Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Benchmarks Ensure Salvation

As I write this, I can hear an Elegant Trogon croaking at me......from a very close distance.  He sounds like the timing is right to track down a female and find a nice cavity (preferably in a Sycamore) to do the dirty dirty in.  Ah, the sweet sounds of spring!  For the past hour I have been serenaded by Cassin's Sparrows, Flammulated Owls, Nashville Warblers (an eastern Nashville is on the left), etc.

Right.  But when we get down to it, I'm sitting in Arcata, California, in early February.  I have just returned from checking out Rock Sandpipers on the North Jetty of Humboldt Bay, and to both them and me, its not looking like spring around here.  All those birds I'm listening to (Gilded Flicker at the moment) have been sent to me over the internets as homework.....I'm reacquainting myself with the birds of southeast Arizona, which I will be dealing with in person in about three short weeks from now.

What is coming up a bit sooner is the bittersweet anniversary of Hunter S. Thompson's demise, on February 20.  He took his own life at his typewriter, after talking about it for months.  The father of Gonzo Journalism, he is by default the grandfather of Gonzo Birding, which is only dabbled in, rarely, by a brave few birders from time to time.  I need to think of an appropriate way to celebrate......maybe Gonzo Birding Day should be held on February 20 as well. The staff here at the Human Birdwatcher Project ("Birdwatchers are people too!") are mobilizing.


A first-year Lesser Black-backed Gull holds it down in Virginia.

I think we may need symbol.  Nothing too derivative of the the classic six-fingered, double-thumbed hand clutching a dagger and peyote button.....but something with style.  Any ideas?  I'm friends with a lot of artists....

But we'll cover that more as the time gets close.  Right now I'm enjoying being back in my old raging grounds, with easy access to quality birding.  One of the few things I can't enjoy about San Francisco is the lack of good birding areas.....there's a lot of pavement down there.  I mean, sure, there are few good spots, but they're not really comparable to some of the places here that haul in crippling vagrants.  

Ok, that's it for now.  The pictures today were selected completely at random.  Do what you think is best.


A beefy first-year Greater Black-backed Gull, for comparison.


The Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina's Outer Banks.

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