Skip to main content

Not everything with wings that fascinates me is a bird.  Take this critter, for example:

IMG_3710

I went to close the tailgate after unloading some gear at Yosemite, and this was sitting on the edge of the opening.  I wasn't going to squash it, but I also wasn't too keen to touch it.  Look at that needle at the front!  Fortunately, it turned out to be harmless - a Small Bee Fly - so we just shooed it away, and went on with our birding.

I was there for my annual trip to the Yosemite Hawks and Owls class.  This year, eight of my friends also signed up for the class, many of them fellow GGRO raptor banders.  We dipped on the Great Grey Owls (it happens) but had a great time nonetheless.

IMG_3719
Our group at Ahwahnee Meadow, watching a Peregrine aerie.

IMG_3754
Great-tailed Grackle - for a change, its mouth isn't open because it's making noise, but because it's panting in the heat.

IMG_3755
When it flew in front of us, it was unmistakable but also rather unexpected.  They're not common birds in most of the state.  Turns out there are only a few dozen records for the park over the past hundred years so we documented it.  I was digiscoping through binoculars but others in the group had the big glass, fortunately.

IMG_3744When we stopped to watch one of the aeries along the Merced, a young male Western Tanager hopped into a treetop near us and chatted a bit.

IMG_3734
It takes some work to keep those feathers looking quite so beautiful.

IMG_3760
More of our awesome camp food - squirrel brains!  (Actually, a fresh compote my friend Nancy whipped up from the various types of fruit we'd all bought on our drive across the valley.  Mostly peaches, thus the pink-y color, but also cherry and blueberry.)

IMG_3769On the last day of the class, we had a choice of hiking into the woods to look for goshawks or visiting a banding station.  Even though we were a raptorphile group, we opted for the chance to see some songbirds up close.  Here's a junco being retrieved from a mistnet.

IMG_3773
This Yellow-rumped Warbler tries to cover up the source of her name.

IMG_3776
Gorgeous male MacGillivray's warbler.  He came in wearing an older band - I wonder how old he is?

Special bonus!  NN13 birding...
IMG_5591
One of the famous San Jose peregrines stopped by to see us at the Convention Center

IMG_5698
On Sunday, a few of us went to Shoreline Park for a post-NN bird walk.  Using my field guide, I was able to identify an adult male Senor Unoball, a tgypsy (part of the Central Valley population), a rare Ecuadorean migrant - the angelajean, and two falcons:  a Kestrel and a Peregrine (Kate).  

IMG_5687
We got to watch this nice fledgling White-tailed Kite (please excuse crappy iPhone digiscope).  Kestrel saw some great interaction between it and a sibling a little later.  There were also terns a-go-go, Skimmers, swallows and other awesomeness.  Hoping the others have better pix to share.

Be sure to read (and rec!) this week's Green Diary Rescue by Meteor Blades.  

Originally posted to lineatus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Birds and Birdwatching.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site