Tag Archives: #WorstBirdPic

Lighthouse Sentinel


Lighthouse sentinel
Once for sailors, now wildlife
Whales, seals, sea lions, more!

On July 8, I had the pleasure of touring the Piedras Blancas Light Station along with BLM office newbies and interns. This even counted as work! #LivingTheDream ūüôā

The light station is a focal point of the Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area, one of the special management areas within the Bakersfield Field Office jurisdiction. (This is why it counted for work.)

As BLM-insiders, we had the VIP opportunity of climbing to the top of the lighthouse Рvery windy up there!

On top of the lighthouse
looking stunning in my floppy hat

In the background of the above photo, you can see one of the Piedras Blancas, which translates to “white¬†rocks” in Spanish. The rock acquired its¬†whitish hue from centuries of guano deposits, or in less technical terms: seabird poo.

These large offshore rocks provide excellent refuge to marine animals large and small. While we were at the Light Station, we saw:

Sea lion
sea lions
male elephant seal
multiple male elephant seals – quite the schnoz! (the male elephant seal uses his enlarged nose – or proboscis – in territorial displays)
humpback whale sighting location
we saw a humpback whale out there! whale!!!!!!!!
juvenile humpback whale skeleton
juvenile humpback whale skeleton; the deceased whale washed up on one of the nearby beaches several years ago
a modern day Piedras Blancas painter: the black oystercatcher! it is hard to see but oystercatchers have a fabulous red bill

We also saw sea otters, but I was not able to get a picture this trip. I will definitely be back. For more history of the light station, you can visit piedrasblancas.org.  Рor you can visit me and I will take you there!

I also take pictures of pretty flowers; this is a poppy

Snow Goose Festival

Great blue heron - don't tell me you can't see him! #worstbirdpic

Six plus hours birding.
This is what I have to show.
(Hashtag) Worst Bird Pic

On Sunday, January 25, Laura B. and I¬†“Bird[ed] the Shores of Black Butte Lake” as part of the¬†16th Annual Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway.¬†It was great fun, and I will include a full species list as well as some commentary below, but in this very moment, I would like to celebrate¬†my talent for #WorstBirdPics.

#WorstBirdPic is a legitimate thing, as evidenced by this Buzzfeed (my favorite is #18): 23 of the Worst Photos of Birds.

So with that for a backdrop, I think you will find new appreciation for my opening photo; you can see the great blue heron, right? No?

Let me show you:

He's right here!

He’s right there! #WorstBirdPic

Okay, that one was kind of tough. Let’s try another. Do you see the bird:

Western meadow lark

Hint: it’s a western meadowlark! ….


No? I’ll show you:

Western meadow lark circled

Right there!

I know, I am clearly a prodigy, because I did not practice at all and produced these.

On a more serious note: Birding was terrific! I am so glad we participated in the festival. Below is a full list of the species we saw. Happy birding!

Birders extraordinaire!
Birders extraordinaire!
  1. Western meadowlark
  2. Rock wren
  3. Double-crested cormorant
  4. Gull sp.
  5. Dark-eyed junco
  6. Western grebe
  7. Song sparrow
  8. Goldfinch sp.
  9. American kestrel
  10. Loggerhead shrike
  11. Killdeer
  12. Black phoebe
  13. American coot
  14. Bufflehead
  15. Common goldeneye
  16. Ruddy duck
  17. Acorn woodpecker
  18. Northern flicker
  19. Nuttall’s woodpecker
  20. Mallard
  21. Turkey vulture
  22. Great egret
  23. Great blue heron
  24. Common merganser
  25. Northern harrier
  26. Red-tailed hawk
  27. Western bluebird
  28. Say’s phoebe
  29. Kinglet
  30. American robin
  31. Glaucous-winged gull
  32. California towhee
  33. Spotted towhee
  34. Golden-crowned sparrow
  35. Western scrub-jay
  36. Mourning dove
  37. Yellow-billed magpie
  38. White-crowned sparrow
  39. Lewis’s woodpecker
  40. White-tailed kite
  41. Ring-necked pheasant
  42. Red-shouldered hawk

Oh, and there was a delicious post-birding trip to the Sierra Nevada Taproom. Yum! Yum!

Sierra Nevada