Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Birding at Manzanita Creek ☼ Lassen Volcanic National Park

birding blog

We enjoyed a wonderful hike along Manzanita Creek in Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Some of the birds we saw included Western Tanager, Pacific WrenDark-eyed Junco, and a Rufous Hummingbird...

northern california birding photography blog

northern california birding

For more about my hiking adventures, visit my travel blog Vaughn the Road Again!

northern california birding photography blog

Let's go birding!
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Sunday, July 28, 2019

My Best Hawk Photography (so far!)

I finally put together a video of all my favorite hawk photos!

No matter how many times I see hawks in nature, I'm still fascinated by their fierce gazes and beautiful feathers...

Let's go birding!
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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Winter Wren ☼ Paradise Meadow Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park bird photography blog
Paradise Meadow Trail

Sometimes it's not about getting a fabulous photo of a bird, it's about stopping to listen to its happy song...

Let's go birding!
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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Birding at Manzanita Lake ☼ Lassen Volcanic National Park

The trail around Manzanita Lake is one of the easiest and most pleasant walks in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Every step offers gorgeous views and wonderful birding opportunities!

Lassen Volcanic National Park
Mountain Chickadee

Birds we've spotted around the lake that I put in today's video include: Dark-eyed Junco, Bald Eagle, American Robin, Mountain Chickadee, American Dipper, Evening Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Steller's Jay, Townsend's Solitaire, Bufflehead, White-headed Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Common Loon, Pacific Wren, and Brown Creeper.

Lassen Volcanic National Park California birding hotspot
Townsend's Solitaire

So let's take a walk around beautiful Manzanita Lake and have a look at some mountain birds in northern California...

Let's go birding!
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

American Dipper ☼ Hat Creek, Lassen Volcanic National Park birding photography blog

Spotted this cute little American Dipper in Hat Creek next to Paradise Meadow in Lassen Volcanic National Park...

Let's go birding!
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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Grebe Photography ☼ Western, Clark's, Pied-billed and Eared

Enjoy this collection of my some of my best Grebe photos (so far!) featuring Clark's Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Eared Grebe, and Western Grebe...

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ducklings Chasing Bugs at Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park

These baby Mallard ducks were having a blast chasing bugs on Manzanita Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Let's go birding!
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Friday, July 5, 2019

5 Worst Things About Birding

Last month, I posted my 10 Best Things About Birding list. Today, I'm flipping over to the other side of the coin and sharing the five worst things about my favorite hobby.

If you follow any of my accounts on social media (author, travel, birder), you know that I'd gnaw off my own arm before posting something negative. Goodness knows there's already plenty of negativity out there and I only want to put positive things out into the universe for people to enjoy. Good thing this list isn't meant to be negative at all! If anything, the title is just click-bait, but sometimes you have to be a little sneaky to get your message out, am I right?

Let's see if you agree with these observations about the downsides of birding...

1. Not everyone gets it. The things I'm fascinated with may seem as dull as dirt to others, but to me, birds are extraordinary and worth talking about and photographing and obsessing over. Own it. It's your hobby and you don't have to explain your love of birds to anyone. Especially me. They're birds. They can fly. That alone makes them the most interesting creature on the planet, in my opinion.

2. Birds are naturally flighty and wary of humans--no matter how pure your intentions are. It can be frustrating when all you want is to take their picture, but then again, maybe that's what makes each bird sighting so unique. You never know how long its going to last, so you are forced to cherish every single second of it.

3. It's addicting. It's all I want to do. I want to travel across the country and get my National Wildlife Refuge Blue Goose Passport stamped at every refuge, but unfortunately, I haven't found a way to get paid to do it. After all, I do need money for gas, food, etc. Let me know if you're a willing sponsor with deep pockets!

4. Birding sometimes exposes you to the not-so-warm-and-fuzzy side of nature. Not that that's a bad thing. It just takes some getting used to. Some birds kill other birds in order to survive and put food in their bellies. It's simply a fact of life, but it can be a little strange to witness the first time you see it happen with your own two eyes. Especially if you're squeamish and don't want a glimpse behind that particular curtain. I'm sure no one is clamoring to watch me scarf down a Quarter Pounder with Cheese after a long day of birding, but it's a natural part of life.

5. Insane jealousy of other people's sightings. I don't know about you, but I usually find myself gravitating toward wanting what I don't have. Therefore, I get a little jealous of other people's White-tailed Kite sightings, for example. I want so very badly to see a Kite and don't care to be left in the dust by other birders. Maybe it's time I take my own advice from my 5 Birding Tips for Beginners list and be patient. I'll get one someday. The anticipation of that magnificent sighting is what fuels me.

After all, after years of waiting, we finally spotted a Western Tanager and it was truly spectacular. Be patient, grasshopper! You'll get that bird that's been eluding you for what seems like forever. You'll have an awesome, unexpected sighting of a rare bird that makes everyone else green with envy. Mwa-hah-ha!

Well, there it is! See, I told you the negative things about birding weren't that bad. If everything was perfect and hunky-dory all the time, you'd never appreciate the good times and be grateful for them, right? That's what I tell myself anyway.

What are your least favorite things about birding? I know, I know, I'm a firm believer in taking the negative and turning it into a positive. Now, where's that handy-dandy magic wand of mine? I know I left it around here somewhere...

Let's go birding!
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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Canada Geese ☼ Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park

wings and daydreams birding photography blog
Wonder if these Canada Geese realize they're livin' the good life at Manzanita Lake? I can't think of a more beautiful place to spend the summer in Northern California than Lassen Volcanic National Park...

Let's go birding!
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