Growing increasingly annoyed with how difficult it is to get up-to-date information about the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. There seems to be a near black-out of coverage.... any guesses as to why?


I woke up this morning to the sound of Wilson's Warbler a few feet from our window. Blurry-eyed and coffee-less, I peeked out and saw him singing in one of our orange trees. A moment later, he shot off across the trellis and out of sight, a brilliant streak of yellow and green.


The following images were taken with my iPhone on our scouting trip to Kern River Valley and surrounding areas, but then converted to black and white. I like the luminous quality of these images. It's partly because of the low resolution of the iPhone camera, and partly because of a diffuse glow in Photoshop. Even if it's artificial, it captures the feeligns I had when we were there...


We did some birding around Inyokern on our way home from KRV. Added Costa's Hummingbird, Sage Sparrow (nevadadensis), Verdin and Le Conte's Thrasher. Remind me to tell you how amazing it is to see a family of LeConte's Thrashers for an extended, unobstructed view for several minutes. About 8-feet away!


Very rainy, chilly today and windy at times. Despite this unfortunate combination, Cricket and I continued scouting loctions for Lesser Nighthawk and Common Poorwill in KRV. Only new bird for today was Yellow-headed Blackbird in a colony of Tricolored Blackbirds.


Windy and cool in KRV. Today we added FOS Ash-throated Flycatcher along Kelso Valley Rd, and more Black-throated Sparrows, this time up close and singing! Most exciting bird was a male Scott's Oriole on Chimney Peak Backcountry Byway! I forgot to mention how cool it is to see, hear and compare Nuttal's and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers to eachother in less than an hour. Yet another reason why KRV is so great! Tomorrow exploring North Fork KRV and possible Black-chinned Sparrow habitat. Rain might make birding tough, but we can identify locations to come back to.


Scouted KRV today with Bob Barnes as our guide. Visited Sawmill Rd, Kelso Valley Rd, Canebrake Crk, Chimney Peak byway and campground, and KR preserve. Highlights next post... KRV Highlights Between yesterday and today: Canyon Wren, American Dipper, Black-throated Sparrow, Cactus Wren, Swainson's Hawk, Lawrence's Goldfinch, Black-chinned Hummingbird. Many stake-out spots for June target species...


Lunch hour at Matadero Creek Trail beginning from Frontage Road, the wind kept most Passerines down, but I did find a Song Sparrow nest, and several Northern Rough-winged Swallows foraging among the Tree, Cliff and Barn Swallows. Most interesting sighting was an Osprey carrying a large fish over the pond while being chased by a Red-tailed Hawk. Last I saw, the Osprey fled over Hwy 101 toward Midtown.


I made an Oriole run during lunch at the end of Geng Road in Palo Alto. Both Hooded and Bullock's Orioles were located near the softball fields, as well as an unexpected Western Kingbird. Very few Zonotrichias in evidence, and the one or two Yellow-rumped Warblers were looking fine and singing well.