Monday, February 15, 2010

It's Chum to say Goodbye

Cynthia and I were planning to donate tons (it seemed like) of birding books and magazines to the Sea and Sage Audubon Center at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine. I thought that that would be a good opportunity to say goodbye to our two best birding buddies, both of whom are frequent visitors to that area.

At our appointed time of 9 am, Pat Thelen (whom I have been advising on choosing camera gears and encouraging to go deeper into birding) and Tom Starcic (whom I have birded with several times and is a fellow bird photographer) were already there to meet us. In the relatively short time that my wife and I have befriended this two very nice gentlemen, we have formed some sort of a kindred spirit with them and it is with a certain sadness that we have to say our goodbyes to them. We will be retiring to our native Philippines next month, hence the farewells.

Then there were the birds. It wasn't particularly very birdy that morning, still we were able to see a Downy Woodpecker - the first time we've seen it at San Joaquin, I think.

Spring must be near (although it doesn't feel like it) because Tree Swallows were already checking out possible nesting sites.

From San Joaquin, we did a drive by at Upper Newport Bay and got a Green-winged Teal standing on land (we always see them swimming.)

Continuing at Bolsa Chica, we witnessed a feeding frenzy of a group of (we counted nine) Red-breasted Mergansers - much to the consternation of the Snowy Egrets nearby and the Forster's Terns hovering overhead.

It had been a while since we last visited these places and as we were having lunch we reminisced of the wonderful times we have had birding Orange County and the lovely people we have met along the way. We will certainly miss them and we will miss the birds of that small patch in Southern California. But we will come back someday and experience once more these wonderful soon-to-be memories.

For other exciting birding blogs and photographs, please visit:


Lana Gramlich said...

I know the sadness of moving away, but I'm sure you'll enjoy your retirement & all of the joys of exploring & learning about a whole new area. Thanks for sharing your lovely bird photos!

Felicia said...

I know how hard it is to say goodbye to all the good birding spots in OC; I miss them still! But think of all the great tropical birds you'll be getting in the Philippines. Hard to imagine you two being so far away, though. Come back and visit often!

Larry said...

Great shots Bob. I really like the wing flapping Merganser!

I hope you are going to keep blogging from the Philippines. I would love to see the different bird species there.

Bob Kaufman said...

Thanks Lana, Felicia and Larry! We will come back for sure - my kids are still here in California. And I will definitely continue blogging our birding adventures in the Philippines.

Maria Berg said...

All those wounderful birds I hape to see some more this year. MB

eileeninmd said...

Looks like a great way to spend the day birding and enjoying your friends. I am happy to read that you will still be blogging from your new home in the Philippines. It will be neat to see all the cool birds.

Rob Ripma said...

Great shots! Can't wait to read about your birding in the Philippines!

mick said...

Sounds like a very nice day with friends and good bird photos too. Very nice also that you were able to visit familiar birding spots again.

Johnny Nutcase said...

Glad you'll still keep up the blog when you move back!
You've got some great photos here - love the chatty swallow and the last one!
I hope packing isn't too much of a pain (always seems to be for me!)

NatureFootstep said...

the end of one thing is the beginning of another. I hope you stay around on the blog.