Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Running Amok Around Garden Key

Running amok around Garden Key may or may not yield many birds...but there will always be Sandwich Terns. Well, in fall, at least.

I have crossed the Rubicon (or was it the Eel River?), and finally have returned to Humboldt County, where birds and birders and plentiful and everyone is high (especially the birders). I won't be here much longer, but its been good times. This place has been riddled with birders for years, and its been good to see a bunch of familiar faces again. My 2012 year list has grown to be even more corpulent in the last week, but with Bostick taking a trip to Hawaii, he is back in the lead again. Fuck. Maybe I will end up winning the year in the NIB category (that's Non-Introduced Birds, for you less nerdy people), but he may take the overall cake. Time will tell.

Here's some more scenes from the Dry Tortugas. Its easier to take pictures there than in Humboldt County.

Meet the first Swainson's Thrush to grace the pages of BB&B. This indelible Catharus of catharsis spent a day tamely hopping through our campsite, deftly avoiding the enormous hermit crabs that littered the ground.

Look at this White-eyed Vireo. It looks like it's teleporting into another dimension. That's where they really go in winter.

More teleporting. This one looks more like a Blue-eyed Vireo (***MEGA***).

The outer wall and moat at Fort Jefferson. Not a bad perch up there.

American Kestrels are another one of those birds that can be hard to talk about, because everyone knows what a kestrel is and how great they are. The roof of Fort Jefferson turned out to be a good place to get flight shots of them as they zoomed around having territorial battles.


A barracuda making faces.

What a sweetheart.

This was the lone Northern Harrier that made it to Garden Key during my trip. I found her in a frigatebird flock.

Magnificent Frigatebird. The first one you see will trigger an agonizing reappraisal of all the birds you have previously seen that you hold so dear...they can really put the kibosh down on any motivation to watch non-charismatic avefauna.


  1. this post annoys because it's sort of badass, well played.

  2. uh huh. That vireo shot is bizarre. Did you see the chickadee ghost picture I put on Faceparty yesterday? Yours is cooler, but if we're talking different bird dimensions, it's like that.

  3. Lots of EYES in this post.
    Super shots though. You must have a pretty swanky photography rig if you can capture Vireos going 4D, or Frigatebirds going 2D.

    It's nice to get a tropical feel again.
    Also, I see mentioning of all these big facebook birding groups bust-ups. I know you keep track of these things too as a part of the Human Birdwatcher Project. I can never find the exchanges, nor am I well plugged in to see them anyway. But man, I've come to discover I have a real lust to see birder gossip. It's so deliciously meretricious, such fun folderol.

    I hope you'e keeping a log of the stuff so boring folks like me can see it all some day.

    1. Damn, the links aren't working for you? You can always just join up...the FB California rare bird one doesnt get a lot of use, so it wont clog your feed or anything. Gotta love the nerdwars.

    2. They're always deleted before I get to read em, much like the Nazi book-burnings of Stalinist purging of literature and government documents.

  4. I had things to say about this post but now I just have the intro to Barracuda stuck in my effin brain and that's all I can think about.

    1. When are you going to start shit on your oregon fb page?

    2. I'm not very good at creating drama, I just want to sit back and watch it happen on its own. Surely it's inevitable...