Friday, February 27, 2009

Here come the Plegadis, and the weekend

Fading light,driving home, but here come de Ibii ! Maybe this year !
Going to be a great weekend weatherwise, and the ever charming Ms Brandt is headed to town. Fuel up your chase cars for Sunday. Thinking something good !
Well back into the intellectual cess pit for 8 hours and then 2 days of mental cleansing.

More this evening Roger

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Thanks to all, North Ca birders and South Ca birders. For helping me id my flycatcher. Ash Throat it be. During discourse I detected a definite hint (oxymoron !)of a turf war between N and S birders. Not in the least nasty but intriguing !
Being an East coast birder, I do not care. But be warned, any trespassing into and discovery of a rarity within 25 miles of my house, and not letting me know will result in me releasing the Russels of Death. This is especially true if you find an American Golden Plover. regards rh, Stormin Norman and Jack sparrer ps Thanks again

Saturday, February 21, 2009

3025 (1982 QR) and birds

Greetings !
It seems that the Santa Cruz Nuttings was not one, and my use of Roberson is incorrect. Intend to see if I can access the info that made the first one correct, the more I dig , the more I do not know and the more the "Experts" contradict each other by "knowing" More on that tomorrow.
Anyway just took a step outside, pointed myself in approximately the right direction ie South Africa and pretty close in sidereal time for 3 seconds as "the 52km asteroid (3025)" occulted a 10.8 mag star in the constellation Lupus for observers along a path across S and w Africa. It is 3.38200 au's away and travelling at 17.3488km/sec Why would I know that ? My dear friends the Shoemakers named it after me, when we worked together on Palomar. Yes 1982 QR (Higson)!!!.I keep track of it and wave towards it, in memory of a brilliant astronomer,the kindest of people and true friend Gene and his wife Caroline, the most charming of ladies.I am willing to sell property on it REAL cheap
Roger Higson

Todays pics and birds

In order to not hinder reality with the "the flycatcher debate/ merciless pursuit of the unacheivable." I am going to keep two thoughts awake on one blog.The "Nuttings and veracity of mass viewed rarities and .... etc" Flycatcher will be the only thing on "Flycatchers". Other stuff wil be assigned whatever title the mood suits me.
I start off adventurously !
Wandered around Mayflower Park. Verm flys displaying. If you have never seen them,then find a chance to do so.
They spiral up making the most awful call, reach their apogee, (too close to the sun ?) and suddenly fold up into what looks like a discarded red tissue, and drift downward. See if there is enough light tomorrow to photo.
My? well OUR LCRV Desert phase GH Owl is back in the same tree,this is 12 years now to my knowledge, and she is already sitting tight Be warned, if you get too close you will be bitten ,screeched at, buffeted in the face and physically hurt. Not by the owl, but by the Mongol horde of Snow Birds who will replace their polite teeth with their "tear you to shreds" teeth, attack you with sharpened shuffle board shufflers and hurl razor edged Horseshoes. Don't believe me ? you should. They have called the cops, and when the babies are growing keep a log and watch 24 hours !I have a couple from Wisconsin who come here each year just to see them !
There should be a couple of MY Ferrug, leaving pole 6,a couple of preening Y Legs at the sewage plant, and a GTR Ylegs eating a goldfish at the fish farm.A pair of Gilas back on the road.
Enjoy the weekend Roger

Nuttings Flycatcher in Blythe

Always good to start off with a modest proposal !
I am going to work my way through this foolish enterprise, by following Don Robersons most mind numbing paper from 2003 called "a photo discussion on Nuttings Flycatcher identification". I have read it twice. Had to,had to stop first time to look up terms ! Awesome piece of research !
I will tackle my premise, based on photos and following the pattern of his paper. SO.let the games begin !

