Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday (cue music)

Well, this is it.  I'm on SEFI, hunched over my computer at the dining room table that I built with my bare hands.  This is where I wrote the first TPAD.  To be honest, I'm a bit nervous about what to say as I lay TPAD down for her final rest.  I think I'll pour myself another one and say farewell.  

It's been quite a year.  We have been through a lot of stuff together over the last 365 days.  Farallones, Midway, Hawaii, Angels Camp, San Francisco, the Carolinas, various hell-holes around Southern California... TPAD has been my best friend through it all.  We have seen hundreds of birds, maybe even thousands. We met so many amazing people and friends, and we immortalized them all by taking at least 2 photos of them every single day.

If you are reading this, I want you to know how much I appreciate you.  By merely clicking on TPAD and paying attention to me for a few minutes, you have made my life better.  Hopefully yours has been enriched as well.

I have been thinking about my blogging future lately and am still not sure what I want to do with my post-TPAD life.  I think it may heavily involve the GBRS and all that goes with that...

So I was considering either doing a 10 (ten) PAD, or a 20 (chwenny) PAD tonight, as it is a special occasion, but I think I will just stick with the good old 2 (too) Photos A Day.  So without further ado, here are my last 2.  They are just photos of my best parts of today.  Same as always.  Thank you all for looking at them.  It means a lot.

I found this Baird's Sandpiper lurking around Stinky Ponds today.  I was hoping for a White-rumped, but I'll settle.

I spent a good hour with the Northern Gannet today.  This is maybe the rarest bird I've ever seen in California.  He flew within 30 feet of me about a hundred times and I took a million pictures.  I finally settled on this one to finish off TPAD.  Everyone please now go listen to "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" by Boyz 2 Men or whoever.  Thanks for watching.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lightning Strikes Twice. So Rare.

I was treated to a second Island Record of Ruff today.  Which is actually even rarer than a first island record bird if you think about it, because it's like lightning striking twice in the same spot.  This is a phenomenon describable only using Bradian Statistics.  Also, there are a bunch of E-seals that you all forgot about since last year.

Hope you're ready for the last installment of TPAD.  Hopefully it's a doozy.

Killer Sea Cow.  In Art black and white.

Ruff.  Like lightning.  Hopefully this bird will stick and I'll get better shots of it.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gannet: We Meet Again

After tonight there will be only two more TPADs.  I know this will upset some people.  Some will be elated.  Most people won't actually notice.  In any case, I'm currently looking for new blog ideas.  Any thoughts?  I only ask that it's not half as much work as TPAD.

Today on the Island was the same again.  Except that the Glorious Northern Gannet reappeared.  It is so awesome.  It is one of the greatest birds to ever live.  If it were a pop song, it would top the charts for 50 years.

PIGU not carrying stuff.  This goes against my whole idea I had yesterday. 

I finally got to see this bird fly today.  It proved to me that it is not a Cape Gannet.  Or some other ridiculous species that I have never heard of...

Grayscale Is Not Just A Disease In Westeros

Yesterday was basically the same as the one before that out here on the Island.  Poor weather and no birds.  It is still very exciting to be back.  It feels very much like home.

Quiz Bird.

I might start a series titled:  PIGUs carrying stuff.  This would be my 2nd entry.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

From Carolina To Farallonia

It sunk in that I was really back here during my first hike up to the lighthouse.  The weather isn't great, so there aren't really any migrants here, but the breeders are mostly still hanging around.  That's always fun.  Hecka fish being carried around to various burrows and hungry mouths.

I realize I haven't TPADed in the last few days.  Tonight will be a 6PAD.  This is a pretty rare event.  I wil start with Carolinas and finish here.  On South East Farallon Island (SEFI).  My one true home.

Forgot to tell y'all I seen gators down there.

Halloween Pennants, Caw Caw.

Apparently this is my only Mississippi Kite photo.

Now we are on the Farallones.  PIGU eating a Gunnel.

Least Sandpiper, one of the few migrants I saw today.

Elephant Seal cow and Brown-headed Cowbird, pondering each other.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hecka Gray Photos Of Birds

I am back home.  Lots to do.  I leave for The Island on Saturday.  Ima go hang with sister now.  Yesterday was 100% airplanes and trains.  So no new photos.  Here are the last that you'll likely get from the Carolinas.

Black Vulture, Bear Island WMA. 
Juv. Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Huntington.

Tricolored Heron, Huntington.

Eastern Kingbird, Sod Farms.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Farewell Carolinas, A 4PAD

I had not the resources for TPADing last night.  I am currently broadcasting from a North Carolina McDonald's and eating food that will kill me.  Yesterday was my last Southcarolina day, and I tried to make the most of it.  The supposed best birding location on the East Coast (Huntington Beach State Park) was pretty much... meh.  No shorebirds to speak of.  So I meandered up to the Orangeburg Sod Farms, which were sick.  A few lifers here and there, but mostly it was just a ton of Pectoral Sandpipers.  Like hella of them.  I did not bird today, but am considering an evening Red-headed Woodpecker search, since I have missed them during this entire trip.  I head home tomorrow.  Until then, I bid you adieu.  

Prairie Warbler, Huntington.

Laughing Gull, Huntington.

Also at Huntington.  This is the only snake I've seen on this entire trip.  What is it?

Semipalmated Sandpiper, Orangeburg Sod Farms.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hella Chronic Birding

I got about 5 lifers yesterday.  It was so exhausting that I couldn't blog about it.  Now, while I should be out birding, I'm catching up on my TPAD.  I birded the Caw Caw Interpretive Center, Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, and Donneley WMA.  The birding here is ridick.  The amount of habitat is astounding.  There's so much water everywhere.  Plus, it rains hella and thunders hella and lightnings hella every single day at about 5 PM.  Lifers include: Mississippi Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, Eastern Wood-pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher.

