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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 31, 2013 - 08:26am PT
Hey, Andy. What a great thrill to be the one spotted for a change, eh?
Credit: mouse from merced
I'm going to Walmart today. A row of eucalyptus trees and oleanders are calling me back.
Credit: mouse from merced
Hummers, man! And not in the parking lot, either.
Credit: mouse from merced
And some non-I-dentifiable. I might have to break down and buy a "used" book to help me ID these little chippy sparrows and other balls of fluff.
Credit: mouse from merced
Which book do YOU recommend for me, the novice? I am not going to refer to the birds I shoot as "small feathery beings," OK? Trees are still "large woody objects," however.
Credit: mouse from merced
Happy New Year tripping around in the boons!
Close-in shot of a woody object about to take its one and only flight.
Close-in shot of a woody object about to take its one and only flight.
Credit: mouse from merced
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
Dec 31, 2013 - 09:55am PT
mouse, I started birding with a used Petersen's Western Birds. They are ubiquitous in used book stores. The only disadvantage to used is birds get renamed and reclassified over time and you may be committing to memory out-of-use nomenclature. Old books may not include newer arrivals to NOrthern California such as cattle egret and Eurasian collared dove.

The advantage to starting with Petersen's Western Birds is you don't have all those mid west and eastern birds in the same book. There's also a cool old California Bird book that I've found in used book stores.

If I could only own one book to identify the natural world of your area, it would be John Muir Law's Natural History of the Sierra Nevada which has most of the birds, bugs, reptiles, butterflies, large woody objects and flowers that you encounter.

dee ee, if I had one day left in the year to hunt down a collared dove, I would go to north east OC way up Glassel St where I used to nail trusses together as a teenager. I'm not even sure if that area is still full of lumber yards and old school manufacturing but in my memory, it has the kind of terrain that those fatso doves may want to hang out in.

I'm going after steelhead after my short work day today. Tomorrow I may chase the long tailed duck reported on the Feather River in Oroville to start my new year with a lifer.

EDIT>>>> for dee ee,....Most reliable place for a golden eagle in OC for me has been near the old Lion Country Safari lands near the junction of the 405 and Laguna Canyon Road. The second best place for me is off the trailhead in Laguna Wilderness Area (The first trailhead with a ranger visitor center building).
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Thanks Feralfae and 10b4me. I think it is going to be a great book.

A few from this morning hike.

Blue Jay and White-breasted Nuthatch.

Credit: Bob D'A

Credit: Bob D'A

And any ideas on this guy?

Credit: Bob D'A

Lincoln's Sparrow?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
Mr Mouse,, youve come a long ways in a short time.!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Bob, excellent Nuthatch shot!
I want to agree on the Lincolns based on the facial stuff and the buffy
flanks but the flank streaking seems rather blurred. But I'll stick with it. ;-)
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Dee ee and Tony - have fun on your CBC, sounds like a fun way to start the new year.

Nice photos Mouse, glad you could join the party!

Bob, could it be a Swamp Sparrow? Lincoln's would be pretty rare in your area this time of year. Streaking on flanks seems pretty weak, and coarse, and back streaking also looks too coarse for a Lincoln's. Not showing much rufous in wing though, as a Swamp should, but maybe an effect of lighting? Have any other photos that would show the throat and crown a little better?

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
I was quite excited to read that Bob got the Kickstarter funding he needed. His bird photos always delight me, and he's been very generous in sharing them. I look forward to seeing his project's completion.


Social climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
hey there say, timid! wonderful to see your newpaper share! i finally made it over the birds... can't see everything here, but i get lucky if i let it sit a bit!!

bob, i was hoping you'd reach your goal!

happy to see feralfae here...
(she encouraged me to some suet out, which i had not done this year, due to the overbusy crows around here) ... put it in PINECONES THOUGH...

mouse ... more great photos, i think, when you are not too busy, could you please send just a few of your smaller sizes, that you sometimes have around?

very sweet, the birds! recently, when the sun was out, in spite of the snow, the woodpeckers were out... at least two... :)

never see the cardinal, though i saw him all fall, however, OTHERS in these here parts HAVE AND DO see them at feeders, all winter, :)

hope i can lure some more back, now... :)
thanks for all the share, folks!

*neat to hear about your birding adventure, timid... :)
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Little Z...I was thinking Swamp but not good enough on the little brown birds. Thanks John E for donating, it really helped and really means a lot to me.

Credit: Bob D'A

Could be a Swamp, was in the reeds down low. Seeing the head, I think it is a swamp.

Downy Woodpecker today.

Credit: Bob D'A

Funny morning, it was really quiet and then in a 10 minute window saw about 15-20 species including two Bald Eagles flying overhead.

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Jan 1, 2014 - 09:51pm PT
Hey SoCal birding Tacos - CG and I are planning to come out to the greater LA area for a few days of birding in late March. Let's keep in touch and hopefully we can put together another SoCal Bird-a-palooza! Looking forward to seeing you guys :-)
Lunchtime at the 2013 Bird-a-Palooza
Lunchtime at the 2013 Bird-a-Palooza
Credit: BrassNuts

Trad climber
Central Coast
Jan 2, 2014 - 12:18am PT
Credit: Slater

Black Skimmer, Santa Barbara, CA.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 2, 2014 - 01:20am PT
Slater, very nice!

BN, I hope your visit doesn't conflict with the ST Occupy New Jack City Be-In.

I move that we organize a pelagic trip. I know late March might not be prime but a trip out of
Ventura could still yield the odd Xantus and I always enjoy watching humans mouth-feeding gulls.

