Wednesday, April 27, 2016

10,000 Birds story on a local gull

For those of you following along with my writing ventures, there will be a new story from me posted every Wednesday. Todays was a story about a unique gull that is here in La Paz, Mexico. The facts and photos of the Heermann's Gull are all covered in this story!!

Take a look and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

White Ibis on the water front

Here along the La Paz water front, the amount of bird species that can be viewed by just walking along the sidewalk is pretty amazing. I am up to 67 species so far!!

Yesterday, there was a small group of White Ibis, that were feeding on small crabs in the shallows. They made for great photography models!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Down at waters edge...a new bird!!

Been a lot of actual  work going on around here, so Sunday was my only day out birding. But what a great day to turned out to be!!

I was able to not only see, but photograph my very first Mangrove Warbler! These little birds move thru the mangroves around salt waters edge, rarely ever stopping to be photographed!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

catching up part #2

In the second part of my "where the heck has Tom been" blog post, it will cover our mini vacation over to the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja. Conquista Agraria is a very remote stretch of beach, mostly know by surfers as it has a decent break, in one small section. For me it has a great group of shore birds, many of which, are now going into their seasonal, or breeding plumage. This that time of year when drab, plain birds all put on their best and brightest colors, in an effort to attract a mate.

There usually are a few of the local desert birds, Gnat-catchers, White-wing & Ground Doves, Kestrels, and Cactus Wrens, just to name a few.

The bulk of my interst in this area, was the large numbers of Black-bellied Plovers last time we were there. I do not have a good set of photos for them in full breeding plumage. As you can see here, there were not quite ready for the photo session I had planned. Still not the solid black bellys they are named for! But getting close, guess we will just have to go back!

The spotted Sandpipers were very ready for their photos to be taken!  They had nicely spotted breasts, something that is missing the bulk of the year!

The other fun thing about the seasonal plumage changes occurs in a few of the gulls. At least three species in this area, change from nearly all white, to having solid black heads. The Laughing, Franklins, and Bonaparte's Gulls all go thru this. I was able to get two of the three this last week.

The very uncommon Franklins, can be identified by the very heavy white eye arcs, and the very larger white spots, caused by the tips of the primary feathers in the wings. You can see these here.....

Now you can compare the Laughing Gull with the much smaller eye arcs, and very small white spots on the tail from the primaries

If I get a chance to capture the Bonaparte's in the next week, I will post it as well so you can compare, but for now, know that the Bonaparte's have no white on the primaries, and little or no white around the eye.

Thanks for stopping by!!


A woodpecker story on 10,000 Birds

I would like to invite you to drop by 10,000 Birds and read my story on the Acorn Woodpeckers of Baja. I will be adding a story weekly to their website, so you can book mark this site if you are interested in all thing Bird!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

YIKES!! The time does fly!

When I stated this blog, I promised myself that I would get something on here at least twice a week. I just looked up an 9 days had passed. Yes I have been working, and yes I have been doing some now weekly writing for a couple of international websites, but this still has to be a priority, as this is mine, and only mine!

So, what I have I been up to, well, as you might guess, I have been out with the birds a few times!

First there was the Green Heron, that has learned to fish with bread! I am still trying to get a movie, but the Readers Digest version is that right in front of the marina restaurant, customers throw bread in to the fish. The heron will grab a piece of bread, and then hold it right in front of him, floating in the water. When the fish come to eat the bread, they in turn get eaten! If the bread floats too far away, it will pull it back and wait.

Here it is with the bread......

Now gently put it in the water....

Wait for it...wait for it......

Got it!   lunch is served!!

....and down the hatch it goes. Now lets go get another one!!

To be continued tomorrow!!   I promise!!


Sunday, April 10, 2016

So many little time! Rancho Maria

Actually, this time of year, the business starts to slow down, most of our customers all leave, in order to escape the brutal Mexican Heat! So far, nobody got that memo!!   I have been swamped with boat repairs, especially water maker stuff!

One of our local boaters, has a wonder wife, Maria, who was born near here in Mexico, has a huge family rancho. This land butts up against the Sierra De La Laguna biosphere. On Saturday, they were nice enough to take us over and give us a tour!

I have been looking for a certain bird ( the Endemic San Lucas Robin) and hoped this might be the place I track one down. No luck there but we had a great time, and saw a few birds!

This photo shows the oldest home in the area, this is where Maria's Mom and Dad lived, To get there was well over an hour's drive on dirt roads, part of which required some of my best 4x4 driving skills!

At some point in the near future, I will post a complete story on the Biosphere!

This local Gray Thrasher was just singing away!!

The second of the endemic species for the day was the Xantus Hummingbirds.


Here is a beautiful Ash-throated Flycatcher...

I spotted this Lazuli Bunting on our way up the road!!

This female American Kestrel had her mate there when I started to take the picture, but then he got shy!!

This is a unique bird for me. The Large-billed Sparrow. You can see why. There is some discussion as to whether this is just a sub-species of the Savannah Sparroiw, of which we already have two other sub-species

This Western Scrub-jay was very happy to just sit there and be photographed!

Monday, April 4, 2016

It's close out time!!

               Calendar Clearance Time!!

April 1st has come and gone, and unfortunately, I still have some calendars left over! I have a few here in Mexico and a few left up the in the good old USA.

So, if you or a friend is looking for  new calendar, or if you need an inexpensive gift for a friend, don't hesitate to drop me a line and I can get one, or even two on their way to you! It really isn't all that for off, just three months, and you can always go back and look at those birds anytime you want to!!

I am marking the calendars down to $8.00 plus $2.00 shipping & Handling

You can contact me here or send a note to :

Some of the birds featured include the Vermillion Flycatcher:

The Northern Cardinal

The American Kestrel

And the Yellow Warbler!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Black Crowned Night Heron

I so vividly remember, nearly 6 years ago, when we were sailing down from Seattle, heading for the warm sunny waters of Mexico. I was looking forward to all the new birds I was going to find, and in fact had already found several for my life list before we reached San Francisco.

After an exhausting 5 days of sailing, with the 4th day being the closest thing to Hell on water, we pulled in to Yreka, California. To say we were wiped out, would be one of the larger understatements of that particular decade. Despite the fatigue, the one memory that flashes back from that brief respite in a marina, was just as dark was upon very first Black-crowned Night Heron swooped down into the marina and landed on the bow of our Sailboat.

Now, after spending several years here in La Paz, Mexico, these herons that I was so excited to see, have actually become a bit of as pain in the butt! Their affinity for roosting on boats was fun when it was just one night. When you are paid to maintain your customers boats, in a clean, heron-poop free condition, roosting Night Herons become less of a favorite.

In all honesty, they are a beautiful bird, and I do still smile when I see the young heron, that was born right here on the edge of the Marina, now in it's full, mature plumage! So, I guess I will keep the hose, brush and soap ready, because I just enjoy seeing them to much to try to drive them away!

These next two photos are our local Baby...all grown up!

Hummmm....Ok, now get off there!!

Now you know it has to be pretty darn hot for the local Night Herons, to just plop down in the water and sit there!! I can not say I have ever seen this before! This is not the best of photos and he was a long ways away, but I  really wanted this shot!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Gray Thrasher story

I got some fun news this afternoon, I have been accepted as a weekly writer for the international bird site My second story posted today, discussing the local endemic species, the Gray Thrasher.

If you would like to visit that site, and have a look at my story you can go to