Sunday, November 10, 2013

San Francisco

I spent a few days in San Francisco - on the same day that Twitter (based in San Fran) went public. Alot of people got rich - not me.  Not many birds to be seen but the ones that I saw were up close and personal.  I took a walk from my hotel all the way to the Golden Gate bridge which was alot further than I thought.

Golden Gate Bridge
Along the way, I got close views of some common birds including a Western Grebe.  These are the best photos that I have of this species.

Western Grebe

Western Grebe
I also had great views of Alcatraz from the shore. I tried to get a tour but they are completely sold out for days in advance. Be warned - buy your tickets before you arrive in San Francisco if you ever want to take the tour. I admit that I am so bird obsessed that this photo started out to be of a White-crowned Sparrow until I looked up and notices Alcatraz and the sailboat in the background.
Alcatraz with White-crowned Sparrow
Here are the sparrows up close and personal.  The first is a juvenile which doesn't have the "white crown".  The second photo shows the crown pretty well.
White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow
Another sparrow that caught my eye was this Fox Sparrow. Our Fox Sparrows are much redder. Out west, they are really dark. The field guide calls them "sooty".  Here is a photo of one with a berry.

Fox Sparrow (Pacific)
I had to take a break after walking for miles lugging my camera, jacket and binoculars so I stopped at the Golden Gate Visitor Center and grabbed an orange soda (they didn't have Diet Coke) and some Goldfish crackers. I was soon joined by some friends who wanted to share my snack.  

Brewers Blackbird
 Yes, I rewarded the bad behavior of the Brewer's Blackbirds.  They would come right up and snatch the cracker from my fingers! It was cute and I'll probably get cited for feeding the wildlife but I was lonely and bored and tired from my walk.
I can't wait to get home!  Oh, did I tell you that I get to spend a whole night at home before heading to New Orleans?  Don't expect a bird report thought. I don't think I'll get out of the city on that trip.


Anonymous said...

So, did the Western Grebe take the red eye back home with you? Not only that, but you chose to
spend a portion of your one night at home with us.
Have a great time in NO.

The entire 536 team and especially HH

Linda said...

it was great to see you! i will have more time to visit after this stupid contest is over.