My high school classmate and friend, Arcadio Estanislao, recently moved to Carlsbad, California. We had the opportunity to visit him and his wife, Nori, at their beautiful new home. After treating us to a hearty lunch at Fish House, Arcadio was kind enough to take us to nearby Batiquito Lagoon for some birding. Unfortunately, the lagoon itself was quite a distance from the parking area and would require some trekking - something we didn't really want to do under a fierce afternoon sun. Fortunately, I saw a raptor hovering within camera distance. That could only be a White-tailed Kite, I told my wife. A personal favorite, and a species I haven't seen (much less photograph) in quite some time.
Then it was time to say goodbye to our gracious hosts. On our way home, we stopped by Starbucks for some ice-blended coffee. While Cynthia and my son, Kurt, were buying the java, I was out photographing the Brewer's Blackbirds that had grown so used to human presence that I could almost touch them.
Although we didn't see a lot of birds (after all this was a social and not a birding trip), I was still grateful that I had black-and-white photographs of two species that I needed for my American bird collection.