Thursday, December 21, 2017

The 10000 Bird version of the story...

Here is the version of our story, that I posted on 10000 Birds

Back to blogging, and a catch up!

I know I have been absent fr way to long, but things have been a bit crazy. We have sold our business, La Paz Cruisers Supply, then we sold our only home of the last 16 + years, Eagle our Freeport Islander sailboat, Now it is time to go traveling. I have been asked several times as to what we are going to do, so rather than type it over and over, and typed up the brief itinerary, and saved it, so here is what's going on!

I don't know how much you have heard thru the grape vine, but there are some big changes going on down here in La Paz, Mexico. Rich and Lori Boren, SV Third Day, the owners of Cruise RO Water and Technautics Cool Blue Refrigeration have agreed to buy our business, effective February 1st. Well stay on until that point, and have been training them in all the idiosyncrasies of the Mexican Government, banking and tax situation!

And....just yesterday, we signed papers to sell our boat! After 18 years, full time live aboard, we are moving ashore. The check has not cleared the bank yet, but we aren't too worried. There are a few tears, and a few lingering smiles from anchorages past...and mostly of the great friends we have made along the journey

We have bought a really BIG truck, as in Ford 350, Super Duty, 4 door, long bed, turbo order to pull our 32 foot 5th wheel. Our plan is to continue with our private bird tour company, here in La Paz during the winter months, and travel during the summer in the northern climes.

But....some of that will be interrupted this year with a different sort of plan. We will drive our new rig north to Seattle starting on Feb. 5th, put it is storage up in the Seattle area, and then board an airplane to New Zealand on Feb 28th. Arriving in Christchurch, we will pick up a motor home for two months, spending the first month on the south Island, and then the second month on the north Island, this to include a service to spread Jeanne's mother’s ashes on the beach near the home and property that they owned for many years.

But wait there is more....We figured if we are this close to Australia, why not just pop by for a month or so? We land in Melbourne, spend a few days there, then fly to Alice Springs, pick up a motorhome for a week to explore the Ayers Rock and surrounding area. Then we fly to Sydney for a few days, then fly to Cairns, pick up a motor home to explore that area for a week. We then fly to Darwin, pick up a motorhome, and explore that area for a week. We then fly to Perth, and explore from hotels and a rental car for 5 days.

By now we are just having way too much fun to go home, so one of our customers is giving us use of his 4 bedroom home on the border of Kruger National Park, in South Africa for 18 days! We fly to Johannesburg, then drive to the house. Lions, Tigers, Hippos, and Giraffes! After the stay there, we drive back to Jo'burg, and fly to Cape Town to explore for a week.

Then, we fly to Doha for a couple of night to visit with some old cruiser friends that are living there, before flying on to Edinburgh, Scotland. We pick up a motor home there for three weeks of exploring and driving the Highlands and the North Coast 500. Highland games, Loch Ness Monster, Highland Games and good scotch, I have no doubt we will find something there to like!

Finally we have to start heading back towards home, but we are giving ourselves 9 days of exploring to drive the 380 miles from Edinburgh to London. From London, we fly to Seattle, to complete our circumnavigation!

Once we get back to Seattle, late part of July, we will pick up the truck and 5th wheel and wander...not sure where or when, or how fast, but probably end up back in Mexico at some point! There will be a few weeks visiting family in Oregon as well. We have an awful lot of great friends from this boating life, that have invited us to “Stop By” as we meander around, so there will a lot of mini-reunions.

Like always, we are hardly ever bored! Jeanne will be starting a new blog (as yet to be named, or located)  to cover our travels, and I will activate my old bird blog  RamblingsOfTheBirdNerd  so I can keep all the birders updated on the birds I find on the trip...

So, I am going to make every effort to use this blog as my everything source of information. I will continue to write for10000 Birds, but that will just cover the birds, while there will be a little more detail about the areas, and the people. I hope you will follow along, and lets see how much fun we can have!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bird behavior on 10000 Birds

I posted a fun story on some interesting bird activities in this weeks story on 10000 Birds. Check it out!


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cedar Waxings revisited

During my trip up to Seattle, mid July, I got to visit a small swampy area near Jeanne's parents house, that was home to some of the very beautiful Cedar Waxwings. I am sure they are nesting in the area, but was not able to ever locate it.

Here are a couple of images I was able to get while visiting.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I love babies!

On our weekend trip to Cabo Pulmo, I got to watch a pair of Hooded Orioles feed their newly born babies!  It was a great morning, just sitting there, watching babies!

Friday, July 21, 2017

I bird......

