Friday, August 19, 2011

Watch It X--Phish

I looked up and saw him coming. Part of me cringed, but another part anticipated a new encounter with him, one of the hobos who haunts Newport Pier. His obvious state of inebriation and can of Mike's Harder Lemonade in hand promised a memorable experience. Sure enough, he sidled up and asked me what I was looking at. "A Pigeon Guillemot," I replied, not mentioning that it was found on Sunday by Brian Daniels or that it was the first juvenile recorded in the county.

I offered him a view through my scope, but he declined. "I can see it fine, man, and mah eyes are already swimmin'. Prolly not a hot idea." Then, he began rambling.

"Ever heard of a band called Phish? No, not F-I-S-H. P-H-I-S-H. Yeaaah, duuuuude, they rock. I mean, they ROCK the HOUSE. Like, every one of those dudes has a PhD in his instrument. I went to a concert once and I was like, 'Wow.' And they were like 'Wow.' And I was like, 'WOW.' And they was like, 'Wow.' And I was like, 'Uhhh,' And they were like, 'WOOOOOOWWW!' You really gotta look them up, brother."

So, I did. And they're pretty good.

Newport Pier, Orange, US-CA
Aug 18, 2011 6:00 AM - 7:55 AM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments: Weather: cloudy, misty, light breeze, cool. Pre-work seawatch from the end of Newport Pier. I stupidly keep leaving home at the same time even though the sun rises later, so I took a ten-minute nap in the car before heading out because it was still so dark. Nathaniel the crazy hobo, quite inebriated this morning, came by and rambled on for about fifteen minutes to me about various topics before continuing on in search of more alcohol.
29 species (+1 other taxa)

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 8 Unusual--a tight flock heading south offshore.
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 1
Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) 4
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 220
Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas) 13
Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) 26
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 2
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 200
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) 1
Willet (Tringa semipalmata) 68
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 11
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) 21
Sanderling (Calidris alba) 5
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) 2
Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) 3
Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni) 235
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 475
California Gull (Larus californicus) 1
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 12
Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri) 1
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) 5
jaeger sp. (Stercorarius sp. (jaeger sp.)) 1 A smallish, very dark jaeger chasing a couple terns...probably a Parasitic, but meeeehhhh.
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) 1 Continuing juvenile found by Brian Daniels on Saturday, 8/13. It was hanging out just a hundred or two feet beyond the breakers just maybe 40 yards north of the pier. Excellent views. Most of the time, it was sleeping, but toward the end it was swimming around more and diving. Apparently the first record of a juvenile for the county.
Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) 1
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) 70
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 4
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 1

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