Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birds Birds Birds

Over the last several weeks, Dino has become active in the Mariposa chapter of the Yosemite Area Audubon Society.  He's participated in several "raptor runs", where a group of interested birders follow a prescribed route and count the individuals of each species of raptor identified. 

A couple of weekends ago, as Dino was relating his interesting day raptor-watching, he suggested that we should do some birdwatching of our own "some time soon".  I suggested that since all I had on my agenda for the next day was some yucky housecleaning, perhaps that would be a good day to go birding and leave the kitchen floor to fester.  (Hyperbole there - hard encrustations don't actually fester, they merely stick and lurk.)

Come the next morning, we gathered up all our gear, filled up a lunch box and headed off.  It was a great day, with a good 30 plus species identified (not counting our usuals here at home of course), and a couple of instances of "we know that's a Scaup but don't know Lesser or Greater" so we couldn't count it. I also saw a few new species that I'd never seen before. Of course, since none of the birds we saw are uncommon, I may have seen them but just didn't know what I was seeing. I know it's a form of bird geekiness to keep lists, but we do anyway. And it's not really the listing that's fun it's the watching. Totally different terrains from where our place is too, just beautiful California interior valley grasslands with many ponds and vernal pools that attract water birds.

We took quite a few record shots of birds we weren't sure about identifying at the time in hopes that we could identify them later based on the photos.  I'll share just one of these with you, it's the best of the bird ones. A Northern Mockingbird:

1 comment:

Tom Hurley said...

I love mockingbirds. I was the successful "parent" of two of them which had fallen from their nests. One of them was so accustomed to his diet of cat food he refused to leave the house when it was time to release him to the wild. So I simply placed cat food on a tall post outside. He came back many times to land on my shoulder and lay his beak in my ear and coo. Cool birds.

Woodpeckers, in contrast, suck.

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