"I want to draw attention to what I called "the classic wing panel" pattern with its 'yellow''mid-panel' feature"............ a small inset on which I show the three elements of the wing panel
1 Primary edges.
2 outer secondary edges
3 Tertials and inner secondary edges.
In broad generalities, I see the colour of the edges of three parts of the wing in this photo of the Arizona (Nuttings) bird as (1) RED,(2) YELLOW,(3) WHITE."
Mines , above, is the Blythe bird. Thinking I am seeing that ?
regards rh and teerriers

Thursday, February 19, 2009


No pics this time,Well my pics got batted around and, the verdict is NOT Dusky Capped. Not because of any ones oinion, but the fact that I now have pics of the "I admit I was wrong Dusky Capped that prove I was wrong" taken by a birding chum. Excellent.I learned that there are some very learned feather by auricular by whatever birders out there. As I received (not directly in some cases) very astute comments. Well I wrote down my description of its call when I was claiming it as a Dusky Capped, and was expecting that to be a problem Now I have pictures of a Myarchus with a funny call and odd under tail brown and red distributions, that loooks like an Ash Throated. Go figure. Will post this weekend as I have to work the next two nights. Thats what I am doing now! Supervizing the future jail occupants of california !!! Its good to be in charge sometimes. Roger and Terriers

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dusky Capped/Olivaceous Flycatcher. First Riverside County record

Well hopefully the pics are in there, will check. If I get in an argument with the computer will send pics and text next, roger. OK did it !
I am just submitting this record, on my own, anyone else who was present can jump in or ponder.I realise when submitting a potential first record for Riverside County, it is best to wait for the first victim to be digested. Discretion is the better part of valour !
Another tip for first time victims, include a stupid pic, like I did. this provides the hangman with the easy "oh my god how stupid, why would he send this." "out" and you with the "I included that, oh my God I deleted the wrong file" "Out"
The birding farandole.
The bird was first seen in overcast skies, sat on a phone wire, under overcast skies. First impression "Christ early dwarf Westen kingbird" It was that yellow and shaped. Chased it down the street, slim ,short tailed, yellow,large headed flycatcher It dropped into Joes across the street. Wind picking up took several dozen pics, others out there, I include 2 from the tree in his yard, and one dropping off my pole support this morning, it flew down the street , into the duo dalmatiion of doom yard(ain't going in there), hopped the fence and went into Mayflower Park. I called it an Olivaceous/Dusky Capped before the pics , I remain in that stance after looking at them.
Please look yourself.
See no merit in writing more, to me it would seem like drawing a picture, or writing field notes after getting home and looking through the field guides.
Oh the red one, it's a female Ash throated for comparison.
White Tailed kite a yard bird today and 2 Goosanders flyover yard birds also. Keep birding Roger and terriers.

Myiarchus flycatcher.

picking up an error sign ? Send any way rh

Sunday, February 15, 2009

people and a Myiarchus

Spent the morning, in fact over shot my allotted time. ! With a most splendid group of people I would love to join and bird with. My kind of folks the, "MOT MOT" gang.It was just a joy to be amongst a diverse group of folks who, how they all met and stay together I would never know, but what a perfect bunch to spend a morning with. Truly lovers of birds, not pursuers of birds. I tip my hat to them, only birded a half a morning but it was like I was back with my bird club in Blythe.Best thing of the year.
Headed into Mayflower, Myiarchus on the wires, then into Joes yard, 9 pairs of eyes cameras clicking. It is on my phone pole wire now, the light is worthless, and its call, once the wind dropped is odd. Not the bold PPPPPRRRRRRTTTTTTTT of spring.I leave it right there. I have all day tomorrow to mess with it. Interesting if you start looking into bird distribution from the more "under birded areas" . Writers of books quote writers of books who quoted writers of books who got their quotes from someone who scribbled "Ash Throated Flycatcher ( giant marmalade stain ) Hm, looks like "come on, in spring and all in winter saw many yesterday". On the back of a page from his bible in raccoon blood Not a clue as to the relevance but you are paid to guess. I know bin there done that with medieval marriage documents. When in fact he wrote "Ash Throated Flycatcher ! come on, inspiring alan pinter play. Saw mates yesterday". Winter distribution along the LCRV, is tied in to a lot of that.Will tack on some pics regards RH and doglets

