Horned Lark with California Poppies

I’m spending a little of my Sunday morning playing around with my photography workflow on an iPad Pro instead of a laptop. My experimental subject is this Horned Lark I photographed this week not far from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. The Horned Lark is a bird of fields, low grasslands, and other openContinue reading “Horned Lark with California Poppies”

A Night at West Fork

The degree to which I am enamored with the freedom of backpacking is not reflected by the frequency with which I go. For awhile now, I’ve taken an interest in expanding my knowledge-base of the fauna of the San Gabriel Mountains by backpacking into remote campgrounds, preferably on a weekday when no or few peopleContinue reading “A Night at West Fork”

Raptors in Flight

In response to a question about hawk identification on nextdoor.com (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”

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”

Lewis’s Woodpecker and Other Things

[Featured image: Lewis’s Woodpecker at Bette Davis Picnic Area, Burbank, Los Angeles County on October 26, 2016] As today was not a running day, I decided to make it a birding day. There was a report on the LaCoBirds listserv yesterday of a Lewis’s Woodpecker at Bette Davis Picnic Area near Griffith Park. As thatContinue reading “Lewis’s Woodpecker and Other Things”