Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hangin' Up The Bins...Ubersocial Shorebirds...Mammologist Pity

Shorebirds. I love them deeply, and immensely. Look at this Greater Yellowlegs. It inspires me to become a better, person. Famosa Slough, San Diego, CA.

Well birders...its time to hang up the binoculars. The rigors and demands of a nonbirding life call, so I am pulling out of the whale's vagina (pun intended) for a week, to head up to northern California for a wedding. This is not the end of my reign in San Diego County however...I'll be spending the last two weeks of August here, wringing out vagrants. After that, Perpetual Weekend 2012-2013 will kick in and I will be free at last. 

What are shorebirds all about? Buddies. Unlike birders, they are really good at making friends. Same species, different species, it doesn't matter. They cannot help but team up. Like magnets. This Greater Yellowlegs and Wilson's Phalarope are a prime example.

This is what buddies do.

They stop and reflect on their short and hypothetically meaningless existences at the same time. The yellowlegs thinks it proper to scan the sky at times like these, the phalarope examines its own reflection. Two different philosophies. Neither is wrong.

I don't know what is happening here, but surely it is a sign of an enduring friendship and needle-billed comraderie. This phalarope was all about a small flock of Greater Yellowlegs, often foraging in the muddy water the yellowlegs would kick up as they walked around. The yellowlegs didn't seem to mind the phalarope's constant close proximity. Like I said...buddies.

People don't think of yellowlegs as being striking birds. This is usually true. But they look hella good for a few months of the year (front). Then they turn in to anonymous gray things (rear).

Light-footed Clapper Rail. Clapper Rails can afford to be less shy than their smaller cousins, because the terrible sounds they make would deter any predator. Famosa Slough, San Diego, CA.

This Clapper just sonically destroyed a small razor clam.

Heermann's Gull: a very nice gull. Sea World, San Diego, CA.

Is this a BB&B first? I think it is. Cassin's Kingbirds are widespread in southern California and do well in disturbed and suburban areas, especially in winter. Dairy Mart Ponds, Tijuana River Valley, CA.

This intricately colored coat of armor belongs to a Western Fence Lizard (I have no idea what subspecies). Pretty cool though. San Elijo Lagoon, CA.

Pretty amazing patterning for such a common (and small) beast. I feel bad for mammal enthusiasts. Fur doesn't come in many patterns...scales and feathers > hair.


  1. Your Greater Yellowlegs are much prettier than ours, already losing their breeding attire and on their way south. Great post. Have fun at the wedding...better bring your 'nockies just in case.

    1. Thanks! Yes, the wedding should be good, aside from the inevitable Sunday morning hangover.

  2. Very nice Seagull. I found myself in 100% agreement about everything you said today. Why do I feel like I need absolution now?

    LOL jk totes obvi but nbd

    NIce shots. Curious to see this is your first Cassin's Kingbird photo, and you've been on the web for what like 4 or 5 years? I got mine (photo) only a couple weeks ago and marveled that it took so long.

    1. Agreeing with me is a bad idea, especially in public. Except when it comes to bird ID, of course.

      Cassin's generally don't live where I've been living, with the exception of Southeast Arizona. It took a long bath in the Whale's Vagina to get my CAKI photos.

  3. Yep, scales and feathers are cooler than fur. But mammals never needed color/pattern because they have smell-o-vision. If you had the nose of a canid, you'd be able to tell which shorebirds had been on the beach before you were there, thus opening up a whole new world of bird jizz...

  4. Shorebirds! Buddies! I love it, because it's true.