Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shifty Friends Of Mine

Another look at Buldir's first Slaty-back of 2010. String of pearls, baby.

Right off, I have to set some things straight. My toiling minions at BB&B HQ, under the steady and terrible crack of the whip, rarely make mistakes……but they do happen, from time to time. It seems I have gotten the history of the Slatygate story a bit mixed up…the og SBGU that graced Ventura Harbor with its presence so many years ago was actually accepted by the bird committee…12 years after the fact. Hey, its not fast, but its…its….well, its not fast. The controversial Salton City Slaty-backed Gull was not accepted either, and my source told me, rather ominously….never will be. So thanks to Don and Brady for clearing that up for everyone.

Bird committees. Huh. Now there’s a topic for a blog. It won’t be this one….but the basic concept of being part of an undemocratically elected patriarchy of power-birders who decide who has seen what...well, is a novel concept. Not that they don’t have their purpose…and not they are composed of complete birdtards….I know a lot of good people who have/do sit on those committees.

Least Auklets.  Behold their majesty.

Bird committees were one of Roger Higson’s favorite things to rail on, and his tirades will be missed. Roger was a Brit who spent the last several decades in California, primarily in bleak, arid, unpopulated and underbirded regions, finding all manner of rare birds and diligently (and perhaps more importantly, wittily) reporting his findings to rare bird reports, email lists, and finally his blog, which you can still find here. His sharp tongue, distinctly British humor, love of liquor and well-honed birding skills made him one of the more interesting figures of the California birding community. He passed away last spring, and we are all poorer without him.

While over the summer I was bummed to hear Roger making his Great Migration, I was completely stunned to hear that Mike San Miguel had done the same. Others have written much more eloquently of him that I could, but I think it should be said that Mike was not only an outstanding birder (and committee member), but a genuinely heart-of-gold kind of guy who was one of the few people to make a young Steve think, “shit, maybe birdwatchers aren’t so fucking crazy after all.” I haven’t gotten to see him in a long time, but I’ll miss him just the same.

Owl Knob and Round Mountain, as seen from the floor of Gentle Valley in Buldir's interior.

1 comment:

  1. i've decided i want a pet auklet. good god they're cute. and that last shot is coolshit. !