The Palo field station has a small collection of study skins for us to look at and study, so Joe and I did a bit of that today. While they can be useful for taking a look at all sorts of birds for extended amounts of time, they often do not retain many of their original characteristics and are tough to identify.
What I did discover was that a few of these birds have come from a very familiar place, I'm not sure how or why, but there must of been someone connected.
Nine birds today, eight species. The coolest thing was getting the two subspecies of the yellow rumped warbler, the audubon's and the myrtle. Up til now I'd only seen the myrtle, but the yellow chin of the audubon's is a pretty defining feature:
They also have more white on more tail feathers:
We couldn't age this one...
This is the myrtle, which we called a second year female due to the very small black centers of the back and upper tail feathers, as well as a very minimal amount of white on the rectrices
This Friday Baylis and Emily came up for the night. We went up to grid 4 for the sunset and down to the beach after dark.
Saturday morning Nolan, Kanner, Claire, and Christian showed up and most of us (Kanner stayed back with an emaciated left calf) hiked out to Alemere falls. Unfortunately the tide was at its peak and we were unable to get down to the beach to see the falls from the most impressive vantage point. Sorry Emily, no swimming.
They also got a chance to see a red breasted sapsucker, the first I'd seen too.
I went up to Bodega Bay this weekend for a little late birthday celebration for Kanner. We stayed in a house a few miles from the beach, played a lot of board games, made great dinners, hottubbed it, completed a whole puzzle (!). Twas relaxing, but not restful.
Banded at Pine Gulch today with Lisa. Alright day, but felt kind of rusty having not banded since sunday. We got 17 birds, 8 species.
This lil guy was very tangled in the net, so I had to cut him out eventually. He eventually flew off, but kind of pitifully. Sorry lil guy.
That is a tick. I tried removing it, but couldn't I sliced it, so that it would at least not impede vision as much.
Here's a golden crowned sparrow. Their crown patterns can vary quite a bit, and can only be used for ageing if they are at the more extreme ends of having very little brown striping, or a lot of black. This one was in between, but had about three black feathers on its head, which make you wonder.
Michael and I made some bread today. Neither of us had ever made anything but white bread, so we're starting our new bread making dreams with whole wheat. We each tried a different basic recipe and varied a few other steps of the process. My dough was enough for three loaves so I put two in loaf pans, and made the third into a round loaf, which turned out very flat.
We put sunflower seeds, oats, flax seeds, and raisins in the dough. We learned a few things: put more raisin in, always go with your gizzard, proof your yeast (michael!), and wheat just doesn't taste as good as white.