Sarah & I had a lovely hike on Sunday 22 Jan on the north side of Mt. Tam. The cascades in the rainforest’y parts of the hike were flowing freely, everything was fresh and green, and we saw some cool new birds at Lagunitas Lake, as well as a bobcat.
There wasn’t much afoot at Phoenix Lake, just a bunch of coots and a few ring-necked ducks, and I was questioning the wisdom of carrying my large’ish birding lens when all was redeemed at Lagunitas Lake. We saw several hooded merganser, which we’d never seen previously, and which are very beautiful and odd-looking, as well as several pairs of common merganser, the female of which I’d seen once, several years ago.
As I didn’t have a bird guide with me at the time, I asked two gentlemen with binoculars if they were familiar with birds. As luck would have it, they were both experienced birders, and in fact one of them is the trip chairman for the Marin Audubon Society. Once I learned this, I felt a bit silly having asked if they knew birds, as that’s rather like asking Joe Montana if he knows football or somesuch! Anyhow, they were both very helpful and identified both of the mergansers for us, and gave us some good tips on birding in Marin in general. I’ll have to find some time to bird there in the future!
All told, the birds we saw were:
* Hooded Merganser