Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An eagle parched.

     At work the other day I was walking through the mud, it was a cloudy day but it wasn't raining. I looked at my scratched up smart-phone and noticed I had missed a call from my girlfriend. I pressed the button to call her back, and put the phone to my ear. As I was looking up, a flash of movement caught my eye, a huge bird was in the sky above me. It was maybe fifty meters away from me, a Bald Eagle. I don't know if a species name is a proper noun, but I'm alright with having it capitalized.
     I don't know if you've seen a Bald Eagle at a close distance before or recently, but that is a big bird. I think of the American Crow as a pretty big bird when compared to birds like the House Finch, or the Barn Swallow; but the Bald Eagle is a really really big bird! It is huge!
      So there I was, standing talking to Amber, I quickly told her that I would call her back and hung up. This was too great of an experience for me to miss. It landed out in the middle of the driving range. It actually set its feet down on the ground! This is the very first time that I've ever witnessed a Bald Eagle land on the ground! Aside from that, it was also pretty close to me. I could see it pretty well even without binoculars, which I wished that I would have had. It did a little hop-ish run over to the water, which I found pretty fascinating because I've never seen an eagle run before.
     I've seen Red-Tailed Hawks run like that, but a Bald Eagle on the jog had until then eluded my sight. There was a man in a red wind-breaker jacket standing near the concrete path in the grass hitting golf balls out into the field. He stopped when the bird landed. Daniel, a tall guy in a blue sweater stopped his golf-ball-collecting-machine, climbed out of his machine and stood in the field and watched.
     The Bald Eagle is a relatively rare bird to me. I don't see them frequently or in great numbers. I have seen videos and heard talk of places where such birds congregate in numbers; but I've never been there. This experience was wonderful one. I was so happy after I saw that bird. Unfortunately my camera-phone didn't save the one pretty-bad photo that I did take, I'm pretty sure it wasn't user malfunction.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The swan

During my second excursion into the city with my rag-tag band of adventurers, we found ourselves somewhere known as "The Exploratorium". Leah, Margret, Long-Jimmy and I. It was this huge megalithic structure built in the style of ancient Greece with massive pillars standing dozens of feet tall. Perhaps five stories? I don't know. They were huge though, and quite imposing.
     To some people this may not sound so thrilling, but to me it was great. Chilling out in the shade of these huge stone slabs, was an immense white swan. I think it was a Mute Swan, because it made no sounds but it could have just been a 'pretty quiet trumpeter swan', regardless, that was the hugest bird I've seen in a long time. Not counting ostriches (I may have seen them at the zoo) or Emus (same as ostriches) that was probably the largest bird I'll lay eyes on for a while.
     Aside from swangantua, there were also some turtles living in the same water. I've lived 25 years, and never before had I ever seen a wild turtle. It was very awesome to me, I was totally okay with seeing living turtles, and I was even more okay with seeing a tiny baby turtle chilling on a rock only a few moments later. Within a 10 minute span, I saw turtles and a freakin' huge swan. It was excellent.
     I didn't mention it in the entry about the parrots, but I also for the first time saw what I believe was a Clark's Grebe. I saw another one or two of them that day. It all made me very giddy and happy. Another bird to add to my list was a mysterious white crane, which was too far away to identify. I saw three different instances of a white crane, all within 5 miles of each other, so it is entirely possible that I saw the same bird three times. I could have seen one twice, and one once, or even simply three separate birds. I don't know if they have a population of white cranes in San Fran, but I do know they have at least one, though to be more geographically correct I saw the white crane in Burlingame.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

     With the Psych/Soc club at SPSCC, I went to San Francisco, Ca, from Apr 25-29. During that time I went on some amazing walks through a beautiful city and got completely smashed as well as very entirely hung-over. Aside from all of that there were a couple of instances which I will share. One of which is an experience which has a documentary about it.
     There is a population of wild parrots living on Telegraph Hill, somewhere in that huge city, near Coit tower. I had no idea that I'd actually be seing living real life wild parrots, but there they were. Too far away for us to view easily, it took a good deal of staring at trees before we spotted them. A small flock of them flew over-head, and to my giddy joy, they weren't squawking parrots, they were chattering and laughing parrots. Perhaps other people may not describe their sound as laughter, but this guy does. Me.
     Thinking back on that day, it was pretty amazing to see those birds flying around together. I remember wishing that I could just fly up and join with their party. They must have been having a good time up there, riding those breezes. I was and still am totally jealous. In fact, the 'me' that is writing this is jealous of the 'me' that is back in the past seeing those birds with wild-parrot-virgin-eyes. He is a lucky 'me', that bastard.

Eagle vs Hawk

    I was at work not so long ago driving around in one of the many cool machines which we have in our fleet in the shop. I was on the thirteenth hole on the golf course, near the sand bunker. I stopped to pee in the bushes and was getting back into the driver's position when my bird-sense went off and I looked up. Perhaps 45 feet up in the air, at most 60 feet away from me, there was a rather large Bald Eagle flying by.
      I grabbed out my binoculars, and leapt out of the cart. I zeroed in on it. It was flying away from me, but it was still close enough to still be huge in the lenses. Out of the right side of my vision a red-tailed hawk swooped in on the offensive. I was in disbelief, I never imagined I'd see such a sight in person but here it was. The two of them were in a dog fight and I had the only eyes on the action.
     It ended rather abruptly as they went behind some trees. My vehicle was not nearly fast enough for me to have jumped in and followed them but I wasn't upset. Bird watching seems to be made up of random instances great activity with huge lengths of bland birding. I must say though, that at my job there are so many birds around that I always have something to watch, and I am also very easily amused so even seeing an American robin running around with a worm in its beak gives me a smile and a chuckle.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


So its been some time since I reported to all of you (my target audience) about my observations in the world of birds. For a while things were slow, what with winter, and unemployment, sitting inside on my ass and/or going to school. For a while all i would see were crows and ducks. Mallards, Mergansers and not much more, but now I'm back at the golf course, and in the few weeks I've been there, I've already seen quite a bit. I'll need to update later with some stories. I've got some good ones. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Birds

I watched Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". I liked it. I'll never look at sea gulls the same way ever again after watching it, though I still love them. I think their caws sound so happy and carefree. They have all the garbage they could ever want, what great lives they must have.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Caw Caw Caw

I see crows a lot. They really are everywhere you go. Anywhere you look there's a crow, and usually when there is one crow there is a second crow. I'd think a crow would be a big enough bird to survive on its own, but I guess they are social. I wonder if they always stay with the same crow, like they have one best crow buddy, or if they have several different crow pals they pal around with.

What about when they fly together with a huge number of other crows. Do you think they often lose sight of a cherished best crow friend, or fall out of touch with a trusted crow colleague? It's kind of a sad thought. Or maybe they simply don't care, and will party up with any crow of similar level. Perhaps they have some way of measuring their own rank compared to that of another crow, and that's how they decide who to join forces with.

I wonder if the crow duos are often mated pairs. Or always mated pairs. If so I think its cute that they go out together so often. They go everywhere together I bet.

Hmmm... Crows.