Birds of Australia

February 4th, 2019|

I didn’t go to Australia to go birding – tennis, beach resort, Sydney sights and hiking were on the agenda – but I did take my binox and had some good moments. On Lord Howe Island I counted 24 of the species pictured in that island’s field guide, missing only four. Most were found feeding […]

Sands Beach Birds

November 25th, 2018|

As often as I go to Sands Beach at UCSB for Western Snowy Plover docent duty, I still get surprises. This Thanksgiving Matt Hall joined me for my 11-1 shift and we had a memorable outing. For one thing, the wind was fierce, making a 73-degree day bone-chillingly cold. Nothing could be seen floating, but […]

May Birds ’18

May 7th, 2018|

May is, appropriately, the season for the May Apple in the Central Park Ramble, also the Virginia Bluebell. And May is the time the warblers, at least this year with its late spring, arrive species-by-species, with the males in the vanguard. On May 1 I counted four warblers, led by the easy-to-spot Black and White. […]

Fall Birding in Central Park

October 19th, 2017|

Fall birding is not about numbers; it’s about the special birds you see when you’re not really expecting them. On my first two October visits to Central Park – October 2 and 7 – I logged 34 fairly predictable species, although a male Black-throated Blue Warbler was a bit of a surprise. A week later, […]

Birds of Coachella Valley

February 18th, 2017|

In 4-1/2 days of birding from Palm Springs to Brawley, the Norseman and I came across 100 (or so) species in terrain ranging from below sea level to 8,400 feet above, from arid desert to snow-covered mountaintop. But rather than the numbers, it was certain sightings that will linger in my memory, notable either for […]

Backyard Birding

August 7th, 2015|

Inspired by a chance encounter with a Pacific Coast Flycatcher in the olive grove next to our guest house I decided to head outside before breakfast – not that early, but, at 7:30, before the neighborhood chain saws and power drills whirr into action. From the back terrace I was rewarded with the sight of […]

Birding in Cuba

February 21st, 2015|

My claim to never have had a bad day birding was sorely tested a couple times during our ten days birding in Cuba, particularly when I had to get up at 5 a.m. so we could wait in the woods more than an hour – or was it two? – for a quail dove to […]

Pelagic Birding

May 8th, 2011|

Took my first, and perhaps only, pelagic birding trip with the LA Audubon Society out of Santa Barbara Harbor on April 30. I found out later that this is the notorious rough-water trip. I also discovered as we returned to harbor that half the birders were on scopalamine, scopase or dramamine. The other half, I […]

Birding in Texas

March 6th, 2011|

If I feel justified in placing an entry on birding in my Sports column, along with thoughts on baseball, soccer and football, It is due to the competitiveness that has crept into this hobby since my youth, when it was a quiet, generally solitary way to spend some time in […]