ospreyphoto-blog: Common Murre Photo by Oleg…

Saturday, June 16th, 2018


Common Murre

Photo by Oleg Gurvits


Spotted one out past the waves at Surf Beach, looking vaguely like a loon but with the snazzy black-and-white breeding plumage shown here.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174957756466.

montereybayaquarium: Sooty shearwaters undertake a remarkable…

Saturday, June 16th, 2018


Sooty shearwaters undertake a remarkable 40,000 mile migration every year, tracing a figure-eight path from breeding sites in the Southern Hemisphere to richer feeding sites in the North Pacific Ocean.

Hopefully they get frequent flyer miles!



They’ve been in the ocean off Santa Barbara County for a few months now, but I haven’t been out on a boat and they don’t usually come close enough to shore to be seen easily down in my part of the county. North county is another story, though; at the beach west of Lompoc this morning I saw hundreds of them. They were still out pretty far, but identifiable.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174957660241.

acryptozoo: Least Tern (Sternula antillarum) #272A few weeks ago…

Saturday, June 16th, 2018


Least Tern (Sternula antillarum)


A few weeks ago someone reported four of them out at Ocean Beach County Park west of Lompoc. This morning I drove out to see if they were still there.

They were. 🙂

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174956109991.

birdandmoon: I got to visit a bird banding station, and… this…

Friday, June 15th, 2018


I got to visit a bird banding station, and… this happened.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174929879335.

snailkites: Kirtland’s Warbler doodle in Autodesk Sketchbook….

Friday, June 15th, 2018


Kirtland’s Warbler doodle in Autodesk Sketchbook. I’ve been pecking away (hah) at this for over a month but probably won’t “finish” it. Maybe if I had a stylus for my phone!

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174922571468.

klemannlee:Chestnut-sided Warbler 

Friday, June 15th, 2018


Chestnut-sided Warbler 

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174915796684.

#271Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis)I set up before 6…

Thursday, June 14th, 2018


Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis)

I set up before 6 a.m. in a spot that had a decent view of where the kite was seen yesterday. It was overcast and foggy, though, and there didn’t seem to be much possibility of an insect-hawking bird being active.

Just before 8:00 the sun broke through. I only had about an hour before I needed to head home for work, and I was busily scanning trees when a message came through the group chat: “Kite is showing now”.

No one was visible up or down the road from where I was. I texted back “Where?” and started hustling back to my car. “Just north of tennis courts” (a quarter-mile up the road from where I was). A few minutes later I was standing with a group of excited birders checking out my first-ever (and Santa Barbara County’s fourth-ever) Mississippi Kite. I got great views of the bird both perched and flying; the photo above is the best of the ones I digiscoped, though I’m sure there will be spectacular photos available on eBird shortly from the people who were near me with much better equipment.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174888299296.

keithcurrypochy: Mississippi Kite (Ictinia…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018


Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis)

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, FL

Chasing feels so silly sometimes.

Today an out-of-the-area birder reported a juvenile Mississippi Kite along Alisal Road south of Solvang (fun fact: pretty much the same place Sean and Sinéad went for their Sundance retreat a few months ago). Mississippi Kites have only been documented three previous times in Santa Barbara County, and the mood among local obsessives was cautious/pessimistic.

Then the birder posted a photo.

Mark and Joan took off right away. They bird all the time (in fact were out birding already). Mark is #1 in eBird for Santa Barbara County for the year; the closest I’ve been able to get is 9 birds behind him. Joan doesn’t do eBird, I don’t think, but if she did I suspect she’d be ahead of me too.

I didn’t go after it. It was a work day, and though my hours are pretty flexible, taking an hour to drive to Alisal Road and an hour and a half to drive home (b/c of Santa Barbara’s mini rush hour) plus whatever time was spent in between looking for the bird would mean a lot of work time to make up. The fact that the bird had been reported once didn’t mean it would be easy to refind; rarities often keep moving.

Except Joan refound the bird. So I grabbed my binoculars and went.

I ended up spending about two hours walking the road looking across the golf course toward where the bird had been seen last. At that point, hot and getting hungry, I gave up, said goodbye to the birders who’d been there searching with me, and headed home.

Shortly after arriving, as I was about to eat dinner, the group chat came to life again: Conor and Julie (who were on the Big Pine Mountain Survey with me last weekend) had arrived shortly after I left, and Julie had refound the bird.

