Birding @ the Baylands

Since I was in the office (Menlo Park) yesterday, I swung by the Palo Alto Baylands on my way home to see what was seeable. The tide was VERY low, and few shorebirds were to be seen on the sloughs other than a flock of Ring-billed Gulls, a few Mallards, 4 Willets, and a small…

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EA 105 – Field Ornithology, Class VI

Tuesday was another informative class in the 14-class series on Field Ornithology I’ve been taking from CCSF, although Joe has picked up the pace considerably so we can finish going through the National Geographic Field Guide to North American Birds by our last class, which is also the next class. Detailed notes follow.

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A weekend at the cabin

Sarah & I spent a lovely 3-day weekend with our friends Debey & Terry at my family’s cabin, just east of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This was our first visit this calendar year, and as is often the case, we chided ourselves for not coming up more often, as it’s only about a 3.5-hour…

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Wildflowers in Sepia

I’ve been playing with some photoshop actions and techniques lately, trying to “art up” some of my wildflower photographs. I purhased a set of actions from Michael Soo‘s excellent website this week, and they’re proving to be very good, especially the B&W conversion and toning ones, as well as a soft blur effect. I thought…

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Baby bird-o-rama at Stow Lake (SF)

For lunch today, Sarah & I got sandwiches in the Inner Sunset and went to Stow Lake to see what birds were afoot. Sarah walks there nearly every morning and has seen numerous chicks recently, so I brought along my camera to see what I could see.   Canada Goose gosling A pair of Canada…

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Mendocino – Day II

14 April, 2007 We awoke early in the morning to pounding rain, which tapered off to a drizzle by the time we got up. Breakfast at our B&B was a tasty buffet of fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, and savory pastries, just my thing! By the time we finished eating the rain had stopped entirely, so…

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EA 105 – Field Ornithology, Class IV + Bonus birding @ Sutro Baths

Tonight was the 4th class in the second 7-class series of Introductory Field Ornithology I’ve been taking this year from CCSF. Before class I swung by Sutro Baths to see what was a-wing.As I scoped from the terrace of the baths’ ruins, two women climbed over a barrier, intended to prevent access to the less stable parts of the ruins, descended some stairs to the shore, and one of them proceeded to disrobe while the other took photographs! Birds of a different color, eh? :)

Avian-wise there wasn’t a whole lot afoot, although I quite enjoyed using my new Pentax XW14 eyepiece – it has an incredibly wide angle of view, and superb optics, despite the buffeting wind and spraying waves. Still new to my scope, I was amazed at how many Clark’s & Western Grebes were in the choppy waters by the Golden Gate – there were at least a couple of hundred!

In the 40 minutes I was there, I saw:
– American Coot
– Anna’s Hummingbird
– Barn Swallow
– Black Oystercatcher
– Black Phoebe
– Brandt’s Cormorant
– Brown Pelican
– Clark’s Grebe
– Cliff Swallow
– Common Raven
– Double-crested Cormorant
– Red-tailed Hawk
– Song Sparrow
– Violet-green Swallow
– Western Grebe
– Western Gull

My notes from class follow:

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