Thursday, February 4, 2010

Living's Better When Taking Chances Constantly

Jesus god.  The Haitian death toll has topped 200,000 now, Obama has rolled out his massive budget while humiliating the Republican leadership in a televised Q&A session, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" may be on its way out, and the U.S. military had its first casualties within Pakistan's borders.  Are we are doomed?  Ostensibly.....yes we are.  Some would recommend shoring up your hovel and adapting the lifestyle of a troglodyte, staying completely in the dark and out of harm's way.  What is the official BB&B coping mechanism?  Wallowing in birds.

On Tuesday I headed back to Lake Merritt.  When I got there, I was bummed to find out that I had left my camera battery at home, which is the first (but probably not the last) time that happened.  How embarrassing.  This proved to be particularly infuriating when I refound the wintering male Tufted Duck diving happily......15 feet away from me.  Keep in mind that this is an extremely rare bird that would be more at home in south Asia this time of year.  The above picture was taken with my shitty, antiquated cell phone, about ten feet away.  It spent considerable time hanging out directly beneath me, just out of arm's length.  When I went back on Wednesday hoping he would be in the same area, he was nowhere to be found.  Typical.  But between the two days there was the Tufted Duck, a Red-necked Grebe, Barrow's Goldeneyes....and a largeish smallish first year gull sitting on the middle of the lake that looked vaguely like a worn first year Lesser Black-backed Gull.  I doubt that's really what that was....but you never know.

A drake Common Goldeneye.  Cash for gold, anyone?

A lot of my goldeneye shots ended up looking something like this.  

Lake Merritt and it's massive scaup floatilla.


Dusk falls over the Golden Gate.  This was taken from "The Bulge" a couple weeks ago.

QUIZ BIRD.  If you guess right, you are a nerd.  Consider dusting off your social skills.  Guess wrong, and there may be some hope for you...but know that somewhere, diehard birders laugh at you behind your back.

1 comment:

  1. I was strolling around Lake Merrit the other day, and stopped to chat with some birders, that looked as if they were visiting, but, seemed to have a clue as to what they were looking for/at. They said that they were in fact visiting from the East coast and that they were congregated on the lake to check out the impressive wide spectrum of birds. One told me that he was particularily impressed by the amount and variety of grebes. But then, he added, he's from the East Coast, so all these birds in one small area, is very impressive. I told them about the Tufted duck that you had spotted. And the female of the nerd-huddle informed me, with out ever once removing her eyes from the binoculars, that they had also seen him, and that he had been spotted there in the winter for the past several years...she was obviously way cooler than me. Obvi, ahem. Anyways, I thought I should inform you that I attempted to nerd out and was trumped, and that, fear not for not having gotten the perfect shot of him, because it sounds like he may return next year and you will be prepared! <3 your pumpkin