New lens goes to Strybrying Arboretum, finds birds, flowers.

Last Tuesday I received my Canon EF 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens, which I purchased for our upcoming trip to South America. Naturally, it was raining, and chasing the cats around made me sad, we lost one of ours a week prior. Fortunately a break in the rain in the early evening allowed me to get out on Wednesday and check this lens out.  While driving through Golden Gate Park trying to think of where I should go, I found myself near the Strybring Arboretum and next to a parking space.  Decision made!

 

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Western SF birding

Sarah was at a jewelry class on Saturday, so I took off and birded western San Francisco.  It was my first visit to the area this year, and I was sure to get some year birds, it being my first birding on the Pacific coast.

 
Belted Kingfisher

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Birding @ Bayfront Park (Menlo Park)

After work on Thursday I swung by nearby Bayfront Park for a quickie walk before the slog home on 101.  For no good reason, I’ve only birded this park a couple of times, which is silly, as it’s within sight of the office I work in on the odd days when I’m not working at home.

Ring-billed Gulls.  My office building is in the background.
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Carson Falls (Marin)

Last Sunday was sunny and lovely, so Sarah & I headed north from SF to try a new hike. This one had been on my radar for a while, as I always like waterfalls (who doesn’t?), but the timing was never quite right. Although the bay area has more waterfalls than one might think, many are semi-seasonal, drying up entirely or reducing to a trickle in the warmer months.

Sunny winter days like this, after a bout of storms, are perfect waterfall hike days, so off we went. The trailhead is on Bolinas-Fairfax Road, and the parking was tight – apparently we weren’t the only ones itching to get out! Our hike started across the street from the parking turnout on Pine Mountain Road.

Pine Mountain Fireroad
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Wordless Wednesday

I was originally going to do a Chicago trip report series, but now that my visit is 4 months behind me, instead I will just share some of the photos I took.


View from the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower

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Chrissy Field Birding and signs of spring

Sarah & I spent a lovely couple of hours at Chrissy Field yesterday, along with what felt like most of the rest of San Francisco. Apparently everyone else here was feeling the itch to get out, as this lovely day (mid-50s, very little wind, clear skies) found the Golden Gate Promenade as crowded as I’ve ever seen it!


Golden Gate Promenade

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Birding at South Lake Merced (SF)

Yesterday Sarah & I swung by the south side of Lake Merced in between errands to do a little walking and birding. We’ve both been sick for the past week, and many of the recent’ish weekend days have been rainy, so we were eager to get out and do at least a little something!

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Meow

Well, it’s been a very rainy few weeks here, and none of the times I had available for bird outings were dry, so I chased the cats around with my camera and flash until they got sick of me (which didn’t take long).

Josie, casting a sidelong glance

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