Posted by: atowhee | June 19, 2010


I’m leading a group of North Carolina birders (plus one from Virginia) through Central and Southern California this next week.  We began today with high winds, mild temps and lots of land birds in places the wind couldn’t scorch.  Birding primarily in San Francisco we had over 65 species.  Most of the birders had a handful of lifers on the day.  Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pelagic Cormorant, the usual coastal restricted birds that you can only get within range of the sale spray off the Pacific.  Best bird of the day came at high in Tam Valley, Marin County. A Clapper Rail forced up from the salt marsh weeds into visibility.  No picture, sorry.  Best bird on my trip south along I-5: pair of courting Great-tailed Grackles north of Maxwell.  This species is expanding its range northward.  Some of my pictures so far:

Pictue #4 is juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk near Bercut in Golden Gate Park.

And here’s a Red-winged Blackbird attacking a Blue Heron.  Nesting fever is high.

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