7/16/2017 Richmond Shoreline

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:43 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
Two hours at the shoreline in mid-July? Still pretty damned boring. Shorebird migration is supposed to be happening by now, but you wouldn't know it where I was. Could have have been the hour (noon is late for land birds) or the tide (bracketing low tide is bad planning, but see below), but while I saw a hundred or so willets moving about there were only small numbers of the other large shorebirds, a few dowitchers, and no smaller peeps. When the most surprising bird is a black-crowned night heron it is not an exciting day. Still, the large waders were out in force; aside from the night-heron there were a number of snowy egrets, two or maybe three great blue herons, and a great egret. Other fun sightings were as many as three black oystercatchers inside Richmond Harbor and six brown pelicans surface feeding just off shore. Pretty damned boring: )

Also saw a spectacular anise swallowtail.

Despite the lack of thrilling birds I can't regret getting out, only that it took me til noon Sunday to manage it, and so I went out at a crappy time because it was then or never. I know that if I don't get out by sunrise I'm probably not going anywhere that day because I've missed the crowd-free window. But it's looking like if I don't get out Friday I'm doomed to inactivity all weekend. Absolutely have to get myself out Friday morning.

7/12/2017 Volmer Peak & Seaview Trail

Jul. 12th, 2017 12:27 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
I went out with DW for a few hours this morning. A beautiful day, getting hot in the later morning but most of Seaview Trail is covered by a breeze from off-shore that makes it comfortable. July and August are quiet as far as unusual migrants and the only birds still singing are year-round residents such as wrens, towhees, and juncos. At least we made the twelve-bird minimum: )

Most of our sightings were families, nestlings heard and fledglings seen everywhere, especially juncos and nuthatches. Also a surprising number of juvenile spotted towhees, which always confuse me.

I'd totally forgotten

Jul. 9th, 2017 05:36 pm
mrkinch: albatross soaring (Default)
[personal profile] mrkinch
The other day when I went to actually delete the lj I haven't use in a decade, it came to my attention that I own a community, [livejournal.com profile] tolkien100, and the last post is only two years ago! Amazing! Anyway, going back through my friends's page (which stops at 30? wtf?), there are no posts by personal journals save [livejournal.com profile] fileg. (I unfollowed anyone there that I follow here.) Wow. There were a lot more than that the last time I checked. I posted the announcement/query both to the comm and to my journal, but will anyone see it? Are folks monitoring lj even though they aren't posting? I'm offering the comm to anyone that wants it (after I import it and delete my posts from the original), but who even is there?

I'm giving it a month, then I'll do the thing, including moving that Sean icon over here. Yes!

7/9/2017 Inspiration Trail

Jul. 9th, 2017 10:43 am
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
Got to the parking lot 6:30 ish and it was back to blowing fog, for which I imagine Contra Costa County is extremely grateful. It wasn't too bad east of the ridge, and I walked past the first gate and down almost to the fork in the trail. Unfortunately there were cattle loitering about the junction and I didn't have the energy to deal with them twice, since the trail is not a loop. Quiet on the way north except for quail, with babies and sounding like robins, but by the time I was south of the power lines again the wind and fog had died away and the birds were out. Nearly all the species on today's very short list were active amongst the pines and poison oak along the sunny, sheltered east slope of the ridge. That very short list: )

So a good trail despite not being a loop: no bikes, no dogs, essentially no people, and it had been graded since June 30, so probably didn't need bug stuff. I met three people today, all women, all birders, two of whom I knew (they'd seen an owl and some MacGillivray's warblers, dang it). When I emerged a little after 9 am, the parking lot and beyond was filled with cars and there were people everywhere. I'm so glad to have an alternative trail for weekends. The cattle are bound to move around so I can go further another time.

The view to the north )
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
It was even hotter in the Inspiration Point parking lot at 6 am this morning than it was yesterday.* Then I chalked it up to a temperature inversion, but turns out it's just been bloody hot east of the ridge. A t-shirt would have been quite enough, but fifty years in the East Bay makes it next to impossible for me to go anywhere without a second layer, which I packed away in the first half mile.

I gave myself the goal of checking out the points at which EBMUD's Inspiration Trail/Fire Trail No 3 approaches Nimitz Way for possible access (sadly none) but it was so lovely early that I continued out to the top of EBMUD's Eagle's Nest Trail down to San Pablo Reservoir. The trail is steep to start and I didn't have the energy for that so I turned north along the fire trail for a quarter mile or so just to see. Again, no access to Nimitz Way further north but when I want something new, it's there. I gooped myself up pretty good this morning so I hope I don't regret the occasional long grass. Bird of the day was MacGillivray's warbler, three songs from a bird rather further than usual out the ridge at 1 mile. After those five days in the Sierra I'm quite confident of the ID.:) Summer birds: )

The return wasn't fun, especially once I hit one mile. It was warmer than I like, there were hordes of noisy people, and no birds, not that I could have heard them.

ETA:Sunrise )


*Yesterday I discovered I didn't have my license and chose to go home at once, knowing that I'd only get more anxious about driving and the traffic would be worse. I was still nearly creamed by a fucking truck, coming up Prospect to the narrow bit of Canyon Road, that should have stopped and waited for me to pass. Asshole.

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