Monday, May 15, 2006

44. Black Crowned Night Heron

I went sailing this weekend, for the first time ever. It was fantastic, a truly amazing experience. Before I left, Harper told me I should bring my binoculars and bird book. I forgot both. So Saturday morning, as I walked out on the pier and saw a mysterious bird istting on the pier right off the bat, I could have thrown myself in the water. It was a heron, a large bird though much smaller than a great blue, with a mostly white body and black feathers on its head and wings. A long white feather trailed off its head and across its back. Without my bird book at my side, I stared at it for several minutes to memorize it. Then I approached (I had to in order to get to the boat) and it flew away. When I got home, I discovered that it was a Black Crowned Night Heron. Nycticorax nycticorax. What a cool bird; maybe the coolest I've seen so far.

43. Brown Pelican

I'd been keeping an eye out for this bird all year because the Brown Pelican one of my favorites. Every time I've gone to the Bay, I look. Every time I've gone to the ocean, I look. And nothing. And then, all at once, they are everywhere. I saw the first three on the way home from Oakland, flying low over the Bay. A few days later, I saw them flying overhead just off the 101 on the way to San Mateo. And then, this weekend, I saw several, all over the Bay, as I sailed upon it. Have they been here all along, and I've missed them, or are they retrning from some far-off place? I don't know.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

42. House Sparrow

I forgot you, House Sparrow. You are a pest, some say, competing with the Bluebird. A European invador, who has driven out the native population and taken over their homeland.

Like me.

So, it is hard for me to be angry with you. Though perhaps I should be. For my anger at you is really just anger at myself. Right?

Either way, you are number 42, and I have eight months to go.