Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stuff In the Trees

The wind died yesterday and the fog mostly cleared.  I thought I was seeing the beginnings of a migrant wave, when several birds appeared in the trees around the houses.  Nothing crazy, just a few Townsend's Warblers, a Vesper Sparrow, and a Common Yellowthroat.  Winds are good again this morning, but we are socked in by godawful fog.
Townsend's Warbler.  Lost in the fog.

This is my pet owl.  He is a Long-eared Owl that has been living in the Coast Guard Tree ever since I came aground on the rock. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunny day for thrashers

The sun continued yesterday, along with 20 knot winds out of the North.  These are very poor conditions for migrants to find the Island, so it was surprising to hear that we had gotten an awesome arrival.

Yesterday, we discovered a Brown Thrasher in the Heligoland tree.  It was the skulkiest bird I have ever seen, but we were able to catch it and soon had it in the banding lab.  This was a Life Bird for me and melted my face slightly.

This poor little guy showed up a few days ago with a small amount of oil stuck to its breast.  Instead of hanging out with the flocks of Red-necked Phalaropes out at sea, this Red is resting up on dry land and trying to get the damned oil off its feathers.  I'm pulling for him.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh face.

The fog lifted yesterday and we saw the sun for the first time in a week.  Now we are lucky enough to have super strong north winds.  I guess we will have to wait a little longer for the first migrant wave.  Life Is Pain.  In the meantime, here are some more common Island Stuff.

HY Heerman's Gull, complete with Oh Face.

Pelagic Cormorant, you've got some white crud on your mouth.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Farallones Shorebirds

I have finally gotten my own camera back up and running, thanks to a special delivery by Captain Joe aboard the Kitty Kat of SF Whale Tours.  Starting today, it should be nothing but two beautiful photos every single day from the Farallones.  

Thus far, the weather has been quite poor (lots of fog), so we haven't had any big bird waves yet.  However, spirits are high.  The fog should lift any day now and then the vagrants will be raining out of the sky.

There have been a few interesting shorebirds hanging out on the Island for the last few days.  Both were new Island Birds for me this year.  

Ruddy Turnstone at Mussel Flat.

Baird's Sandpiper.  A San Francisco County Bird for me.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So I am finally getting my own camera charged back up today after a few weeks without a battery charger.  Hopefully these are the last retro photos for a while.
Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-heron in San Diego. Enjoying a scratch.

This is a clay-colored sparrow found on the Farallones thursday.  One of the only vagrants so far this season.  Many more to come soon...

Friday, August 26, 2011

SEFI E-Seals

I borrowed Jim's camera yesterday and headed down to Sewer Gulch to get some shots of the bull Elephant Seals.  There are a bunch of them on the island now, but they will soon head out to sea for the remainder of the fall and won't return until around December. 

This reminds me of that giant snail thing from The Never Ending Story.

Notice their mouths pretty much make a heart.  Cuteness.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Today I have some Mammalia for you.  These are also from the SF pelagic last week.  Enjoy.

California Sea-lion lazing about on a buoy outside Half Moon Bay.

A Humpback, blowing its stinky whale breath all over everybody.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

S.F. Pelagic

So I joined a pelagic trip to San Francisco waters out of Half Moon Bay last week with Alvaro Jaramillo.  It made me throw up twice.  Gross.  I still managed to take at least two (too) photos that day.  Here are a few of the good ones.

A Pomarine Jaeger, showing nicely.

One of the Heerman's gulls that followed the boat all day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Retro Day

So I am recently returned from the Southern California.  As I am getting settled on my new home here on Southeast Farallon Island, I will be fondly remembering my summer in SoCal with some southerly photos.  Farallon photos should start on Sunday!
A Pied-billed Grebe in Chino Hills.

This is the Wilson's Plover that showed up in Carpinteria this year.