CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’

If you’ve been birding east of Sierra most of your life, you’re missing something.  Definitely you’re missing a list of birds that are awaiting your visit to the Pacific Slope.  The Pacific-slope Flycatcher would be one.

Here is one of the Pacific-slope Flycatchers I watched carrying insects to a nest in July.  And there’s the nest on the ledge of a park service building at Pt. Reyes National Seashore.  The large object next to it is my wallet for a size comparison.

Note this bird’s broken eye-ring, short wing extension, moderately heavy beak.  Also a bit of a crest showing.

To see this bird, let PIB plan your spring visit.  At that time of year you’ll also see Allen’s Hummingbird, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Brandt’s Cormorant, Hooded Oriole, Hermit Warbler, California Thrasher.  With some luck, we may find Lawrence’s Goldfinch.

If autumn is a better time for you to travel, try this:  Wandering Tattler, Surfbird and Black Turnstone sharing the same seaside boulders.  Hundreds of Red-throated and Pacific Loons on migration.  All three scoters.  Check out the southbound raptors with Golden Gate Raptor Observatory on Hawk Hill with a stunning view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Heermann’s Gull and Elegant Tern.

Here’s a Heermann’s landing on the beach.

Here’s a Surfbird on his beloved coastal rock.

This is a seaside scene you can find any time of year:  Western Gull loafing, Pelagic Cormorant clearing debris from its water-soaked plumage before the next dive.  Other year round birds in Northern California include White-tailed Kite, western Red-shouldered Hawk, Hutton’s Vireo, Anna’s Hummingbird, California Towhee, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse and Wrentit:

The Wrentit, on the berry branch here, is the only American species in the large, Old World family of babblers.  They’re all brownish, secretive, forest birds.  Only Wrentit made it across the Siberian land bridge to Oregon and California. It is one of the most sedentary birds in North America.  It will NOT show up at a feeder in Colorado or Minnesota.

And there’s this guy, a California endemic.  Not many states in the U.S. even have an endemic species, right?  This Yellow-billed Magpie is 50% of the endemic species of California.  The other is also a Corvid, the Island Scrub-jay.  An extension to our regular California birding trip can get you BOTH of these endemics.

SO JOIN THE PIB CALIFORNIA BIRDING TRIP IN 2012. 

The tour leader is Harry Fuller who has over two decades of California field trip experience.  In less than 5o0 square miles of San Francisco’s urban habitat he has well over 300 lifetime species.

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