A mad invasion of the Varied Thrush is now underway across the west. Where did these birds come from? We normally have a few around in the forested areas of the region, but now they are seemingly everywhere. And not just the odd singleton either – birders are seeing flocks of 30, 40, 50 or […]Read more "Thrush Hour"
Well, that was quick. Only 11 hours into 2015 and we’ve got another new bird for the List. May I present to you the Common Goldeneye. We saw this gal in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes. Some of your more interesting birds come with the name prefix “Common”, such as the brilliant and socially-adept Common Raven, or the Common […]Read more "New year, new bird"
My lifetime front/back yard bird list is now at fifty, following today’s sighting of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Not a great picture, but the little guy would just not stop hopping around. That’s basically what they do: non-stop flitting among the branches of shrubs and trees. No doubt the kinglets have been in the backyard previously, […]Read more "A nice round number"
It’s not likely that Mellowcat would have been first in line to see The Interview, but now it appears that Sony has authorized screenings. Without any first-hand knowledge or interest in the movie, all I can say is it better be good. Did you know that Mellowcat used to work in bookstores? Indeed. And at one […]Read more "Let it be said"
Here we go again with Project Feederwatch. It’s another Cornell Bird Lab initiative, where regular people like us record wintertime visitors to our bird feeders. There’s more structure to it than the standard eBird data entry. They want you to watch the feeder on two consecutive days once a week, and note the highest number of […]Read more "FeederWatch"
Here in Mellowcatland we had ourselves quite the rainstorm. A normal good rain is about a quarter of an inch. Half an inch? That’s real good. If we get over an inch, then I call up a StormWatch and bother my close associates all day about it. But this thing yesterday? It was insane. We […]Read more "Will Somebody Please Explain"
We are still getting the daily newspaper here at Mellowcat HQ. I was reading it and noticed an ad for something, and wondered how the newspaper decided to show me this ad based on my prior newspaper reading activity. Of course, that’s not currently possible for the print newspaper, unlike its web counterpart. The print version […]Read more "On the News"
The Drought Monitor map for this week still has most of California in the Exceptional category. Let’s see what we can do about that, shall we? Here’s the precipitation forecast for the 6-10 day window. Not out of the woods yet, but we’re off to a good start.Read more "Weather Maps"
Many years ago, on a visit to Mesa Verde National Park, the Resident Expert got yelled at by a park ranger. If you haven’t been to Mesa Verde, I encourage you to go there. Here’s a picture of the Cliff Palace ruin. This was taken on a guided walk a couple of years ago, and so […]Read more "In Which We Get Yelled At"
Right in time for Thanksgiving, some old friends have flown into town. This past winter I’d noted the absence of the Pine Siskin, following up on something that Bill Tweed had written. We wondered aloud if the ongoing drought had altered the whereabouts of this bird. Well, after going missing for almost two years, the Pine […]Read more "Homecoming"