Thursday, November 24, 2005

Confirmed Bird Sightings

Dawn described us today as pre-amateur bird watchers... When we were in Point Reyes for our anniversary, we saw and got pictures of some. I think we also saw a Cooper's Hawk, but didn't get a picture of it.

It took some work to figure this one out, but it is a Western Scrub-Jay. The National Geographic Birds of California book we have doesn't have the greatest pictures of these, and this one really looks more like the Island Scrub-Jay, which is claimed to live only in the Channel Islands off southern California.

These seem to be House Finches. The 'Purple' Finch has a lot more read than these do. They were very cute, but disappeared abruptly when the Northern Harrier arrived.

We also saw several turkey vultures and ravens, both below. I got what could have been a really great picture of one raven, looking down on it as it flew by; the lighting was great and it was set off well by the ocean below, but it was too far out of focus.

We're spending this weekend up in Mendocino with my family at a nice place called 'Blue Heron'. It's about 4 houses further down the road from the 'Crane Dance' house where we stayed for Thanksgiving in 2002. We've seen several Oystercatchers, with their bright red beaks, and some sort of Heron, but didn't get terribly good pictures of either.

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