Peaks and Valleys.
The least birdy Fall in recent Farallon history. Every once in a while, the Shit Times were punctuated by times of great Joy and Prosperity. The first moment of joy came on my little sister's birthday, Sep 29th (Happy Birthday Kayla) in the form of a Vireo that was Yellow and Green. This is of course impossible. Any Globally Ranked Birder knows this species is found only in South Texas. I wonder if South Texans know about Crushing. This one certainly does now:
|Pretty Clay-colored Sparrows like this are very easy to separate from Brewer's Sparrows, but we often get birds that are exceedingly tricky. Thank god for simple, straightforward Crushed Sparrows like this one.|
|Check out the hallux on this bad boy. He's probably gutted hundreds of prospective Crushers. I wasn't scared. Crushed him anyway.|
|This is the prettiest Lapland Longspur I've seen on the Farallones. He was nearly blown over by the gale-force winds, and I took his brief moment of helplessness to deliver this Crushing blow. The bird sustained the most devastating Crushing on his left primaries, with substantial Crushing also occurring on the rump and median coverts. The bird is currently in critical condition, probably in a plowed field somewhere along coastal California.|
|Northern Elephant Seal, right fore-flipper. As you can see from the flatness of the flipper, this seal was Crushed so badly, that a salve of orange stuff was applied for speedier healing. Just kidding. It's seal shit.|
And then, just like that, the Vireo flew away and we were in for a long, low valley (shit times). There was a small peak of Joy two days later when a very special Crane appeared, and then we had to wait until October 4th for more Prosperity, but I will save that story for when we meet again.