Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm out on the Farallone$

The Long-eared Owl, is a timid and cylindrical friend of the island.  This individual hung out for a week or so, and was the second of the season.  The first was killed brutally and dishonorably by a Peregrine Falcon, leading me to believe that PEFA is the world's most detestable species of bird.  All that remained were two wings and two talons. 
I believe some apologies are in order.  First of all, I am sorry for not blogging for a month.  It's not you it's me.  Second of all, I am sorry for seeing some pajaros locos and not telling you.  Some highlights over the past month include first island record Williamson's Sapsucker, the rare siberian subspecies (japonicus) of American Pipit, two (!) Red-throated Pipits, Cattle Egret (fairly rare out here in recent years), Red-necked Grebe (not bad out here), "Eastern" Purple Finch (2nd Island and potentially 3rd California[?] record), Black-throated Blue Warbler, Zaboria subspecies of "red" Fox Sparrow, and Yellow-green Vireo to name a few.
I would like you to know that I am a bada$$.  Suzie found this Northern Saw-whet Owl, which later flew off.  I relocated it in a rock crevice at the top of lighthouse hill.  I reached in and pulled it out then processed the bird.  We didn't have the right lock-ons for this guy, so he/she went unbanded.  
NSWO has only one defense mechanism––the stink-eye––needless to say, it works pretty well.
One of the biggest highlights of the last week was a Snow Bunting which was spotted by Cameron Rutt and Suzie Winquist at the lighthouse two days ago.  It stayed another day, long enough for me to crush it into a fine, flour-like dust which then arranged itself into a series of gratifying images. Unfortunately it soiled its undercarriage, thus practically ruining my photos.
Snow Bunting is on the CBRC Review list.  This record will be accepted even though he wet himself.
I just wanted to crush its brains in (edit 11/5/13: crushing refers to photographing it well, not actually crushing anything, I've had some people confused.  I guess the crushing memo hasn't reached the masses yet), but he wasn't having it, he kept walking up to me, once within arms reach, far too close for my crusher to work properly.  Luckily I got a few in early.
The Snow Bunting was the most puzzled and indeed puzzling of all birds on the island yesterday.  While we were perplexed as to how this bird overshot its wintering grounds by so many hundreds of miles, and yet seemed so content with staying here, he was perplexed by the ground, as seen here.
"Aleutian" Cackling Geese and Lark Sparrows are common birds, but crushable nonetheless.

Leaving the Farallone$ in two day$.  Where doe$ the time go?

1 comment:

  1. Disgusting crushes. In Texas, we call that NSWO look "El Ojo." You have to do something with an egg, or you're eternally cursed. I frequently get El Ojo from Inca Doves.