Friday, May 8, 2015

This Week In BB&B: Traffic Jam, An Unbirdy April, HJs On Deck



Allen's Hummingbird is a nice spring bird.  There has been a distinct lack of nice spring birds in my life this year, though that will all change soon.  Lake Merced, San Francisco, CA.

Wow...what a month April has been.  And I'm not talking about birding...I'm talking about the blog! Between a pathetic three (3) posts for the entire month of April and randomly getting linked to on Reddit (this photo is why), BB&B has had drastically more web traffic than ever before, which is nice after all these years of toiling in the blog mines.  We are only going onward and upward here at BB&B, and the Birdosphere continues to be taken by storm...by me.  Thanks for reading everyone, and I hope to maintain the same level of...whatever it is that keeps you coming back, and especially if I keep getting bizarre emails from those jealous of my high rank in the Global Birder Ranking System.  That is why I do this!

Apologies for the lack of output lately...April has flown right by, and I did not give it the amount of birding attention that April rightfully deserves.  I feel much shame, and have done you, my birding family, a great dishonor.  I haven't even seen a Nashville Warbler yet this year...how embarrassing. And sad.  Oddly, I've spent more time looking at shorebirds than looking for warblers and flycatchers...it's been a weird spring so far for me.  This time last year I was pretty much obsessed with birding South Padre Island, and always fixated on the fallout that never came.


Surfbirds are among the humblest of birds much of the year, being built like obese plovers, staying relatively silent and repping the Economy of Style.  But in spring they shed their shabby attire for fancy scapulars and intricately patterned upperparts, and if you get too close you might find your face getting a little melty.  It's not difficult to discern the difference between the new and old feathers on the bird in this photo, the same goes for the Willet on the right as well. Emeryville Marina, Emeryville, CA.


Western Sandpipers in spring are really striking, as are their Dunlin brethren (molting bird in center). I understand why beginning birders struggle with shorebirds, but if they worked on them in the spring the learning curve would not be steep at all.  Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland, CA.

That said, my birding is soon going to be different...very different.  I am taking the unilateral decision to make a very important public announcement.  In less than 3 weeks time, I will be combining forces with the following bird bloggers: Birdcrusher Dan, Flycatcher Jen, and This Machine Nate.  Why would we do such a thing?  Such an embarrassing thing?  To bird where none of us have birded before...Maine.

That's right, Maine.  As the years go by, there are fewer and fewer birds that I have yet to meet in the Lower 48, and many of the remaining species for which I quest are found in Maine.  I've also never even been to Maine, and am longing for a change of scenery...keep in mind The Perpetual Weekend is dead (long live the Perpetual Weekend!), so being nonmigratory for so long has gotten to me...gotten to all of us.  We must get life birds.  We must surround ourselves with birders that we actually want to be around.  We must drink whiskey, to toast birds we may not see again any time soon.  We be will covering a fair amount of ground, from Machias Seal Island up to Bicknell's Thrush country, and lifers will be had by all.  The HJ rule will, of course, be in play, which is an entirely different sort of thing to prepare for.



California is Catharus depauperate state.  We have Hermits and Swainson's, anything else is pure gold.  To say that I am looking forward to reopening my eyes and ears to Veery, among certain other thrushes, would be a gross understatement at best.  South Padre Island, Texas.

10 comments:

  1. Cheers Seagull,

    That Owl-on-Owl action is a crazy good photo. I have never seen its equal and you deserve the fame.

    I hope everybody goes to ME prepared and brings plenty of lotion. If I don't see photos of passed out shirtless Nate with weeners drawn on his face in a couple weeks, I am going to be very disappointed.

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    1. His face will be crawling with dicks! And I don't mean Dickcissels!

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    2. I'd like to go ahead say that I'd prefer to not have my face crawling with dicks.

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    3. You'd like to, but there's that 1/1000 curiosity...supposedly it's in all of us.

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  2. Hey Steve, I was the person who linked your blog post to Reddit. Yours is the only picture I know of og a GHO eating a Barn Owl... here's the comment itself: http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/31qj16/saw_this_frightening_guy_in_my_garage/cq42vyt

    I'll be honest, I'm really jealous of your colorful Calidris (and friends)! Migration is here for sure, but I'm not seeing anything... at least the yellow-rumps have left.

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    1. Thanks Martina! I was definitely shocked to see that (both the owls and the huge spike in traffic). Yeah, I definitely have not seen any similar photos...

      I've hardly seen migration this spring, kind of a bummer considering it is going to be slowing to a trickle soon where I live...but I'm about to be birding Maine so everything will be fine.

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  3. Steve, since you're on going to be on the east coast... if your path takes you to Cape May or environs, let me know, I'd like to meet you in person and bird with you a bit. Really liked your fall of the bird police blog (having been a bird policeman myself)...

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    1. Hey Don, we will be staying in Maine the whole time, but thanks for the invite. I've never birded Cape May, it is on the list of places that need to be birded for sure. Good luck patrolling the Cape.

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