Trad climber
Pt. Richmond, CA
Jan 2, 2014 - 01:39am PT

Would that be Scripps's or Guadalupe Murrelets? I've only seen Scripps's and "need" Guadalupe. I think there is a better chance to see them off Ventura than to the north where I have gone.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 2, 2014 - 11:47am PT
Tony, I think it would be tantamount to sitting up all night for Santa to
expect a Guadalupe out of Ventura. But, hey, I still believe in Santa so...

Perhaps we should go out of San Diego?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Here's the latest sickness out of San Diego county...

Barbara Carlson record San Diego year: 387 species

Barbara Carlson has ended 2013 with a phenomenal 387 species in San
Diego County. This is not only a new record for this county (former
record was ca. 370), but it is undoubtedly a single-year record for any
county in the U.S./Canada. Barbara was aided by an excellent
rarity-winter of 2012-2013, good shorebirds in late summer, LOTS of time
spent offshore throughout the year racking up a long list of tough
pelagic species, a reasonably productive autumn filling in holes,
and--most of all--pure diligence! A testament to her long list was the
fact that very recent findings of species such as a new Blue-headed
Vireo, Bay-breasted and Black-throated Green Warblers, Painted Redstart,
Orchard Orioles, and even a Masked/Nazca Booby added no new
species..... she'd seen them all already earlier in the year! Her only
new bird since Thanksgiving was the Oceanside Glaucous Gull.

In the near future, Barbara will make a list of all the rarities she saw
in the county this year, with the date, location, and other observers
who saw them with her, and will make that document available to anyone
interested. When ready, she will post news of its existence on this

The list of high-quality rarities she saw in San Diego County in 2013 is
too long to give here in its entirety, but here are some of the best of
the best:
Red-necked Grebe
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Masked/Nazca Booby
Blue-footed Booby
Lesser Sand-Plover
Wilson's Plover
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Franklin' s Gull
Glaucous Gull
Guadalupe and Craveri' s Murrelets
Inca Dove
Black Swift
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Great Crested Flycatcher
Thick-billed Kingbird
Blue-headed Vireo
Yellow-green Vireo
Gray Catbird
Grace's, Pine, Bay-breasted, Black-thr Green, Prairie, Mourning Warblers
Painted Redstart
Nelson's Sparrow
Harris's Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Bronzed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole

And what were her biggest "misses" ?? Long-eared Owl, Ancient
Murrelet.... the Le Conte's Sparrow, Sandwich Tern, and multiple 'dips'
on Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

How could she have missed a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher? What a punter!

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 2, 2014 - 11:55am PT

That's an AWESOME photo, Slater!
Thanks for sharing it.
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Jan 2, 2014 - 12:59pm PT
Have fun in March, ya bunch a paloozas. Wish I could be there. I like the idea of a pelagic theme.

Slater, amazing photo. I'll be imagining that blade-bill now everytime I see a skimmer. Checked out your photo website too (link mentioned in previous post). Really great stuff there - both birds and climbing. Thanks for the share. Send us more, please...?

First bird for my 2014 Costa Rica list...

Credit: little Z

Clay-colored Thrush, national bird of Costa Rica (how appropriate!). Followed closely by bird number two - Hoffmann's Woodpecker.

Credit: little Z

didn't get the alpine start on Jan 1 as we hosted a New Years party, but went out this morning before dawn and had a pretty good haul just within a few miles of home. Best birds were three tough-to-get wintering warblers - Yellow-throated, Hermit and Townsend's, and representing the local fowl was a noisy little group of Buff-fronted Wood-Partridges. Sorry, no photos. What I really wish I could have photographed was a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl sitting out on a bare branch being mobbed by 4 Golden-browed Chlorophonias, a Yellow-throated Euphonia and a male American Redstart. I guess it's actually better to have that stellar memory rather than some second rate photo.

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 2, 2014 - 01:14pm PT
Great shots Slater and Little Z, here a few from today.

Credit: Bob D'A

These little Chickadee's are so fun to watch.

Credit: Bob D'A

Credit: Bob D'A

Credit: Bob D'A

Little Z, is there a bus from San Jose to Carara?
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jan 2, 2014 - 10:03pm PT
Tony and I had a pretty good day on the first. We started in dense fog and cold temps at the Mile Square Pk. in HB for a slow start, then went to HB Central Park, then Bolsa Chica, then Irvine Pk. just before dark and the Skyline Dr. Fire Station for one last Barn Owl (heard only).

We ended up with 104 species. My goal was 100.

We missed a few expected ones and got a couple extra unexpected ones.

The luckiest was a Peregrine Falcon circling a tall building in Hunt. Beach.

The unluckiest was missing a Black and White Warbler and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker by 5 minutes in Central Park. There were lots of birders active there.

We did get a Northern Waterthrush and a Burrowing Owl. We should have really scrutinized that possible Greater Scaup, someone else had 4.

There were 4 people in OC that topped 100 led by Trish Gussler with 106 followed by us with 104 and 2 others with 102. I checked and Trish started pre-dawn. Alpine starts are always good!

There is no way I could have done it without Tony.

A couple shots from today and yesterday.

Credit: dee ee

Credit: dee ee

Credit: dee ee
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jan 2, 2014 - 10:04pm PT
Pencil (ink) me in for any visiting Birdapalooza action.

Credit: dee ee


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 3, 2014 - 10:23pm PT
OK, colour me sappy...

Actually, isn't it a Jackdaw?
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