Woohoo, new scope!

I just got my first spotting scope, a Pentax PF65ED-a w/a Pentax XF SMC 20-60x zoom eyepiece, and can’t wait to get out and use it. Of course, it arrived right after sunset, so that will have to wait until tomorrow! It’s surprisingly lightweight and compact (an advantage of a 65mm objective lens), and at…

Birding @ Land’s End & North Lake (SF)

Sebby & I did a short bird walk at the aforementioned locations this afternoon. Although we didn’t see anything like the variety I saw in my ornithology class walk yesterday, North Lake was teeming with birds, although Land’s End/Sutro Baths continues to suffer bird-wise due to substantial construction by the NPS in the area. We…

Great birding at Lake Merritt (Oakland, CA)

Today was my first field trip with the Field Ornithology class I’m taking, and it wound up being a great outing with numerous interesting birds and tons of information. We were a large’ish group of about 15 people including Joe Morlan, our instructor, and an assistant. First we walked the shoreline of Lake Merritt, seeing…

In and around Point Reyes

Sebby & I headed north to Point Reyes Station yesterday morning to view Stage 1 of the Tour of California pro bike race. This was my first time spectating a stage race, although I’ve seen numerous criteriums. After a delicious breakfast at our favorite diner, the Pine Cone Diner, we walked up the hill north of downtown Point Reyes Station and perched ourselves along the road.

Great early evening birding @ Byxbee Park, Palo Alto

Today was my first proper birding outing of the new year, and it turned out to be a cracking one!

Rather than my usual walk around Palo Alto Baylands, I decided to go to nearby ByxbeePark, as a Short-eared Owl had been reported there recently.

Sure enough, I walked to the top of the hills by the landfill and a group of birders were scoping the marshes trying to re-find the owl, which some had seen flying low earlier. A few minutes later another birder arrived and pointed out a lovely SHORT-EARED OWL perched on a fence. My 300mm lens, even with a 1.4x TC, was no help here, but I got a very good look at it through a generous fellow birder’s scope – what a lovely bird, and what a great lifer to start 2007 with!

Other highlights (for me) were a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, WHITE-TAILED KITE, and NORTHERN HARRIER. The last two, although not uncommon, are always a pleasure to watch.