Anhinga, Caw Caw.

Wood Stork, Caw Caw.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A New State

We have moved on to the South Carolina.  My state list still stands under 10 species.  Mostly it has been Laughing Gulls and White Ibis seen from the car.  I will now pay homage to the North Carolina I left behind.

One of the only Pine Warblers I saw in NC.  Lake James. 
Swamp Sparrow, Beaver Lake I only received one response saying otherwise.  Song Sparrow?  Please, enlighten Handsome Dan. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hip NC

Asheville, NC is apparently the hippest of all towns in NC.  I went birdwatching there today with Sultry and saw some stuff.  Not as much stuff as I had hoped.  No warblers.  Still, the hipness was impressive.  We ate lunch at a pizzeria that is also a brewery and a dollar movie theatre.  Hip.

Brown-headed Nuthatch at feeder.  Asheville Botanical Gardens. 
Tufted Titmouse, Asheville Botanical Gardens.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Taking The Day Off

I couldn't make TPAD happen last night.  Too tired, and too Eastcoasted out.  Yesterday, I met up with West Coast birding phenom Jim Tietz, and we cruised up into the Smokies for a morning of birding.  I saw my first Winter Wren (not a Pacific) plus a handful of facemelting warblers (I think we saw about 10 species of warblers).  Then at about noon, we were blasted out of the mountains by a torrential downpour.  Fun end to a fun day.  Today, I laid around like a lump for the first time in forever.  It was great.  Since I didn't post yesterday, here are four shots from BirdingWithJimTietzNorthCarolina2012.

Black-throated Green Warbler.  I still haven't seen one in CA.  Woe.

Pipevine Swallowtail.

Broad-winged Hawk.  This wass the first one I've seen outside of Costa Rica.

Elk number 108.  Photo by James Tietz.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Blue Ridge Pkwy, North Carolina

I've gotta make it fast because my internet connect is tenuous at best.  I saw stuff today.  mostly on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NW North Carolina.  Hecka sick.

My first Eastern Towhee. 
My 2nd ever Canada Warbler.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

4PAD Straight Outa The East

I figured out how to use some internets out here on Lake James (North Carolina), so all of you lucky TPAD fans are in for a nice treat straight from the East Coast.  The airplane fiasco finally sorted itself out yesterday and we arrived safely in NC so that I could start getting lifers.  So far, I think I've gotten only six (Carolina Wren and Chickadee, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Common Grackle), but with more on the way.  Life is uber chill down here in The South.  Just dippin' and sippin' on the back porch.  Fully Legit.

Prettiest Catbird Ever.

My first ever Carolina Wren.

My first ever Red-bellied Woodpecker.

My first ever Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Trading Rivers For Mormon French Fries

Not one of my better days.  I missed our connecting flight from SLC to North Carolina, which detoured us to Minneapolis for the night.  I'm in Minnesota!  Weird.  Now there are ridiculous thunderstorms happening outside the hotel window and I don't know when I'll ever be allowed to leave.  

Just to be clear, I left this:

D&K, Candyrock.

For this:

"Fry Sauce", SLC airport.  I think it's mostly mayo, like with some catsup and stuff.  Weird.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Open Back Sore

I bit the dust hard today whilst lugging an ice chest down to Candyrock.  How embarrassing.  I scored myself a nice raspberry for my trouble.  Oh, and I also birded Brushwood in the morning.  Tomorrow, I will be leaving on a jet plane.  Sultry and I are going to Lake James, North Carolina for ten days.  This will be my last hoorah before leaving for the Farallones on the 18th (which is also the date of the World's Last TPAD).

Me and Lola, nursing wound. 
This is one of a few Cooper's Hawk fledges that is currently hanging out at Brushwood.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Feel Sick From Pizza And Beer

I'm home in Angels Camp.  Another field season behind me.  With a belly full of pizza.  I was on the road for 9 hours.  It was not sick.

I will be seeing a lot less of this in the days to come.
This Long-billed? Dowitcher was a nice treat during my last visit to the poop ponds of Lancaster.  I'll miss that place.  Photo by Sultrysam.

This Western Sandpiper gave me momentary pause.  Thought it was sumthin better.

My body is full of this crap.  I'm gonna go to bed now.

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's Like The Salton Sea, But No Water

I sat in the blazing sun all day.  I bathed in my own sweat.  My skin burned from the rays of the sun.  It reminded me of the oppressive heat at the Salton Sea.  I took no photos, so I will give you the closest thing to my day today.  Old Salton Sea crap that I guess I never posted on TPAD.

I dunno if you can tell, but these American White Pelicans are about 115 degrees F.

These shorebirds are also well over 100 degrees.  Much like my day today in Palmdale (AKA Heaven).  BTW, I only see three species in this shot.  You? 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It Gets Harder The Older You Get

I owe you four again.  Don't worry, TPAD will be good again during its last gasp for air over the next 3 weeks.

Anna's in Adam's Uncles Irises.  Say that shit 5 times fast.

This kinda looks like the ocean, except that those are all Wilson's Phalaropes.  Yep, it's just an ocean of human waste in Lancaster. (Actually there might be a single Red-necked, but who's to say...)

Elegant Tern, Bolsa Chica.  Surprisingly, this is the first TPAD ELTE.

Don't know.  I just needed a fourth.  Perhaps Cory will hook a brother up again?