Friday, September 14, 2012

Some Terns Drink At Carpal Bars

Common Tern and Western Gull. Common Terns are uncommon fall migrants throughout most of California, and are rarely common anywhere in the state. If any species of bird is going to teach you what a "carpal bar" is, this is it. Ormond Beach, Port Hueneme, CA.

The Perpetual Weekend. You may have heard it. Not everyone can do it. It is for brave souls, who do not feel the need to hide behind the facade of raising a family, or who squander the last of their youth by languishing away in grad school. It is for those who are not afraid to meet the challenges of a society who measures one's success not by happiness or contentment (or numbers of birds seen, for that matter), but by how much you get paid to spend your waking life in a job you don't like, and for many of you, outwardly resent. If you crave stability and security, then The Perpetual Weekend is not for you. But if you believe in Freedom, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness...indeed, The American Dream as we know it...then you must throw down your shackles and embrace The Perpetual Weekend. How else can you go birding whenever you want?

For those with the wherewithal to actually experience complete and total freedom for a while (and I'm not talking about Burning Man), I can only say this is a lifestyle I highly recommend. Your bird lists will benefit, as will your birding skills. It is worth mentioning the Global Birding Ranking System does actually take into account your number of hours birding vs. your number of hours working, with some advanced calculus involved in situations where you actually get paid to bird.

I am back in Oakland now. I went 0/2 in my vagrant-hunting efforts yesterday but there's a lot to catch up's a few recent birds from Ventura County, CA, where I became the Number 7 birder I am today.

Here's a better look at the previously-mentioned carpal bar. 

I never get tired of taking tern pictures...being Masters of the Air, there is no shortage of epic poses to capture them in, and since they are so agile, most of my pictures are garbage anyways.

Nuttall's Woodpeckers are present at many coastal sites that California birders are scouring this time of year for vagrants. You may overlook them now, but when migration has passed us by you will once again love and cherish this humble woodpecker. Sycamore Canyon, CA.

This Loggerhead Shrike is looking as cute as a shrike probably can. Arnold Road, Oxnard Plain, CA.

This was my first Merlin of the fall. I look forward to many more. Oxnard Plain, CA.

This beast, an eclipse male Wood Duck, is not something SoCal birders get to see very often. Even looking their worst, Wood Ducks are still bizarre creatures. Bubbling Springs Park, Port Hueneme, CA.

So many colors. An astounding duck at all times of year.

Ahhhhh, urban birding. Great Blue Heron, Ormond Beach, CA.


  1. Now if only you could photoshop in a little can of spraypaint under the heron's wing that pic would be awesome... I had to google carpal bar. How embarrassing.

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  3. That's a hipster heron if I've ever seen one.