Monthly Archives: September 2012

More photos from our summer trip out west

Oregon is a pretty wet state.  We thought this moss covered tree looked interesting.

We saw a lot of Tsunami Evacuation Route signs.

All along the Oregon coast, there were state parks.  Very little development along the coast.

Another ocean side view

At one point, we had to wait for a herd of Elk to cross the road.

The road sometimes twisted and turned thru the forest.

So neat to see the big trees right at the edge of the road.  Makes you feel so small in comparison.

This is the vehicle we rented parked beside one of the giant trees.

The road just went on and on thru the forests.

This is a picture of Carol on Lombard street in San Francisco.


There were numerous street musicians.

Here is another street musician.

This is a Heermann’s Gull.

Here a pic of another interesting street musician.

This interestng shop is in Haight/Ashbury.

And this is the very famous corner itself.

And are you hungry?


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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


Looking forward to Thanksgiving

I have a little over a week left before I have to start going back to work.  My stitches should be taken out on Tuesday.  And I am starting to feel a little strength coming back into my hand.  It will be nice to once again start working in the garden. 

We are looking forward to Thanksgiving weekend.  It will be a family gathering.  I can’t remember the last time that I could see both my sons were together.  One lives in Vancouver and one lives in Kemptville (near Ottawa).  This will be a special time for me.  We are having a Thanksgiving meal together at our house on Saturday.  My sister might be able to join us, too.  Carol has been going over her recipe books and is excited about putting together a big meal.  She has gone “over the river” (to Michigan) today to buy all the fixings,


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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


should be a nice day to get out and go for a walk

It is a bit foggy this morning, but the forecast says it will clear up and be a pretty nice day.  Would be nice to get out and go for a trail walk or a bike ride.

UPDATE:  Well the sun didn’t quite come out as much as the weather man said it would.  But I still went out for a bit this afternoon.  Not for long, just a couple of hours.  Drove up to the Parkhill Conservation Area.  Lots of trails there.  Great place for walking.

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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


make the most of it

This is the last week I have off due to carpal tunnel release surgery.  I expect that I will be heading back to work Friday night.  So I will make the most of it.  I want to get to Hawk Cliff one more time this week.  And I expect to hit the trails around here, too.  Tuesday I get the stitches out.  But other than that, I want to keep active and see what comes my way.

So how did I make the most of it today??  Well actually I haven’t even stepped outside today.  Spent all day downstairs reading my novel, listening to the internet radio, and reading blogs.  Pretty quiet, all in all.  I’m afraid I wasted what looked like a pretty nice day.  Oh well, there is always Wednesday.

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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


you just never know…..

One thing that I have learned during my 30 years of birding, is that you just never know what you are going to see when you head out.  And it might not always be a bird.  It might be a wild-flower or a butterfly or an animal. 

It was a strange-looking animal that caught my eye on Wednesday when I was out.  I first noticed it in my rear-view mirror as it crossed the road behind me.  Of course I immediately pulled over, turned around and drove back to where I could get a better view.

I turned out to be a coyote.  But such an emaciated, hairless animal, I have never seen.

Even the long tail was hairless and reminded me of a rat’s tail.

The coyote appeared to have energy as it trotted over the field, but it was such a sorry sight.

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Posted by on September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Birdfinding in Canada

BIRDFINDING IN CANADA is the name of a birding periodical magazine that was published, printed and distributed for 9 years in the 1980’s.  The magazine was authored and published by a man named Gerry Bennett.  I never met Gerry, but in the course of my birding life, I have met two people who knew him well.  Gerry was very well-known in birding circles during his day.  Part of his legacy, is the publication BIRDFINDING IN CANADA.  Basically, Gerry wrote each issue (approximately 30 pages) himself, with some contributions from birders across Canada. He wrote about places to bird and what could be seen in each of these places.  He tracked seasonal sightings across Canada.  Each issue was filled with interesting articles.

I am going to re-print one of his articles here.  Hope I am not infringing on any copyright issues.  Gerry, we all you so much.  Thanks.

