December 20, 2013

Report from the Rich Stallcup Cheep Thrills Christmas Bird Count

Dec 19, 2013
Nicasio--Lucas Valley Rd., Marin Co. California
Traveling
20 miles
465 Minutes
Observers: 2
All birds reported? Yes

Comments:
Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.6.1

15 California Quail
1 Great Blue Heron
50 Turkey Vulture
1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
2 Red-shouldered Hawk
10 Red-tailed Hawk
6 American Kestrel
72 Band-tailed Pigeon
1 Mourning Dove
19 Anna's Hummingbird
4 Acorn Woodpecker
1 Red-breasted Sapsucker
4 Nuttall's Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
12 Northern Flicker
12 Black Phoebe
1 Say's Phoebe
5 Hutton's Vireo
10 Steller's Jay
16 Western Scrub-Jay
32 American Crow
10 Common Raven
26 Chestnut-backed Chickadee
24 Oak Titmouse
68 Bushtit
5 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Pygmy Nuthatch
2 Brown Creeper
4 Bewick's Wren
17 Golden-crowned Kinglet
13 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Wrentit
21 Western Bluebird
16 Hermit Thrush
21 American Robin
19 Varied Thrush
1 Northern Mockingbird
15 Cedar Waxwing
56 Yellow-rumped Warbler
6 Townsend's Warbler
8 Spotted Towhee
13 California Towhee
1 Fox Sparrow
2 White-crowned Sparrow
73 Golden-crowned Sparrow
94 Dark-eyed Junco
40 Brewer's Blackbird
20 House Finch
3 Pine Siskin
17 Lesser Goldfinch
10 American Goldfinch

Posted on December 20, 2013 22:34 by wildmarin wildmarin | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 29, 2013

Beautiful images

Beautiful pictures chosen when sparks fly.

#1 of the day
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/442828

Action
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/435453

Symbolic name with cool organism
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/443171 for Facebook fans

Yoga goddess
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/442739#comment-89231

Posted on October 29, 2013 06:58 by wildmarin wildmarin | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 27, 2013

In which I reply to my own journal post from August 13

You're right, Todd. You made it out to the blue-footed booby at Gull Rock south of Stinson Beach. You found that incredible bird on a rock covered with over a thousand other birds - packed, packed with pelicans, carpeted with cormorants, with pelagic, double-crested, and almost certainly Brandt's. You got a picture, rather fuzzy but sincere. And you put it on iNaturalist. way to go.

Posted on October 27, 2013 06:49 by wildmarin wildmarin | 0 comments | Leave a comment

An Amazing Day Well-Lived

I am just going to say up-front that the correct pronunciation of "short-lived" rhymes with hived. Long i sound, wived, chived, lived. Conversely "short-lived" like "he lived for a short time" - short i - doesn't make sense gramatically. "lived" is a verb there, and short is an adjective, not an adverb. You would never say, "I lived short." the life is short - like leaf and leaved,: the plant is short-leaved. Mule deer are short-lived.

Today I saw two new life-birds and they were fantastic: My friend Everett and I went out to Abbot's Lagoon in the POint Reyes National Seashore to see two bird species. One of those was the reported lapland longspurs. And we found them. We saw at least three. My first longspur. It was beautiful. I knew it was unusual because it had a streaky back, in contrast to the American pipits it was with, which have mostly unmarked, brown or gray backs. And then the other field marks of the longspur became apparent: the brown auriculars. The light breast and the buffy supraloral stripe over the eye. But mostly you see the really ruddy feathers in the wing. Primary coverts are red-brown. Foxy. The one I saw was eating the heck out of some leaves of a dock or a sagebrush. He ran in little spasmic dashes from one bit of cover to another I was amazed at how fast he (guessing sex, i really dont' know) could run. You got the sense that here was a bird who spent a lot of time running around on the ground. Amazing speed, really.

The other bird we wanted to see was a few reported red-throated pipits. We never saw them. But I did discover 2 Pacific golden plovers. My first. They were AWESOME. Really, totally satisfing views of two birds in fall plumge, golden backs shining, black eyes, long legs, kind of dove like, but sticky to the ground, like they really did not want to fly. I went ninja photographer mode and got pretty close and took, like 100 pictures. About which, sad. I lost about 600 pictures from my camera during a data transfer gone wrong; Gone ferruginous hawk pictures, of perching and getting ridden out of the meadow by 4 ravens pictures. Gone giant lupine. Gone, pacific golden plovers. Gone sunset coyotes and fog light ant ghosts and gone golden deer, fog frogs, and wishful panning shots. I have you in my mind, even if the images are gone. It's a hard blow. I"m bummed.

Posted on October 27, 2013 06:20 by wildmarin wildmarin | 1 comments | Leave a comment

August 14, 2013

iNaturalist for President

I love iNaturalist. It scratches all the right places in my obsessions and hobbies. It fulfills such a valuable role in citizen science, and provides an easy solution to the challenge that Aldo Leopold lay down for us 70 years ago in Sand County Almanac to know the place that we live. Who will chronicle these species if not us? In California, Sudden Oak Death is ravaging the tan oaks in my community and many others - changing the complexion and complexity of the oak woodland communities and coastal fir-oak coves on the wet side of Inverness Ridge. iNaturalist gets me out there documenting the great ones before they die, before the inexorable winch of time tightens down and simplifies them right out of existence.

On the bright side, it helps me learn what's what in my neighborhood and beyond, in the wet ditches of often hiked but seldom studied trails and roads. I have yet to crack the sound file upload yet - although I have lots of sound files recorded on my iPhone. I need to learn how to make quick edits and file splits so I can tease out the hairy woodpeckers and the Swainson's thrushes and chickadees on the same file. My knowledge of, and therefore appreciation of, the amazing biodiversity of my community is growing by leaps and bounds.

So has my interest in nature photography - almost as a happy byproduct of using iNaturalist. I bought my first DSLR camera so I could better capture birds, especially out here near the Point Reyes National Seashore, where the unusual is possible at any time. I won't let another booby go by unphotographed - like i did in May when the county's third brown booby showed up. For the past two weeks I've spend more time learning my camera and learning how to use the controls than I have uploading to iNat. But time well spent - the point of the app is to document, and I'm learning how to be a better record keeper.

Posted on August 14, 2013 05:58 by wildmarin wildmarin | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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