Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Too Much Fun
All good things must pass. Drat. Like every other good thing, the Western Field Ornithologist's (WFO) conference in San Mateo, California, ended way to early for my liking. I flew up there on Wednesday night, and enjoyed several straight days of birding and hanging out with incredible birders. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to write up a full account of the trip, so I will write about my favorite three experiences of the trip.
1. Racing around Point Reyes, with Nora Papian and Scott Wieman, two other young birders who were at the conference. The wind was whipping in off the ocean constantly, probably up to sixty miles per hour. This didn't stop us from finding great birds, however; they were everywhere in spite of the wind. By far the most exciting bird was a beautiful Prothonotary Warbler that I spotted working a few windswept cypress trees right on the coast.
2. Lying amongst jagged rocks, sand, and rotting seaweed at the Half Moon Bay harbor photographing shorebirds. I crawled (or, more accurately, slithered) through the smelly mess, scattering swarms of flies, and soon found myself enveloped in a flock of chittering Sanderlings. I also got great looks at Marbled Godwits, Black Turnstones, Dunlins, and lots of other shorebirds.
3. Standing at the edge of a large pond at Redwood Shores on one of the field trips and watching hundreds and hundreds of shorebirds and ducks take flight when a harrier swooped through.
I shot over a thousand photos during the four days of the conference. A lot were destined for the garbage bin, but many more came out well. Here are some more photos from the trip.
Female Brewer's Blackbird at Redwood Shores.
Snowy Plover at Half Moon Bay.
White-crowned Sparrow at Point Reyes.
Juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher at Redwood Shores.
Red Knot and Black Turnstones at Half Moon Bay Harbor.
White-tailed Kite at Point Reyes.
Green-winged Teal at Redwood Shores.
Yellow-rumped Warbler on the jetty (!) at Half Moon Bay harbor.
Marbled Godwit at Half Moon Bay.