Saturday, February 14, 2009

War, ethics, and defense of photographers

I have a selection of books I have acquired, as a part of my project to become the "all knowing asshole of every aspect of the Colorado river between Agnes Wilson Bridge, and South to the Imperial County "BORDER" and only 25 miles west into California"
Sounds modest enough. I will never make it ! So I may have to go down, just as "the asshole who lived in Blythe".
The more you look into something, the more ignorant you become. Kind of scary.
War. A lot of my knowledge is coming from expeditions sponsered by "The USA War dept" Such as Iversons in 1857. Am I the only one who wishes that the war department would spend its money on a war against ignorance in in this country ? 150 years ago they were. Afghanistan, our current war !!! A joke. Maybe someone should translate all the historical documents into mono-syllabic comics, for the idiots who sent US troops in there. France, Britain, Russia and several other stupour powers got their asses handed to them by the Afghanies. I guess History repeats itself. Now lets see if these pics make it I am hoping it is a duck and goose right here. Its a pretty good picture (to me). We will see where it ends up
Ethics ? Despite the common perception I still have 8 and 2/3 left, putting me at least 40 ahead of anyone who calls themselves a politician. My quandry, I was given permission to access a site 9 years ago, as long as I told the "Gate Warden it was just me and a guest who was flying back to Trinidad the next day, and immediately will forget he visited here". The "Gate warden " snuffed it. So I held off, pondering. Could ponder no longer. Went in, cut and laid under a pile of Arrow weed at the opposite bank and froze my ass off. Hence the Goose pic. There should be a couple of more pics here. All from the other side of the pond, probably a 150 feet and hand held. a chance in a life time, for me in Blythe.. Unless you have a better shot from that moment, same time, do not critique !
I am slowly learning the trials and tribulations of taking pictures, and then posting them. 99.9% of the critics do not know the time,effort and luck that goes into a picture. Most people do not take pics for a living, can not buy the National Geo equipment, nor stick out a Humming Bird feeder and a can of meal worms and a banana at a tropical lodge in Costa Fortuna.Set your shutter speed on automatic and closest focus possible
People work for their pictures in Temperate climes. I put my pics up on the school fridge, and am interested by some responses from substitute teachers, they range from " Who puts up the copies from Nat Geo", to "I've seen a better picture of a bald eagle than that ". Yes you probably have, but not dragging a huge male Raccoon up a ditch bank, behind Band B bait in Blythe you have not !
So with that in mind, I know there are better pics in the Post Card rack at your local Rite-aid but.... roger and terriers

Friday, February 13, 2009

incompetence and birds, attempt 3

If I was not such a nice person, I would say that I was somewhat annoyed at this Blog, and the incompetent stupid god damn moron who runs it, who can't even get the simplest task done because of his pin headed stupidity..... ouch slipping in to Nasty Roger mode !
Hey if the sock sticks to the wall, wash it. No idea why I typed that ! Roid rage !
OK, now calm and not flying into the Colorado River.
We will try and post pictures in the correct order to the text. One last time for today.
One of them should be a crop duster coming straight at you with "Nipple Mountain" in the background. Now SWMBO gets upset by this, and on a clear day you can see "Shithouse Mountain". Both are engraved on USGS maps from the turn of the century, and as descriptions go, more than perfect for me ref " Reports of Explorations and surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad.from the MISSISSIPPI RIVER TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN made under the direction of the secretary of war in 1853-6 according to the acts of congress of March 3, 1853,may31,1854,and August 5,1854 ".
God, I love typing that! I am trying to accrue the whole set. finances have me stuck at two ! (but all first editions) which is a stupid statement as they only printed it once and there where very few printed to start with !
Glancing through Baird Vol IX part II it is quite obvious he would gave been booted from CA birding websites. I quoth the Raven entry "According to Prince Maximillian....... I do not have skins in front of me but.....Mr Audubon maintained the Contrary opinion. Bonaparte (though possibly with a Guatemalan skin in front of him?)... A whole half page of interesting diversions and stuff. Much prefer it to "Raven at end of road ". Took me forever to get pole #6 Ferrug, lined up with the moon, they fly away.
Well let us see if this gets through. roger

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

why you should have moved to Blythe !

