The weekend is here, the wife's away, and spring is in the air, which means there’s only one thing to do: Go on a birding bender. Yep, I’m cutting loose. No responsibilities. No rules. Just right.

I’m sorta tired of hitting the same spots in L.A. over and over, and there’s a decent number of lifers I could find a little farther afield. So I’m heading south, into Orange County, San Diego County, and the great wild nothingness to the east, to see how many of these suckers I can track down in a furious thirty-six hour binge.

Wish me luck! And join me, if you would, in meditating on my list of target species. Visualize each one: My binocular view settles on the bird. The lighting is ideal. My hands are steady, my breathing calm. I absorb the relevant field marks unconsciously; I know this is my bird. I bask in its majesty for a moment.

I lower my binoculars slowly.

I do this.

And I head on down the road.


Targets:

California Gnatcatcher
Pacific Golden-Plover
Wandering Tattler
Clapper Rail
Bell’s Vireo
Tricolored Blackbird
Harris’s Hawk
Le Conte’s Thrasher
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
... plus a few more remote possibilities I'll have my eyes peeled for
 


Comments

03/30/2013 8:19am

Good luck! Love the sound of a birding bender, wish I could do those more often.

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03/31/2013 9:19pm

Thanks Pat! Just got back and it was awesome. In other words, pretty much like every day must be for you in Costa Rica.

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03/31/2013 9:56am

Birding trip. Sick.

I think you will get the majority of those birds...Im assuming you will be birding the TJ river mouth area (watch for Gull-billed Terns along the beach), I feel like thats the best place in coastal SoCal to see Clapper Rail. Are there any golden plovers around right now? Good luck with the thrasher...youre going to need it.

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03/31/2013 9:24pm

Seagull, is there anything you don't know about birding in California? Thanks for the tips, although I didn't get them til after - I did hit the TJ estuary for Clappers, and did not see Gull-billed Terns there but did see them up at the Salton Sea. (Not a lifer anyway. *Yawn*, amirite?) More details to come of course, but in a word: It was dope.

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04/02/2013 12:04pm

Mostly I'm picturing you (to be fair, I dunno what you look like) running around with a flag.

That's a pretty sick list of anticipated birds. I hope you saw them and then crushed them, in that order.

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04/02/2013 12:40pm

You know what The Rock looks like? Picture him, only more jacked.

J/K I look like a birder. Anyway, I did a great deal of seeing and a small amount of crushing. Hoping to get a blog post about it up soon.....

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04/02/2013 1:15pm

Hmmm yes if you're the rock, and those feathery birds are like paper...it'd be hard for you to crush them indeed.
Put you in front of some Scissor-tailed Flycatchers though, and you would destroy?

04/02/2013 1:55pm

Yeah, totally. I mean... wait, what?

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