01 September 2010

California Day 1: SF

After a delay in Atlanta I finally made it to San Francisco a day late but it was nice to walk out to the Pacific Ocean and find my first lifer of the trip, a Heermann's Gull mixed in with some Western Gulls. I only saw one or two here but I would see more as the days would advance.

Next we headed to the Golden Gate Recreational Area where there were more Heermann's Gulls. I enjoyed seeing my first California Poppy on the walkway down to the beach.

This is only my second trip to California and I must say the weather was much more cooperative. Last time in San Francisco I found it so cold but I was lucky to have blue skies shine through and the sun warm things up. There were plenty of Brewer's Blackbirds to watch up close. One man's junk bird is another person's treasure as they say.

Within only a couple hours of touchdown from flying I had my second lifer of the trip, a Black Turnstone. We watched a couple of them dodge and run the waves near this rocky outcropping. I see turnstones in such great number on the East Coast so it was nice to see one that looked a bit different. I will say that our eastern vareity is much prettier in color.

We spent some time wadering around the outcroppings and searching for birds or other sea life. Geraldine, my host, was very patient and allowed me to soak in the scenery. I know she had plans for us to hike around but sometimes the naturalist part of me wants to slow down and take in the details.

As we were walking around we found my first Western Scrub-Jay of the trip. This one was looking quite ragged and was molting. Mixed in with the jay was quite a few sparrows. Many of them hid right out of sight.

After sneaking a peek at the Golden Gate Bridge we decided to head into the city and have lunch. A Red-tailed Hawk soared above us as we left the park.

We spent some time in Dolores Park people watching and had some great Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream. After some walking and people gazing in the Castro we decided that it was time for Irish Coffee.

The Buena Vista Cafe is famous for its Irish Coffee. Geraldine and I both ordered one but I will say that I consumed the majority of both. I was a very happy camper after a few celebratory drinks. Two life birds in one day and a week's worth of adventures ahead makes for a very satisfying day.

Come back for more tales of California birds and wildlife!

1 comment:

Hewy said...

I like it! Where's day 2,3,4......?