Early spring 2016 I had been invited to speak at an autonomous car conference where companies such as NVIDIA and Zipcar were represented. The event was located in the Wharf-area so I had just a few hundred yards down to the harbor. The settings where perfect. And as the company inviting me and paying for the stay had booked my return flight on a Sunday it gave me no less than 1 1/2 day of birding and photo opportunity.
Saturday morning I rented a Ford expedition and drove down to half moon bay and then continued up to north side of the bay including a stop at Muir Woods. I had a good colleague and his wife with me so the intensity and concentration on birding was not that high. nevertheless I did spot some nice birds, including a close up meeting with an Anna's Hummingbird.
Sunday morning I installed the Uber app and got myself a cab up to Golden State Park where I had hoped for some good birding as bird had shown many nice birds. The park is really great and I did scan the easter parts of it and go to see for example Townsend's Warbler, Purple Finch as well as Golden-crowned Sparrow.
The harbor in San Francisco was quite empty of birds except the Western Gulls, Mew Gulls and a few Cormorants.
I had an assessment planned in Los Angeles, at our office in Agoura Hills. After the assessment I had to drive back to San Francisco where a colleague of mine should join up. I started up early Saturday morning and chose the scenic highway no 1. What a great highway!
After a few stops with the car I entered the scenic road. Whenever I saw a bird I stopped and tried to get a shot at it. Needless to say, I also caused some inconveniences for the people travling behind me. I did try to behave though, using my blinkers.
On the most wanted list was the California Condor as well as some nice sea birds. I failed all the desired species but got a great day where the most interesting was the California Thrasher..
I arrived to Stanford, San Francisco in the evening happy and with a full SD memory card.
2008 I had the opportunity to be accepted for a conference in Detroit. My paper was presented on a Tuesday and the remainder of the week was free. This was what I knew before I left Sweden. My boss knew I would take a few days off on my own cost.
The years before I went on this trip had resulted in a lot of traveling and thus my collected frequent flyer miles account was well filled. These miles, part of it, I used to book a trip for my friend Mikael. He left Sweden two days later and we decided to meet in Albuquerque in New Mexico.
Five days in the sourthermost parts of USA is as close as optimal bird watching can get in USA. Arizona and New Mexico have several birds that just barely enters USA and thus can offer amazing birds.
We travelled through Bosque del Apache, Gila mountains and the Sky islands as well as Sierra Madres. When we closed the trip we had seen 178 bird species.
I was in Detroit for SAE World Congress, an automotive fair, when I continued to Phoenix for a meeting with my friend Brendan. I had but oneand a half day off and spent that in the Botanical garden in Phoenix and a trip outside Phoenix.
At the time I arrived to Phoenix I had just bought my first IS lens, a 100-400 mm and I was eager to try it out at a place where the light was a little better than Detroit in spring.
The photos are all originally photoed in JPG and during a wonderful afternoon.
Next day I traveled to Buckeye to do some searching for Le Conte's Thrasher. I was lucky to spot it but did not get close to get a picture.
Anyway, the trip to Arizona learnt me that even a few hours away from the office is worth while and memorable.
San Francisco - 2016
California - 2014
Arizona & New Mexico - 2009
Phoenix - 2007
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