Monday, March 19, 2012

Unofficial DeeMotivation Event: Birding CA Coast

So, it's been a while since I've updated here. I am way behind on updating official DeeMotivation events, but wanted to let my faithful readers know I'm still here and still getting out there, so much in fact that I haven't had time to sit down and update. One of the things I have been busy with is that that I was bribed to work on a project at work with promise of a birding trip when I got out to CA. I really wanted to see a California Condor, so have been working on the project for about 3 months now, and my reward came last weekend.

So, without further ado, here are the pictures from the unofficial DeeMotivation event, birding the California Coast. I was joined by the awesome birders Cindy and Charlie, who spent the entire weekend indulging me and helping me to build my life list, which I increased by at least 27 species this weekend!

So, if you didn't choose to GOYB, here is what you missed (click to enlarge, totally worth it!):

Me, Charlie, and Cindy starting off at the
traditional Starbucks.

My first life bird was right in Cindy and Charlie's
back yard - an Allen's Hummingbird.

Next life bird was in Starbucks parking lot -
Brewer's Blackbird

Not a lifer, but still pretty Townsend's Warbler.

(Lifer) Wrentit

(Lifer) Brown Towhee

Black-capped Chickadee. Not a lifer, but so adorable!

(Lifer) Say's Phoebe

House Finch. Not a lifer but pretty.

Red-shafted Flicker

(Lifer) California Quail

(Lifer) Whimbrel

(Lifer) Brandt's Cormorant

(Lifer) Black Turnstone

Western race of Red-tailed Hawk.
Not a lifer, but a way better picture
than my life-bird picture.

Marbled Godwits. Not a lifer, but I really liked this picture.

(Lifer) Golden Plover

(Lifer) White-tailed Kite

(Lifer) Semi-palmated Plover

(Lifer) Herman's Gull

(Lifer) Long-tailed Duck

Long-billed Curlew

(Lifer) Pacific Loon

I took a break to do some skinny-dipping, but the weather
was too cold so I had to come back up onto the dock.

Sea lion, looking blissful

This little sea lion on top reminded me of Barty, the
way he just walked right across everyone else on the dock!

Man, these guys were adorable.

Horned Grebe. Not a lifer, I got most of the grebes on my
last business trip to CA.

Another Herman's Gull

(Lifer) Surf Scoter

Rock Pigeon. Not a lifer, I just thought it was pretty.

Eared Grebe. Another one that I got on my last trip to HQ.

Another one, just too cute to pass up a photo op.

(Lifer) At least one of these is a Ross's Goose.

(Lifer) At least one of these is a Snow Goose

(Lifer) The one that's not a Canada Goose or a Cow is a
White-fronted Goose.

(Lifer) The guy in the middle is a Tri-color Blackbird.

White-crowned Sparrow

At the end of the first day we returned home to Cindy and
Charlie's place. We were cold and wet, but Shamrock
was there to greet us, and he was warm and furry. Just like

Our second day birding had a much
more auspicious beginning, with
a rainbow!

(Lifer) Bushtit

This was my favorite shot of the whole
trip - an Anna's Hummingbird
and a Spotted Towhee together.

Spotted Towhee

(Lifer) Anna's Hummingbird

Western Scrubjay

Bufflehead. Not a lifer, I just like saying their name.
Bufflehead! Bufflehead! Bufflehead!

Sea Otters, looking insanely cute.

I don't remember what this guy was...

(Lifer) Black Skimmer

(Lifer) Pelagic Cormorant

Me at Big Sur

A really famous bridge that I
don't remember the name of
despite Cindy telling me repeatedly!

This might be a California Condor.
Or it might be vulture. Or it might be a
smudge on my camera lens. If it's the
Condor, it was a lifer, and the only
reason I agreed to work on the project
that brought me to California. If it's not
a Condor, please don't tell me, I will weep
as the last 3 months were for nothing!

No birds, just really pretty coast line.
If you haven't seen it, go now, it's
eroding quickly.

(Lifer) Golden-crowned Sparrow

My last lifer was in Cindy and Charlie's yard, when we got
back from Big Sur. This is an Oregon Junco