Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Dickcissel Exists...I Am Sam...Warbler Vs. Curlew Field Marks

One day last month, I spent an hour and a half roaming around, looking for this Dickcissel. I was finally rewarded when it flew in from nowhere and landed directly above my's good to know that the birds have respect for Number 7. Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.

Well I thought I would give you a reprieve the the typhoon of Florida birds that has been responsible for flooding BB&B for much of last week. All of today's birds were photographed in that world-renowned wildlife haven known as the city of San Francisco, CA. As with last fall, a lot of my Perpetual Weekend is spent birding the bay area, and things have been good so far...although some of us keep trying to forget the Fork-tailed Flycatcher incident, and I double-dipped on a Harris' Sparrow this week (ouch though).

It's been a great fall for birding in California, and I haven't even bothered checking what I missed while off in Florida. Who knows what else will turn up? We all just need to keep birding...only on December 1, the first day of Birder's Winter, should we allow ourselves any rest.

Lastly, BB&B would like to announce its official endorsement of Jill Stein for President of the United States. Vote for Obama if you live in a battleground state, but otherwise I don't see any reason environmentalists should be voting for him...aside from being better than Bush (not difficult), he hasn't done much to earn our unconditional support. At any!

When you tell nonbirders you saw a Dickcissel, they don't believe the bird exists...I'm sure you can guess why this is. At any rate, I've only seen a handful of these birds, and never where they are actually expected.

Who does not love a Dickcissel, bucolically foraging in a pastoral scene?

The light was not mellow, but I think this Black-throated Gray Warbler (an uncommon fall migrant here) turned out pretty well. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA.

Despite the fact that Yellow Warblers are the most abundant warbler species in the area during the early weeks of fall migration, they don't seem to quite bum birders out as much as the later but inevitable onslaught of Yellow-rumped Warblers. Fort Mason.

I think the blackberries in the background make the picture.

As any and every birder knows, this is a huge year for Red-breasted Nuthatches. Hopefully they can find enough food, as pretty much everyone who has laid eyes on a nuthatch instantly grows incredibly fond of them. Yank-yank. Land's End, San Francisco, CA.

Behold the Steller's Jay. On Halloween, while dressed as Sam Shakusky (from Moonrise Kingdom..."What kind of bird are you?"), I got into a debate on the status and distribution of bluish jays with another random Sam Shakusky in front of a bar. Needless to say, dude did not know who he was dealing with. Photographed at Golden Gate Park.

This Yellow-throated Warbler stayed put in one of our shittiest parks for 3 months last year. It came back again this fall at the same time, and as far as I know is still around. Ferry Park, San Francisco, CA.

Check out the length of that bill. Birders should not worry about confusing this bird with other warblers, they should worry about confusing it with a curlew.

I wonder where this bird has been in the intervening 9 far south did it go last winter? Where did it spend its summer? In nerdiful news, I recently came across someone's thesis on variation within the species, and he ends up recommending abolishing a couple of the recognized can check that out here.

I don't take photographs of Brewer's Blackbirds very often, but when I do....I am usually not seeing much else. They're always a welcome and attractive bird though. Ferry Park.


  1. that warbler returned? that's excellent

  2. Nice sequencing here Seagull, your photos are dripping with color, and that bucolic Dickcissel is rad.

    It's funny, as I was looking at your second photo of the YTWA I started thinking, "Wow, that bird's got quite the shnozz." And then you commented on it after the picture. They're stunning birds. I don't know when I'll get the chance ti see one, but it will be a glorious day.

    Good luck with the Harris's, I hope it sticks around. Just make sure you leave lots of top quality garbage at that dump and it'll stay put eh?

    1. Thank you, thank you very much.

      I have successfully avoided missing the Harris' 3 times, but only because I haven't looked again...can't go too out of the way for year birds, that would go against the spirit of my lazy big year.