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.


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


03/30/2013 8:19am

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.....

04/02/2013 1:15pm

Hmmm yes if you're the rock, and those feathery birds are like'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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