I often hear in birding circles: keep looking up! -- it's often the case that while concentrating on the hedgerow or tree in front of you a different or very interesting bird flies right overhead offering only a limited chance at ID.
I even know birders who try, with at least some difficulty, applying this rule while driving in rush hour traffic ;-)

December 20, 2007 7:37 PM  
Blogger Kathiesbirds said...

Yep, sometimes you have to go out and find them, like the gray hawk I saw at Buenos Aries NWR, and sometimes they fly into your yard, like the lark sparrow I saw last year at my feeder. Wherever or however, it's always a good day when you can see a new bird!

January 12, 2008 4:08 PM  

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