Thousands of stupid mistakes later.One I I am glad I ignored "knowledgeable folks input" and I live in Blythe.I always liked the place, but as recession moves deeper into society, I carefully sat down and figured out my options,loving it, staying put.

A sensible analysis of the economic situation this weekend, and why I am not worried !
Just some pics, keep smiling, and all you guys and gals in big cities have at least 16 in vitro kids.
Then go and read "A modest Proposal" by Jonathon Swift!
Just call it "Long Pork "
Regards rh and Terriers gnawing on my ankles

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

drift home, could be a good year

Drifting idly home from school. it is fun to meander around the fish farms, they are going to be awesome this year.. 36 Gtr legs, assorted swallows, coopers Hwk N harrier,herons and a now staked out Cinnamon teal nest. I don't know for sure but all the sites I have discovered over the years have changed towards the birding positive, and there is some killer birding to be done this spring. Habitat and attitudes do not change over night. Especially if you come in as a consultant !! Or a "Respected scientist" with the company car!
Winning a rural community takes , getting stuck, buying beers for the hay guys who pull you out, knowing everybodies name, smiling, school secretary and janitors look out for you. etc ,etc , MOST importantly , do not expect the expected, . My wife said one day "Why are you and X hanging out in the Veterans? Haven't you seen his truck ? Yes,but I get hay when no others can, and more importantly my truck has 199,901 miles on it.Awesome You get more "spect when you can say "just passed 200,000" and the converastion ends with "Yer it sounds like its running smoother".
Don't claim to have changed a lot,over the years, personally nor in outlook, but Blythe is probably the birder friendliest place in California, and I never thought a Mormon would ask me to teach scouts Birdwatching. It's a funny old world.
Plan a stop by this spring, got a good feeling !
regards Roger

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hop scotching rain patches , mud and birds

Just stormin Norman.
Now once I canfigureout configuration I will have 'er allfiguredouted. Dodged rain showers,mud, responsibilities ,accountability and the Kraken all weekend. How? She is now sick with the "Get over it, it's is only a simple cold, I do not know what your problem is " death disease, she has it now ! AAAAh The circle of life.
I off course rushed around serving her bowls of leverets,golden Toads, and changing her hay hourly. After 2 weeks of it, I am almost human. Do NOT get it, Blythe is sicker than sick with it. You can see how something like Ebola would wipe out communities in weeks. Odd to watch
watching birds Forced into Black Top birding, roads(dirt) too slippery.still fun. Waders moving through steady build up of Gtr Legs, dowitchers, and an Avocet. Nothing you would notice, but for the fact you live here so maybe we should look out. Swallows appearing, 50 plus RWinged, a Bank, 40+Cliff, 9 Barn and 150 plus Tree around the drains and the fish farm. OrCrowned warbs, 15 plus, go figure. A lone Mountain Plover, a year tick. I love accidental birds. Sat in the pouring rain, looking at the mountains and fog and pondering Scotland, and idiotic hikes through the Cairngorms in search of a trip or two of Dotterel, and the pointless agony I went through to see them on native habitat, until I saw my lifer sitting an a bleeding .bleeding bloody Golf Course with a Buff Breasted sand on the Scilly Isles. When a clod moved. A Mountain Plover, America"s Dotterel.Most beautiful. Will post a pic, if you can see it !The drop, a Common Loon, could not rule out YB Diver !!Today, 2 W Throated Sparrows at the Horses. Played silly bastards with the birds and available light until I gave up, sewage plant, 3 sp teal, and a Peregrine. On the way home , a RLeg Hawk trying to literally smash a fem/juv harrier out of the sky. If you mess with cameras, you will know what I mean when I say "The perfect pic frozen on my retinas, not my camera." Oh well, why we go birding !
well back to reality tomorrow, better go oil my nunchucks, and put an edge on my adze. regards rh and terriers wondering why we are allowed in the house. It is fast asleep !

