Memories of the Pantanal: The Bridge

It was September 14, 2003. I was leading a birding tour throughout Brazil with the great Juan Mazar Barnett (who died way too young in 2012). We had just left the boat we’d spent a week on in the Rio Negro outside of Manaus and were now in the Pantanal. We had already faced manyContinue reading “Memories of the Pantanal: The Bridge”

Turning the Page

I’ve never fully endorsed new year’s resolutions, opting instead to try for continuous self improvement. I’m not saying I always achieve that, but I do try. That being said (er, written), the start of a new year is a good time to review what has been accomplished and to set goals that have a timeContinue reading “Turning the Page”

Raptors in Flight

In response to a question about hawk identification on (a neighborhood-based social media site), I posted a long discussion about the status of various raptors in our neighborhood. Someone posted a follow-up question about how to tell hawks from falcons in flight. I thought the easiest way to do that would be to postContinue reading “Raptors in Flight”

My Big Day

[Featured image: An Ash-throated Flycatcher was species 75 for the day.] It was just two weeks ago that I ran 26 miles in 90-something degree heat in the hills around Bouquet Reservoir in the Angeles National Forest. While that may sound laudable (or crazy), it was because I was running the Leona Divide 50 trail race,Continue reading “My Big Day”

Hawaii: History, Honeycreepers, and the HURT 100 – Part 2

For part 1 of this trip and race report, see here. Two days before the race, we took a trip to Pearl Harbor to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. While Google Maps did a good job of getting us temporarily lost on Honolulu’s confusing roads, we still arrived early and only had to wait aContinue reading “Hawaii: History, Honeycreepers, and the HURT 100 – Part 2”

Hawaii: History, Honeycreepers, and the HURT 100 – Part 1

We look out over the vast Pacific that forms our temporary backyard and watch the sun set as large waves break on the volcanic rock in front of us and Brown Boobies fly northward just offshore. This is our first of ten nights on the island of Oahu. It’s my first time in the stateContinue reading “Hawaii: History, Honeycreepers, and the HURT 100 – Part 1”

The Year That Was, The Year That Will Be

Two days short of one year ago, I wrote a post about my goals for 2016. As often happens, life takes unexpected twists and turns, sometimes rendering goals difficult if not impossible to reach within the time period you planned for. For example, there was no way I could know that I would be outContinue reading “The Year That Was, The Year That Will Be”

A Rare Asian Visitor

[Featured image: A Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, photographed by the author in the Los Angeles River just south of the Willow Street bridge on November 14, 2016. Behind it and to the left is a Black-necked Stilt. In the front are American Coots.] I got my first new life bird in quite awhile today: a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper,Continue reading “A Rare Asian Visitor”

Sometimes Rare Birds are Easy

[Featured image: Grasshopper Sparrow at Viña Vieja Park, Pasadena, 10 November 2016] I decided to do a “chase” today for a rare species: a Grasshopper Sparrow that was reported at Viña Vieja Park in Pasadena, approximately 10 miles from my house. While that species is certainly not a life bird for me (as they aren’t allContinue reading “Sometimes Rare Birds are Easy”