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13 January 2008 @ 07:10 pm
Weekend at home  
It's the end of yet another lazy weekend. I finished the book I was reading, cleaned up the house, did laundry and even had some time to get out for a bit of birding and photography. I headed out to the Shoreline lake in Mountain View this afternoon to catch some sun after a week of stormy weather. There are two trails about half a mile apart from each other - one in Palo Alto called the Charleston Slough and the other in Shoreline lake in Mountain View. I've noticed that the birds - sparrows and ducks - in the Charleston Slough area are very shy and just scoot as soon as they've seen us whereas the birds in the Shoreline lake don't care how close you are to them. Today, the ducks, coots and sparrows were so close that I could really reach out and catch them. It was a little too close for photography but being able to watch them from so close is more fun than photography itself!

This is the boat club at Shoreline Lake in Mountain View.

A male Surf Scoter - looking as comical as ever!

A bunch of male Buffleheads were in attendance today

And the marshes around the corner was being patrolled by this Northern Harrier

An Eared Grebe (in India it is called the Black-necked Grebe)

Margaretrivendweller on January 14th, 2008 05:21 am (UTC)
Beautiful! Breathtaking. Thank you again.
zhenzhizhenzhi on January 14th, 2008 09:09 am (UTC)
wow, that must have been wonderful to be able to get so close! lovely! :-)
velvetinkvelvetink on January 14th, 2008 10:10 am (UTC)
the ducks are wonderful, but wow a harrier in flight! that's great
avinash_kjavinash_kj on January 14th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
Very Nice captures!
(Anonymous) on January 17th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
Pictures are absolutely stunning. Especially the male Buffleheads. Love the color around their neck. I love going to Shoreline for an evening stroll or picnicking. but you are seeing Shoreline in a completely different view than me. How did you get started with birding? Any advice for someone like me who would like to get started.

Yathinyathin on January 17th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Re: Stunning
The best way is to get a Bird Guide and try and identify the birds that you see often. Birds are tricky (Gulls, Sparrows and raptors especially) so it's best to divide and conquer: Once you've got to the bird family, then look at the maps and see if the bird is likely to be in the area during a given time of the year (a lot of birds migrate) and then try and see for features of birds as specified in the book and the one you see/photograph. It's tough for the first couple of months and more often people are wrong than right - but that's the fun part because the learning never stops. Also, joining a bunch of birding mailing lists for the area will help greatly but the best way is to read the book and be on the field. And going with experienced birders at times will help as well. The most popular books for the US birds are the Nat Geo guide or the Sibley Guide.