This article appeared in the March 1986 (Vol. 6 No. 2) issue of BIRDFINDING IN CANADA:


     We forget whether it was Velma Hawkins or old Josh McComb who first said, “Birders love categories.” 

     Whoever it was – they do!  “First bird of the year,” “Most wanted species,” “Best bird of the trip,”  And so on.  Sorting birds (or at least names of birds) into imaginary slots is great fun.

     Robert Parsons, of Winnipeg, has suggested a “Most Enjoyed” category.  These are birds you never tire of seeing again and again, on matter how often.  Robert names the Scarlet Tanager as an example and suggests having respondents name their Top Five.

     We haven’t worked out our top five yet but it appears that Robert’s thinking somewhat parallels ours, as we’d also name the Scarlet Tanager as #1 among birds we never tire of seeing.  The several dozen that might tie for second include the breeding-plumaged male Blackburnian Warbler; black phase Rough-legged Hawk in flight; drake Northern Pintail in full breeding feathers; the resplendent and cocky Steller’s Jay; and so on.

     Building on the “Parons’ Approach” we can se several spin-offs:

          “The Bird that impressed You Most When First Seen”

          “The Bird You Worked Hardest to Find and Finally Did”

     You get the idea.

     Perhaps we could hear from some of our readers.  To start, here are some of our own thoughts.

     The Bird I Worked Hardest to Find and Finally Did:  A tie between Yellow Rail and Spruce Grouse.

     The Sound You Like to Hear:  First returning Killdeer in spring yelling “Brig-a-dier, brig-a-dier.”

     Biggest Initial Impact When First Seen:  Not sure yet on this one but the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher would certainly rate.

     One plus factor in sorting out the above thoughts is recounting anecdotes and recalling memories relating to the sighting.  In this regard, we submit a “Bird I Lucked Into Most Easily.”  On Oct. 10th, 1980, we arrived at the Vancouver Airport, on a business trip.  Rented a car; drove to the hotel on Georgia St.; checked in and instantly ‘phoned the Vancouver Bird Alert number.  The news was that an Ash-throated Flycatcher had turned up on Sea Island which is right beside the airport.  We hung up; almost ran to the parking garage, and drove back out to Sea Island.  Almost the instant we stopped we saw Wayne Weber who had just seen the bird and pointed it out.  (The moral here is – always ‘phone the Hot Line from the airport – not the hotel!)  Then, for an encore, Wayne took me to the Iona Island lagoons and produced a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.

     What about a direct opposite?  “Biggest Disappointment”  Here’s one of our nominations.  In 1979, I worked almost every hour of every day in the breeding season, trying to satisfy a “thirst” I’d had for years – to see how many species of birds’ active nests I could observe in Ontario.  At Winisk, on James Bay, I’d been told of a Golden Eagle’s nest that was both active and easily visible.  This would be the prize of the year.  Peeling off a bigger chunk of my budget than I’d expected to use, I hired a local guide and canoe and, at lest the morning came when we headed upstream to experience this long-awaited reward.  By noon, halfway up the route, the guide calmly announced the trip was finished due to shallow water.  And, I could see he wasn’t kidding.  There was no solution.  There were several miles to go and the river’s banks were not passable to pedestrians.  So, that was it.  Not only did I have to do without the nest – but, as there never was any discussion of a guarantee, I didn’t get any money back either!

So that was one of Gerry’s articles.  He had an obvious sense of humour and enjoyed so many different aspects of birding.  I hope you enjoyed the article.

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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


think it would be a good day to head to Hawk Cliff

Yesterday was wet, rainy, overcast and generally dreary.  I spent the day vacuuming floors, reading, listening to music, playing Sudoku and watching TV.  Indoor stuff.  Got pretty cold last night – 37 F or so.  But today things are supposed to turn around.  Lots of sun forecast for today, but with temperatures reaching up to only about 61 F.  Think I just might head to Hawk Cliff and see what is on the wing.

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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized