I took advantage of a brief break in our very wet weather and swung by the Palo Alto Baylands after work yesterday. Although it was heavily overcast and grey, at least it was dry, and I got to use my new Canon 30D dSLR body outdoors for the first time!
We had a lovely little hike at Tomales Point this morning, and saw a few good birds, including a commoner, but new to us. Right at Pierce Ranch, the parking area for the Tomales Point trail, we saw a number of lovely little Western Bluebirds, cool! Naturally, the first fellow we saw, up close and in good light, flew away to the treetops before I could attach my birding camera lens, but c’est la vie, a tick is a tick, eh?
Early this evening I went to my local patches for the first time this year to see what was afoot. Actually taking some time to peer into the bushes along North Lake in Golden Gate Park proved fruitful – I saw my first Ruby-crowned Kinglet and my first Chestnut-backed Chickadee!
After Sunday’s meager pickings at Pescadero Marsh, I went by the Baylands after work, in need of some proper birding. As usual there was a good variety of the local fowl, but nothing exotic.
For the second time Sarah & I went to Pescadero Marsh, as we’ve both heard the birding can be good there, and for the second time, we saw nearly nothing! I wonder if we’re going at the wrong time of year, or what? Last time we were there mid-day, which is never ideal, but today we were there near sunset and still saw hardly anything!
After a couple of weeks birding at other local patches I returned to the Baylands yesterday. There wasn’t terribly much afoot, just the usual suspects.
On the advice of Bruce, the trip chair of Marin Audubon, Sarah & I went to the Gallinas Ponds near San Rafael today, and had a nice walk, with a good variety of birds, including two new ones for us.
Fun time out at Shoreline Park today, although the path around Shoreline Lake is closed and looks like it’ll be under construction for some time to come. A burrowing owl was in the usual place by the frontage road, and there are a heck of a lot of Northern Shoveler and Ruddy Ducks, as well as decent numbers of Common Goldeneye and Surf Scoter.
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.
(yes, I really should go birding at other places at least once in a while!)
Yesterday was a bang-up day at the Palo Alto baylands; I got to observe several raptors hunting, a rarity, and a very good variety of the usual suspects.