I recently saw a line, by a fellow writer at 10000 that caught my eye...I know it is nothing new and a play on previous usage, but I am going to do likewise. "I bird, Therefore I am" While Birding is something that is very important to me, and becoming much more so in the last few years, it, or at least I try to not let it, consume me. And nobody knows better than me, how someone with a personality like mine can easily become obsessed.

Up to this point in my life, I have merely enjoyed birds...watching them, reading and learning about them, and especially photographing them, it just gives me joy! Now, I get to pass that along with my guiding, showing newbies and veterans alike the birds that inhabit the southern half of the Baja.

With all this newly built energy going into my birding, comes "The Numbers"...if you have seen the movie "The Big Year" you will understand completely. How many species of birds have you seen in a day, a week, a month, a year, and of course the biggie...The Life List!

In the last few years, with the increase in computer technology, birding has seen some amazing up ticks in interest, as well as learning and information sharing. There is no doubt in my mind, but the greatest tracking and information site ever is This site allows you to submit every one of your observations, daily, and that information is then used by world class ornithologists around the world. They learn about population densities, growth and decline. They have an amazing tool for tracking migratory patterns and timing....the information found there is mind boggling to any bird nut like myself. It does not matter if you are occasional bird watcher, or someone who travels the world for the express purpose of finding new birds to add the that Life List, I firmly believe that you should register on eBird, and submit your observations. If you need help getting started, feel free to drop me a not at my email and I will make sure you know all the ins and outs.

......and just so you know what started all this soap box tirade, was for the first time in my life, or at least the last few years that I have been watching, I have managed to see over 200 birds species in one year. The best part is I still have nearly half a year to go! I have copied and pasted my personal page from eBird, so you will get a look at the current numbers since I started with eBird.

keep looking in the trees, bushes and to the skies! Birds are all around, enjoy them!

My eBird

Manage your personal lists, observations, locations, and account settings.

Your Life List: 346 Species

Your Stats
Total Species34620185
Total Checklists100686
ABA Area Total Ticks 2806742

Your Lists 
Western Hemisphere34620185
Eastern Hemisphere000
North America34620185
South America000
Central America000
West Indies000
AOU Area34620185
ABA Area2126742
USA Lower 481786742
Western Palearctic000

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cabo Pulmo Weekend

Jeanne and I escaped for the weekend, to get a little "us" time after the death of her Mother, and being away for nearly 5 weeks to Seattle. We spent three days, doing absolutely NOTHING. I sat on the porch area of the little casita we rented, napped, visited with Jeanne and shot some bird photos. Part of that I used as a basis for my story on You can check out the link here Cabo Pulmo Weekend Birds. It has some fun shots of the bird bath activities we got to watch.

If you get a chance, check out the whole story!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cedar Waxwings

When I moved to Eugene, Oregon, to go to college, I ran across a new bird that I had never seen before. Cedar Waxwings, which I thought to be one of the most beautiful birds I had ever seen. Cedar Waxwings came and went thru my aging to adulthood, but they never failed to impress me. Once we moved to the arid desert of La Paz, Mexico, these wonderful birds were no more. On my recent trip to Seattle to visit with my ailing mother-in-law, if found a small group, all be it, a shy group, of Cedar Waxwings. I was hand holding my camera, so the images were quite difficult to get, and they did not venture out of the brush much but I did manage to get a couple nice shots!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Spotted Towhees for Mom

My Mother-in-law, Linda Shaw is going through a rough time right now with some serious health issues, so I am dedicating this posting to her. She has a favorite bird that frequents her back yard. So, here are a couple of Spotted Towhees. This is just for you Mom......I love you!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Gila Woodpecker and her nest

I am going to send out several new posts getting everybody caught up on our travel and birds from the last 30 days! Despite injuries, family emergencies, and etc we have managed to find some great birds.. A few rare ones, a couple of lifers, ands some really fun photos!

Outside the small agricultural area of Aqua Caliente, I found this great Gila Woodpecker nest. It was flying back and forth with these translucent white seeds.. I have not been able to figure out what they are yet but is makes for a great photo!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A new bird website

Hello all....sorry for the prolonged absence, but things are starting to settle down now. Despite all the activity in our lives, the one big news is that the web site for Focus On Feathers is finassllly (Well mostly) complete!! I still want to upgrade a few of the photos, but if you get a chance, take a look at let me know what you think.

Link to FOF website

Thanks everybody..


Sunday, May 7, 2017

I have a bad wing!

After our very nice visit to the Sierra De La Laguna Biosphere, and dinner, I woke up in the middle of the night, with some pretty intense pain in my right wrist. To make a long story short, I have no idea what I did, spent Sunday morning in the emergency room getting a cast, for torn\pulled\damaged ligaments in that wrist. I would like to point out that I am VERY right handed, so life has been just a whole lot harder than I could have ever thought. No driving, can barely type, working a computer mouse is a real challenge, and so far no photography!!