Sigh. I didn’t drive back. But I’ve set my alarm for 4 a.m.

Chasing feels so silly sometimes.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174875176871.

boy-warbler: Warbler Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018


Warbler Wednesday.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174855031665.

dendroica: Kirtlands Warbler (via USFWSmidwest) Male Kirtland’s…

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018


Kirtlands Warbler (via USFWSmidwest)

Male Kirtland’s warbler in Michigan. The Kirtland’s warbler is an endangered species that nests in jack pine stands in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada.

Photo by Vince Cavalieri/USFWS.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174828912530.

debunkshy: Dusky Flycatcherde Anza Trail, AZ, 1-21-17 #270The…

Sunday, June 10th, 2018


Dusky Flycatcher

de Anza Trail, AZ, 1-21-17


The best place in Santa Barbara County to find these fun little flycatchers breeding is Big Pine Mountain, so it’s super-helpful to go there if you want to hear them singing on-territory. And at least for someone with my limited Empidonax expertise, hearing them singing is pretty much required in order to identify them.

Anyway: Dusky Flycatcher achievement unlocked!

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174779108371.

northwestnaturalist: Pygmy Nuthatch (Sitta pygmaea)…

Sunday, June 10th, 2018


Pygmy Nuthatch (Sitta pygmaea) Sittidae

Council Grove State Park, MT
March 16, 2015
Robert Niese

There are three species of Nuthatch in the Pacific Northwest, but the Pygmy Nuthatch is the only one endemic to our region. These birds are only found in the Rockies and inland Pacific Northwest. They are particularly fond of old Ponderosa Pine forests.


Saw lots of these adorable little squeakers on Big Pine Mountain over the last few days. 🙂

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174778932031.

rjzimmerman: From the Smithsonian photo contest: Great Grey…

Saturday, June 9th, 2018


From the Smithsonian photo contest:

Great Grey Owl. A great grey owl hunting in New Hampshire. This owl was not baited or called in any way. © harry collins. All rights reserved.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174731553906.

Tomorrow before dawn I’m leaving for a part of Santa Barbara County I’ve never been to: Big Pine…

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Tomorrow before dawn I’m leaving for a part of Santa Barbara County I’ve never been to: Big Pine Mountain. At 6,820 feet it’s the highest point in the county. It’s going to take a lot of driving on 4WD roads that normally are closed to the public; we’ve got special permission from the Forest Service to go in for an annual bird census.

The forecast is for high winds, which is unfortunate, but we’re going to be there for most of two days, so hopefully there will be some quieter stretches.

I’m super excited, both because of the silly obsession with the county year list and because I’ll be birding with some people whose skill I really admire.

There are 3 or 4 species they often get up there that I don’t have yet, and another 10 that are possible though unlikely. But you never know!

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174706610101.

mostlythemarsh: Set and Setting

Thursday, June 7th, 2018


Set and Setting

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174662895966.

steepravine:Perched Lazuli Bunting. One species down for “larks…

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018


Perched Lazuli Bunting. One species down for “larks birds” project!
#idahome #thisisboise #perched (at Boise, Idaho)

I’ve seen more of these so far this spring than in the rest of my life put together. Partly it’s doing more birdwatching, but I think partly, too, it’s that they’re “fire followers”, and most of the places I birdwatch are in or near the Thomas Fire burn area.

They’re surprisingly hard to spot for birds that sing at the top of their lungs and look like, well, this.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174638424270.

falseknees: Sometimes it’s best to quit while you’re in the same…

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018


Sometimes it’s best to quit while you’re in the same place you started.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174634442796.

klemannlee: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018


Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174598458556.

blogbirdfeather: Cattle Egret – Garça-boieira (Bubulcus…

Monday, June 4th, 2018


Cattle Egret – Garça-boieira (Bubulcus ibis)

Mértola/Portugal (11/05/2018)

[Nikon D500; ∑ 150/600mm C; 1/1600s; F9; 800 ISO]

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174590370091.

sunwendyrain: Scott’s Oriole Big Bend, Texas #268The other…

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018


Scott’s Oriole 

Big Bend, Texas


The other desert bird I was hoping to add in my Cuyama trip. I heard two of them singing before sunrise, then got good looks at a third one while hiking the trail.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/174543771831.