Thursday, June 15, 2017

Imperial Bellow, Old World Bellow, Imitation Rail Mellow

Of course, it wasn't always all about yardbirding for Seagull Steve. Believe it or not, he used to venture forth to look at birds outside of the friendly confines of his yard all the time. On this occasion, he walked by a flock of Snowy Plovers, a local and beloved species. Pilarcitos Creek Mouth, Half Moon Bay, CA.

Some color band combinations are easier to read than others. Spending time with the soothing plover flock here is always a nice consolation when walking back to your car after dipping on rare gulls, at least for Seagull Steve.

When Seagull Steve is birding here, it is typically a lowly, disgusting, gull-oriented endeavor. Here is a Herring Gull with Pillar Point in the background, which makes this image slightly less lowly and disgusting. Steve excels at not seeing rare gulls here; usually Slaty-backed, though Kelp also comes to mind.

Seagull Steve has to keep posting Thayer's Gulls while he still can! This might become an Iceland Gull next month.

After mild success at Pilarcitos, Seagull Steve ventured north to once again see the Emperor Goose wintering on the golf course at Sharp Park in Pacifica. The Emperor was still crippling and still seemed to be doing typical goose things, but not for long. "Rise, my friend," he bellowed to his dark and powerful protege, a nearby Common Raven.

Answering The Emperor's bellow, a Common Raven flew in to attack a nearby Canada Goose, much to The Emperor's delight. "Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen," said The Emperor, cackling with glee. "Your work here is finished, my friend. Go out to the municipal pier and await my orders."

However, not everything was going according to The Emperor's plan...the solemn leader of the Canada Goose Alliance told the other geese, "The Emperor has made a critical error and the time for our attack has come." With the raven distracted, the geese turned on The Emperor, sending him reeling.

And much like when Vader betrayed The Emperor in Return of the Jedi, the imposing Common Raven then joined the fray, taking wing to put an end to The Emperor once and for all.

The Emperor was unwise to lower his defenses.

But this is not Return of The Jedi, and The Emperor escaped unscathed. "Young fool...only now, at the end, do you understand." Fuck you Common Raven, and fuck you Canada Goose.

While it is appropriate to nurse grudges against the giant resident CANGs, there is no place for such feelings when CACGs are involved. Seagull Steve crushed this enthusiastically loafing Cackling Goose at Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline, in Richmond, CA.

This is also a dependable location for Eurasian Wigeons in winter. Female Eurasian Wigeons (right, with the head that does not contrast with the upperparts) are one of those birds those birds that can hide right in plain sight, if there are enough American Wigeon around. And if you are scanning through wigeon in bad light, you can forget about finding one of these (though it is a great time to string one!). It's just something you have to accept. Seagull Steve has accepted it, and he is the Global Birder Ranking System's #7 birder in the country. You would be wise to do the same.

Seagull Steve would not want to be on the receiving end of this mighty Old World bellow!

Bald Eagles are pretty sick. Seagull Steve had a pair of adults fly over at Benicia State Recreation Area, in Benicia, CA. Why was he there? For Black Rails, obvi. He heard three of them, and there are few things more comforting than the sounds of Black Rails...but one even more comforting sound does come to mind: a Northern Mockingbird imitating a Black Rail! Incredible! Yes, he heard a mockingbird imitating a Black Rail that morning. Unbelievable.

And no, I don't write in the third person now, I'm just filling in for Seagull today. He may or may have not overdosed on something last, shhhhhhhhh. - Felonious Jive


  1. Great. Not only am I a lousy birder, I'm a shitty birderer - I can't distinguish between the two of you by voice.

    1. We are much alike, though Felonious is very crude and has a history of drug abuse, despite what he may say about me. He is also a much better birder than I am.

  2. Brilliant, I don't know who is most confused the birds or the birder. good post.
    All the best, Gordon.

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