Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Triumphant Return and A Horrible Loss

Female Magnificent Frigatebirds leisurely ride a thermal, while causing the tourists below to run for cover. Photographed at Dry Tortugas National Park, FL.

The Great Ornithologist Felonious Jive and I have finally returned from a successful birding non-birding vacation to South Florida, with a lot of birding done in Everglades National Park, Key West and The Dry Tortugas. Thanks to Booby Brittany and Vireo Vita for tolerating the state of avian frenzy that Felonious and I often found ourselves in. Some serious birdgasms happened out there, not to mention the staggering number of year birds. It's good to be back in The Bay though, and BB&B is more than happy to throw our support behind the San Francisco Giants in the upcoming World Series.

On a more serious note, I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Reed Smith, a longtime Ventura County birder and Ventura Audubon Society member who encouraged a very young Seagull Steve to become the Number 7 birder he is today. Reed was a rarity (as opposed to a vagrant); a birder with both a shining personality and a strong conservation ethic...I am so grateful to have gotten to see him one more time last year. The way Reed carried himself endeared him to many, and the local Snowy Plover population will mourn him along with birders, friends and family. We miss you Reed!


  1. Beautiful shot of the frigatebirds. Glad you had a good trip to my state but sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

    BTW, if you're number 7, who's 1-6?

    1. It is unclear whether the identities of Numbers 1-6 are withheld voluntarily, or if that information is confidential because of the mysterious masters of the Global Birding Ranking Scale. I can say that there has been serious talk of my rising to Number 6, but I'll probably have to discover another MEGA rarity before that can happen.

      Great shots of the Snail Kites over on your blog, BTW.