This morning while Joey was at the groomer, I walked down Crown-Zellarbach Trail for about ninety minutes. With coffee, camera, binoculars (and other essentials in my EDC), I headed out in the billowing fog.
I first discovered the ducks. They were the usual suspects of mallards, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, and American Wigeon. I tried desperately to turn one into a Eurasian Wigeon but the color wasn’t there. They all seemed to be quite vocal this morning – and except for the mallards, I don’t even think any of them noticed me.
After the ducks, I spotted a hawk come flying across the trail and land in a tree. Quickly, I pointed my camera at him. He was very dark and had either something in it’s beak or an extra pointy one. At first I thought, immature Bald Eagle, but then, too small, very dark. I left it unidentified until I got home and looked it up in the trusty Sibley guide. I put it down as a dark-morphed Red-tailed Hawk. I believe this to be very unusual so I reported it to Oregon Birders Online (OBOL).
I then proceeded to check out a Northern Flicker, more sparrows, then a nice treat of specie number 73 for the Big Year. As with Doctor Sheldon Cooper, this too is one of my most favorite numbers!
I walked on after taking about thirty pictures of the Bewick’s Wren and found some Band-tailed Pigeons and an odd looking Robin. I also noticed for the first time this year that the European Starlings are starting to change – they have the spring wardrobe on, or at least some of it.
I turned around and started heading back – Joey hates to be left at the groomers. I noticed a Great Blue Heron standing next to a Great Egret – or what looked to be a Great Egret (might be a decoy or something, too far to tell for sure). Then, at last, my little friend, the Golden-crowned Kinglet.
2 mile walk
1 Creme de’mint mocha
Big Year Count: 73 species.