Full of surprises

We signed up for a docent-led tour at Anõ Nuevo State Preserve to see the elephant seals, and I snagged a bird for the life list along the way. This is the California Thrasher.

Another great bird name, isn’t it? I don’t know who’s coming up with these names, but you’re doing a great job. The Thrasher is a resident of our nearby birding hotspot Edgewood, but I hadn’t seen him. You’re supposed  to be more likely to hear them (they thrash around) more than see them, but I have had neither experience. But then I see this gent perched up on some kind of shrub, much like a scrub jay would do. Except he had that curved bill. Hmm. I snapped a photo and returned my focus to the elephant seals. Later, when I developed the film, I could see it was clearly a Thrasher.

On the walk back from the seals (which were interesting, but we’re talking about birds now), I saw a reddish hummingbird. Again, I got a snapshot to verify what I was looking at. This looked like the Rufous h-bird to me. They’re migrants here, and not frequently seen. But it was red, and I was pretty certain about it. The photo would confirm it for me. So I got it developed, and the bird turned out to be… out of focus.

No issues with focus or certainty when observing birds from our kitchen window post, however. Today we had repeat visits from a lady Nuttall’s Woodpecker. The ladies don’t have the red cap favored by the gents. She was taking seeds from the bird feeder and storing them in the maple tree.

A good weekend, made even better with the presence of these fine birds.

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