This is a shot of the valley floor from the ridge where we parked the truck. We hiked down in the valley to explore.

I did manage to see my first Baja Golden Eagles before all this injury stupidity started, along with a brand new Lifer for me!!  Cassin's Vireos, were found in a very old stand of Red Oaks above 2000 feet in the Biosphere. They hung around for me to get a few decent shots.

Once we are a little more healed up, we will head back to the Biosphere to continue our exploration!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Weekend Road trip

Our drive up to Santa Rosalia this last weekend ended up with a nice surprise. Read about it on

Thanks everybody!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Well, dang it.....I got all those pictures and stories posted, when I realized I total forgot to talk about the more rare of the shorebirds that we get to see here on the Baja....the Wandering Tattler! This is one of the larger birds that are on the Pacific side of the Baja, but I rarely ever see more than one or two a year. I would love to photograph one in its breeding plumage, but unfortunately, they will have migrated north before we get to enjoy the strongly barred breast coloration that they acquire.

So, here is what they look like when we get to see them.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Conquista Agraria inland birds

I have covered many of the birds that we find on the beach at Conquista Agraria, but the landscape changes pretty dramatically by just going a 100 yards inland. We trade white sand, and mollusk cover rocky points for cactus, thorny shrubs and short desert grasses.

One bird that could be considered a transition birds would be the Osprey. While is lives on the dry land side of things, it lives completely on fish, so much of time we see them, they are hovering above the water fishing, as it were. They then return to the desert, and their favorite cactus, in order to dine on fresh fish.

Crested Cara cara's are a beautiful bird of prey, that while they have been known to eat a lizard, or mouse, tend to eat carrion more often then not. I guess they trade quality of the meal for ease of catching it.

When you move up into the brushy arroyos, that many of the birds gather in, both for protection, as well as increased food supply, then tend to get smaller as well. This one particular arroyo has been a real boom for me, with a larger number of species there.

I counted 26 California Quail one evening.

One of the most beautiful desert birds of all time, in my opinion, is the Green-tailed Towhee!  They tend to stay down in the thick brush, so to get a shot like this, I was absolutely thrilled!

There are always a lot of the tiny little California Gnatcatchers...

One of the biggest surprises for me was when this lovely little White-crowned Sparrow showed up!

There are several different desert sparrows, but this Savannah Sparrow could be called a transitional bird as well, as it was found up in the scrub, and then an hour later, down grabbing bugs along the rocky ocean shore!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Small peeps from the coast!

By now you know that we have been spending some of our quality bird time over with the migrating shorebirds, on the Pacific side of the Baja. I have covered some of the larger birds that we saw, so today I will cover the smaller birds, or "peeps" as they sometimes are referred to.

My all time favorite peep has to be the Snowy Plover. With the bird on the endangered, or threatened species list, depending on the location you find the birds in, it is always fun to see them, and get some nice photos.

We don't get to see Western Sandpipers over on the Sea of Cortez side very often, so it is fun to see this beautiful bird, even if it is pretty common through out the world

One of the more common peeps all over North America is the Semi-palmated Plover, but does not make them any less fun to photograph!

If you were to count the peeps on the Pacific Coast, I would have to think that the Sanderling would be a large number ahead of all the others! Here in Mexico is no different, as wee see flocks of 50 to 75 birds quite often.

For tomorrows blog, we will move a couple of hundred yards in shore and cover some of the desert birds that live close to water!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Catching up...and some shorebirds

Ahh, I guess I could write in here all about the things that have been going on in our lives that have pulled me away from the blog, but you probably don't care! Suffice it to say, there are a lot of changes going on right now. The next adventure in Jeanne and my life is starting to take form. We have sold the Durango, and bought a new (to us) Ford 350 diesel 4x4. This is to haul the new 5th wheel that we are going to buy, more on that after this weekend. Our little desert trailer, Casa Poquita is now for sale, and soon the boat will be as well. We have found partners to take over the Marine Business, to be finalized about this time next year. So, then it will be all about the birds!!  I will begin doing guided bird tours full time, and in the off season, we will travel to where the birds are!

So now you know what I have been up too, but there still has been some time for finding a bird or two!! We have been over to the Pacific Coast side of the Baja several times as the shorebirds are migrating thru, and changing into their breeding plumages. This has become one of our favorite "beach" campsites!

There were pretty large numbers of Surfbirds.....

The Ruddy Turnstones were just starting to get their breed colors..

And the Black-bellied Plovers don't quite have the black bellies yet either!

Hopefully, things are starting to settle down a bit and I can go back to shooting birds (with a camera) and keep up with my writing!!