permagrinphoto: Warbling Vireo #215 🙂Saw my first of the…

Monday, March 19th, 2018


Warbling Vireo

#215 🙂

Saw my first of the season after work today at the Bates Road bridge, right on the Santa Barbara / Ventura county line. The bird was helpfully foraging in a willow tree on the Santa Barbara side of the bridge.

I also heard a FOS Pacific-slope Flycatcher a couple of times, but the only time I could unambiguously locate where the call was coming from it was on the Ventura side, so I didn’t count that one in my SBA list. But it would have been #216.

And _then_ late in the afternoon I briefly thought I heard a FOS Hooded Oriole in the palm trees a few doors down from our house. The oriole chatter didn’t continue, and I wasn’t able to find the bird after I grabbed my binoculars, so I didn’t list it. But in conclusion it’s a very exciting time to be obsessing about one’s county year list in SoCal.

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the-wayward-guide:One day I hope to be as much as a rebel as MK…

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018


One day I hope to be as much as a rebel as MK is

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debunkshy: Bonaparte’s Gull Daufuskie Island, SC, 12-11-17

Saturday, January 27th, 2018


Bonaparte’s Gull

Daufuskie Island, SC, 12-11-17

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kiwi-taika: 10 years later:

Friday, January 26th, 2018


10 years later:


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kaiyves replied to your post “Dipped on the oriole this afternoon. Trying again tomorrow.” You ATE…

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

kaiyves replied to your post “Dipped on the oriole this afternoon. Trying again tomorrow.”

You ATE an oriole?!?! ;-)

anonsally replied to your post “Dipped on the oriole this afternoon. Trying again tomorrow.”

Good luck! (but what does this mean?)

I guess it’s only fairly recently, and only around fairly hard-core birdwatchers, that I’ve heard the phrase “dipped” used this way. It means to try to see a particular reported rarity, but come up empty.

I dipped on the Orchard Oriole again today. But someone else saw him, so he’s still around.

A Nashville Warbler has also seen several times in the same spot.

And a short distance away people have been consistently seeing a Blackburnian Warbler…

…and a Swamp Sparrow.

All of those would be great if we could get them for the count. Ten more days…

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sunwendyrain: Orchard Oriole Quintana, Texas When I was little…

Monday, December 25th, 2017


Orchard Oriole

Quintana, Texas

When I was little I’d page through the field guides. We had two on the shelf, legacies of my dad’s upbringing in New Jersey with a mother who was a birdwatcher. There was an original-edition Peterson and an older all-in-one birds+mammals+fish+reptiles+amphibians guide, but both were east-of-the-Mississippi in terms of coverage, so there were a lot of species I never actually saw.

The male Orchard Oriole always caught my attention, though, because look at him: such a different color for an oriole, remarkable and gorgeous but so WEIRD. And then I spent most of my life as a non-traveler, living (and birding) almost exclusively in California. But on October 17 I was walking Rory along the channelized creek near our house and suddenly there he was, plain as day atop a patch of Cape honeysuckle: the bird that had occupied my imagination for 50 years.

It seemed too early for an overwintering bird; probably a fall vagrant on his way south. I didn’t even think about him sticking around for the Christmas count, then scheduled for December 16. But week after week he stayed, and it started getting close enough to hope. And then the fire happened, and half our circle was on fire or smoldering on count day with the rest under a thick pall of smoke, so we postponed to the last possible day: January 5. And again, the chances that he might still be there seemed slim.

There are a lot of misadventures that can befall a bird, especially one so brightly colored, out of its normal range and small for an oriole. More than once while waiting for him to appear I’ve seen an adult Cooper’s Hawk, a female, I think, from her large size, fly in and perch in the eucalyptus that overlooks that Cape honeysuckle patch, listening and scanning for movement just like me, and though I’ve appreciated her presence I’ve also been quietly anxious on the oriole’s behalf, and have felt relieved when she’s given up or been discovered by crows and chased off. Yes. Thank you. Go find some sparrows further up the path.

I haven’t seen him since we got back from evacuating, but someone else did 5 days ago. So he’s still there, or was. Maybe later today after the family event I’ll go look for him, my non-traditional avian family member. Merry Christmas. Please stay. Please be shy and cautious, and watch out for hawks and cats.

Eleven more days.

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Friday, December 8th, 2017

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the-wayward-guide: A little look at Sean Persaud as the…

Thursday, November 30th, 2017


A little look at Sean Persaud as the preacher, standing on a tree stump, because that’s what all the cool kids do apparently.

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shipwreckedcomedy: Some photos from the set of The Case of the…

Friday, November 17th, 2017


Some photos from the set of The Case of the Gilded Lily taken by our behind the scenes photographer, Christopher Higgins.

The Case of the Gilded Lily coming soon to Shipwrecked Comedy!

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Personal Space will air on Amazon 12/15!!!!!

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Personal Space will air on Amazon 12/15!!!!!:

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Countdown to Volvo Ocean Race >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Countdown to Volvo Ocean Race >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News:


On October 22 at 1200 UTC, the longest endurance race in the world begins, the Volvo Ocean Race. Libby Greenhalgh, who was navigator for Team SCA in the 2014-15 edition, shares insight as the seven teams prepare for this eight month challenge.

