Saturday, April 07, 2007

Santa Cruz Booby

I went down to see the well reported BROWN BOOBY on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. There was a lot of feeding activity to the east of the wharf. There were hundreds of BRANDT'S, DOUBLE-CRESTED, and PELAGIC CORMORANTS, WESTERN and CLARK'S GREBES, BROWN PELICAN, COMMON, RED-THROATED, and PACIFIC LOONS feeding just off shore as well as BONAPARTE'S GULLS and a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE flying around the wharf.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Signs of Spring!

This Orange-crowned Warbler was singing and defending territory on Hwy 49 in Nevada County on Saturday, March 31.

No Great Gray but others make the trip worth it!

In an attempt to find the recently reported Great Gray Owl in Yuba County, Bruce Webb and I made the short drive up past Nevada City to Ridge Road. Although Don Marsh was fortunate enough to see it (albeit briefly) the rest of us dipped. Nice looks at Pileated Woodpecker and this Anna's Hummingbird made the trip worth it anyway.

Red-tailed Hawks nesting on my commute!

There is a lone cottonwood on the west side of the Scott Grade in Folsom right next to Highway 50. The nice thing is that the height of the road allows a look into the nest! A few weeks ago I saw the pair tending to building duties and about a week ago noticed the female was incubating. I was able to get a few shots with my hazards blinking...not recommended!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Digiscoping Again!

I just found an awesome adapter from Adorama for the Canon SD400 Digital Elph. This adapter couples beautifully with Swarovski's DCA (Digital Camera Adapter). I am using it with a Leica APO Televid spotting scope and had to make some minor adjustments as this DCA is designed for use with Swarovski's own eyepieces. I was able to try it out for the first time this morning with some reasonable results.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Smew-tiful Day!

Another life bird...nice start to 2007!

I received word of a SMEW in Tuolomne County found on Saturday, January 20 and immediately began figuring out where I could fit in a trip down to chase it. The spot would be a 2+ hour drive from home so I would need a good part of the day to get down there and back...Monday was the day!!!

Upon arrival I was able to pick out the Smew immediately with my bare eyes as it was the only small white duck out there. There were many RING-NECKED DUCKS, HOODED MERGANSERS, and MALLARDS on the pond, as well, and a GREAT EGRET stalked fish from the reeds across the water. There were already a few people there including Martin Meyers and David Nelson.

At times, the SMEW would charge into a small group of Hooded Mergansers and display to the females. Puffed out chest and sharp crest was his way of impressing the ladies. A few of us commented that the raised crest that it used to display was weak compared to it's typical disposition.

Chris Conard and Kimya Lambert showed up a little later as did a birder from Louisiana named Webb Smith who just so happened to be working on his Big Year with a short trip to California...right place/right time!