Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pescadero State Park

Today was a beautiful day in Pescadero.  It was a bit cold, but not compared to the rest of the country.  The beaches were mostly empty, though, so I guess the everyone believes that winter is approaching.

The seals were lounging about.

They looks exhausted!

They would look up at me with sleepy faces, and then their heads would flop back down.

I like this thoughtful expression.  His face reminds me of a cat with those big whiskers and almond-shaped eyes.

I made my way to the marshes, which were full of birds.  I saw a little sparrow on a log and approached.

This is a Song Sparrow.  They're extremely common.  Many birders are unimpressed by their appearance, but I really like them.  They let you get close and they have lovely songs.

The easiest way to distinguish between different types of sparrows is to look at the pattern on their chest and head.  The Song Sparrow has dark-brown spots on his chest, with a prominent spot in the middle, and white markings on his head below and above the eyes.

Other sparrows will have yellow markings above the eyes or on the wings, or a colored patch in the center of his head directly above the nose.

Black Phoebes were everywhere today.  I saw the first one on a sign post.

The second one was catching bugs.  You can still see it in his mouth!

It was almost as if the phoebes were posing for me.  The next one was in branches backed by a blue sky.

Then he flew into the brush.

Then on a bush.

Then, I swear he asked me if he should pose on a man-made object to serve as social commentary about our interference with nature.

Then he went back into the brush, but positioned himself carefully so that I could see the white tips of his feathers.

Then some more bushes.

In case I wanted a brighter background, he flew over to some driftwood.

And back on a post.

I actually left out several other places where he sat.  Such an obliging little bird.

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