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Annalise Murphy on Twitter

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Annalise Murphy on Twitter:

tfw one sail on your new boat weighs more than your whole last boat. 😜

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jaeschkethomas:Martine Grael aka RAINHA DOS OCEANOS…

Thursday, October 12th, 2017


Martine Grael aka RAINHA DOS OCEANOS
#martinegrael #teamakzonobel #volvooceanrace #brazil #brasil #rio2016 #goldmedalist #photooftheday #happy #girlpower

Someone on the SA forums the other day commented that she probably had an “in” making the team because of who her dad is. To which someone else replied that she didn’t need an “in” and also wtf is wrong with you? Which pretty much sums up the SA forums.

She’s a world champion and Olympic gold medalist. And yeah, she’s also a *second-generation* gold medalist, but you have to be a particular kind of dense to think that’s how she got her ride.

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Thursday, October 12th, 2017



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PenguinTeenAus on Twitter: “Today is #DayoftheGirl! We’re thrilled to be publishing Shout Out to the Girls: A Celebration of Awesome Aust Women”

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

PenguinTeenAus on Twitter: “Today is #DayoftheGirl! We’re thrilled to be publishing Shout Out to the Girls: A Celebration of Awesome Aust Women”:


This! This book here! I did some pictures for it!

This is going to be the coolest thing.


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a-solitary-sea-rover: lies: I haven’t been obsessing publicly…

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017



I haven’t been obsessing publicly over it, but the Volvo boats just had another non-scoring pre-race race (the “Prologue”, not to be confused with the previously completed “Leg 0”). This race was from Lisbon, Portugal to Alicante, Spain.* Basically it’s a preview of the upcoming Leg 1, except sailed in reverse.

There were light winds nearly the whole way, with just a bit of a breeze as they entered the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar. MAPFRE got an early lead and never gave it up, and at one point they and Brunel extended by going inside and picking up a land breeze while the other five boats stayed parked offshore.  After that it was a match race between those two boats.

I love this video of them crossing the finish line. Things I love about it:

  • How low-key they all are. This was a really slow, intense, difficult race, and they’re all exhausted. But it’s the good kind of exhausted. 🙂
  • My unproblematic fave Sophie.
  • Speaking of low-key: Check out how on-board reporter Jen Edney (the only woman among the OBRs) included a shot of Xabi talking about the race that just happens to include Támara Echegoyen in the background hiking up her foulies after (one assumes) peeing off the stern. It’s just a little thing. But the more I think about it the more cool I think it is. You want an example of real equality? This is what it looks like.

Ten days until the race proper starts. Closer…

¡Vamos MAPFRE!

* Technically they ended the race early, at Cabo de Gata, due to the light winds. Now they’re all motoring to Alicante.

I just noticed Xabi and Pablo have their first names on their shirts while the others have their last names.

I wondered if that was due to length of the names (i.e., not having room to stencil the whole last name). If you order all of them by length you get:

  • Cuervas-Mons (12)
  • Greenhalgh (10)
  • Echegoyen (9)
  • Fernández (9)
  • McDonald (8)
  • Altadill (8)
  • Sinclair (8)
  • Arrarte (7)
  • Ciszek (6)
  • Tuke (4)
  • Vila (4)

So that doesn’t support my name-length theory very well. Maybe it’s just a personal preference thing, and speaks more to a low-key approach to leadership that Xabi and Pablo have? Rob is listed as the other watch captain, and his should have his first name under either theory, but I think his say “Greenhalgh.” So who knows?

I’m guessing it falls into the “not important enough to have a policy” category. And like having Sophie and Támara working the grinders and moving the stack (and casually peeing off the stern on-camera) alongside the rest of the crew, I just really like the casual vibe that comes across about what it’s like aboard their boat.

It’s easy to look relaxed when you’re winning, and it will be interesting to see if the mood on the boat changes when they face more adversity (like MAPFRE did on Leg 1 in the 2014/15 race). Whatever system they have for determining what is and isn’t important enough to worry about, though, it seems to be working so far. 🙂

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‘This is just the start’

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

‘This is just the start’:


A five-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran and passionate ocean conservationist, there isn’t much Irish sailor Damian Foxall hasn’t done when it comes to sailing.

Having won the trophy in 2011-12 with Groupama, he jumped onboard Dongfeng for the latter stages of 2014-15 – and races with Vestas 11th Hour Racing in 2017-18.

His mission? To help the team – led by Charlie Enright and Mark Towill – to make a big impact both on and off the water. The campaign aims to lead sustainability through the Volvo Ocean Race, and part of that saw 11th Hour Racing facilitate a race-wide Sustainability Training day in Lisbon, which was attended by over 100 sailors, shore crew, stakeholders and industry experts.

Hi Damian! The Sustainability Training was a great event and a unique thing to see an entire sports organisation come together in this way with one goal. You must be really encouraged by the way that this has been embraced across the board…

Absolutely, and this is just the start. One of the girls from our team said it really well – we’re here to do our very best to win the Volvo Ocean Race, and also here to be the most sustainable team in the event. As well as doing all of that, we want to do something that is much bigger than this event, or the sport, and genuinely leave a legacy, and an event like today’s is a great start. We have a worldwide platform and we’re privileged to interact with. What a super opportunity.

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Race Experts on Twitter

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Race Experts on Twitter:


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Monday, October 2nd, 2017


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agentkarnstein: I saw @shipwreckedcomedy​ ‘s short film ‘The…

Sunday, October 1st, 2017


I saw @shipwreckedcomedy​ ‘s short film ‘The Case of the Gilded Lily’ at Buffer Festival yesterday and it was everything I wanted and more 

I even got to say hi to Shipwrecked which was amazing, although unfortunately I wasn’t able to give them the physical version of this (bc it didn’t exist yet oops)

but yes it was so good I can’t wait until it gets released ahhhh *flails* 

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