We had a very busy birding year with Bob going daily to Morro Rock showing hundreds of visitors the Peregrine Falcons, a Burrowing Owl and many other birds. Heather went out eBirding keeping Checklists for Cornell most days and is up to 277 species in the San Luis Obispo County so far. I also went on a Pelagic Trip. Photos from top left down: Peregrine Falcon, Burrowing Owl, Bob, Pigeon Guillemot, Blue Grosbeak, Western Gull, Black-crowned Night Heron, Nuptials’s Woodpecker, Black Oystercatcher, Heather, Black-footed Albatross, American Avocet.
It’s been a very long time, but I haven’t forgotten you. I’ve been out doing lots of birding.
Recently, I took an in person DMV Mature Driver Improvement Course. It took eight classroom hours spread over two days. I thought it would be a good idea as I am 79 now and should be aware of the new rules and suggestions on how to be in good condition for driving. They also offer a 10% discount on car insurance once the course is completed. That will be good for 3 years. I rather like that very much!
Part of the course gave us a list of questions to respond to. The list of things that I had to complete were just three. Get an eye exam, go for a hearing test and buy new tires. All important things to take care of as I aim for my 80th birthday on 27 September 2022.
First, the eye exam pointed out that the capsule that holds my IOL lens had become cloudy. I sort of noticed it, but needed guidance. So I made an appointment to have a laser surgical procedure, capsulotomy, to open up the viewing area. Easily done quickly. So that is handled!
Second, I had driven down Main Street in Morro Bay passing the hearing aid center which always has a sign outstaying FREE hearing test, so I made an appointment and went in. A year ago my son, Adam, said I missed hearing something Livia, my granddaughter, had said. Also, when out eBirding with friends, some said they heard birds that I was missing. Hearing loss can be rather sneaky. It’s so gradual. My hearing test pointed out that I had a high frequency hearing loss in the mild to moderate range. Not a problem when I found out that a pair of Oticon hearing aids solved the problem. I consider the devices just like getting a pair of reading glasses, but at a steeper cost. Medicare doesn’t pay for them! But, I am a saver and shelled out for them. Now I hear the birds fully, the crickets at night, the rain, and voices more crisply. How nice! I also, found a YouTube site by Dr. Cliff to be highly informative when new to hearing aids! So that was handled!
Third, on to my last job… get new tires. Easy, since all I had to do was go to Hinson’s in Morro Bay and get and estimate and have them ordered . That’s handled.
So back to life and eBirding. I am up to 261 birds seen this year having learned many new birds that I’d never seen before. Feel free to guess how many birds I’ll have by the end of 2022. The correct guess will receive one of my eBird photos!
A Ruff was the most exotic bird that I saw. Using Cornell’s “Birds of the World”, I found out it is much more showy when breeding in Finnmark, Norway. Oh! how I’d love to see it in breeding plumage!
So while it has taken time to get my three jobs handled while going out eBirding almost daily, I now have more jobs to do like the front and back yard clean ups. Perpetual in California!
Thought you’d like some artwork instead of my opinions. You’ll get both in case you were wondering.
My father gave me a Peterson’s Bird Book when I was around 8 or 9 years old. It had a colorful bird, a Painted Bunting, on the cover. Always wanted to see one. It took me years and many miles of travel to find one! Another time, I gave my Banma gift of a painting of a Ruddy Duck. I loved the duck because it had a bright blue bill.
Lately, I’ve been involved with eBirding. Don’t know what that is? It’s a way to become involved with Cornell Lab of Ornithology by recording the birds seen. An app in my iPhone calledeBird is where I record my checklist, then at the end of my day submit it to Cornell University which has local reviewer to make sure I’m doing my job correctly. Very satisfying since it makes thousands of birds available to researchers who are studying climate change along with other fields of study that will impact us over the years.
Maybe you’ve noticed the tragedies in the past few days, months and past years that involve so many of us. The wildfires in California, the extremely damaging hurricanes that have roared up the east coast USA, the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected our planet. Tampering with our given natural conditions has created the conditions to spin off all sorts of positive and negative situations.
Be a wise person and consider the consequences.
Until the next sketch, peace, get the vaccine and be well, Heather
P.S. If you are local and want to draw birds, please contact me.