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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Busy day in the Bay Area

Had a lovely day that as always has an extra early start at 5:30 AM, driving to the Bay Area . Every 6 weeks or so, the drive is repeated as I head to Emeryville for my Sister Locks hair appointment. Love my 'Locktician'. She is absolutely the most professional, friendly and on-time lady I've ever had the pleasure to work with. You ROCK Adrian!

I hit Emeryville at 7AM and as my hair appointments are an hour later so I park at the Emeryville beach park where I bird & drink coffee. Being fall, there were loads of 'the usual suspects' hanging in the bay, Lesser Scaups, Sanderlings, gulls, Buffleheads by the score and even a salt water loving Snowy Egret.  After birding and posting my oh-so-important findings to eBird via iPhone, I drive the half mile to my hair appointment.

After my appointment this morning, I drove into Berkeley to visit with fellow Hen, Robbie. She and I went to a cute little cafe for a late breakfast/early lunch.

Following lunch with Robbie I decided, on a whim, to visit a tiny garden, where a month ago, I was able to see a vagrant Painted Redstart. These little birds are found in southern Arizona and New Mexico, but one valiant bird somehow managed to find its way to Berkeley. For some reason the bird has frequented one big ole tree in one tiny yard. The bird took only two minutes to pop up in the tree and I immediately fumed at myself for not having brought along my long lens camera. The tree is now devoid of leaves so the photo opts are that much better than last month when the big challenge was photographing the hyperactive bird as it dashed in and out of leaf cover. 

 Here is the the 'best' shots I managed in December. It is not in focus, but this sparkling bird is easily identified with its jet feathering, white accents and shamelessly scarlet belly. Am toying with returning to the site to try getting a few more photos - next time with a bit more focus.

Berkeley's Painted Redstart
Looking for its breakfast under the tree bark
Lovely flaming birdie belly

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