picture first, then I warned you

Success !
I wrote this July 28 2008, and sent it to some. Obviously not a large forum, as the likelihood of offence was way too high for even my mellow mentor ! Who I have deep respect for, regard as a friend, and caused unnecessary social criticism of. I somehow feel he survived, now YOU have to survive on your own, you know where the sodding delete button is !

An absolutely true story, a bit like the Bishops boozing at Mc Donalds, periodically I will toss in a picture that caused me great amusement and the tale behind it. Just for Idle amusement. Here we go. it comes with logic in brackets for the more challenged It was entitled.

"A nun-counter of the third kind"
Too funny.
I was sitting paying bills with Grendels Mother. Exhausting pasttime, but it always leads to an erudite example of her logic and grasp on reality.
Todays was special "If you had not spent all that money fixing the cars so we can get to work (ie to get a pay check), we would not be so broke." ( Stunning logic).
Sometimes even I can keep my damn mouth shut!
Anyway went to go birding, of course she took the vehicle I gassed up yesterday, stupid me.Visited the bank and went for gas.
Now most people do not get to find fun in odd situations, I guess it is in my nature and I waded in head first.Carpe Praedem.
I pulled in to get gas, there was a minivan full of "nunlets" (sombre brown plumage , not yet moulted into full black and white plumage )I guess they are called that as they havebrown nun-like costumes. The kind that looks like a Burkha, but you can reach in and check their teeth. ( Thats how you age them)Think they may have been suicide Catholic Terriorists !
Anyway they were twittering around the gas cap, like it was a guy in a speedo. So I went to help them, got the cap off. ac ouple of them had the cutest smiles, apart from the c4 belts I would love to have checked them out ! we are chatting when suddenly the air freezes. Heads down scurrying around into the van, looked around The HNIC coming ou of the store, carrying four one gallon jugs of water( Thats Head Nun In Charge, she was dressed in black and white and looked like she could bench press the van). She walked up to me and said "Why are you bothering these girls ?". No point in logic at this point, I am already a certified nun mauler in her eyes.! Perfectchance Oh I came to watch you sister, to see if you could restore my faith in religion" "Oh OK Dear" "yes, I was thinking you were going to pour that that water into your gas tank, and you can turn it into gasoline I am in, gave up wine"
I distinctly heard a giggle from the back of the van.
I left rapidly left. I have seen that look before and it did not bode well, and it looked like her rosary was mostly bike chain.Those hurt. Oh well I got a discreet gesture and snapped a couple of nunlet butts on the way out Do not pray for my transgressions! I already have a "GO directly to Hel do not pass Go card", in fact looking in my file,here, I almost have a full suit. Regards roger.
Think I will stick some "Only in Blythe" pics in there Black top birding, if that today. Cloudy, drizzle and acres of mud. rh and terriers


Most agranoying.IT was using the computer yesterday to do something linked to one toed cows. I think one of her dewlaps got caught somewhere between the q and the page down button, and in her frenzy to free herself she hit every key at the same time with her thrashing tail. Any way lets see if print goes through, try pics next.
Due to the fact that it would be quicker to drive to San Diego, use an high speed internet and drive back to see if it worked. The "Fix It" lady for Verizon, had to wait while the morse code was translated. Charming young lady, who warmed up over the 2 and 1/2 hours, anyone breaks after listening to me for that long ! "I will tell you anything just go away" Waterboarding, amateurs.
The language problem was evident.The sound was like a corner market in Bombay, or just like any corner market in London, come to think about. NO she was just outside Bombay.
Interesting snippets.
"27th story,7by5 box, 12 hours 25 minute break"
"It does not rain in Bombay like it used to, all the forests cut down ".
"They killed all the animals in the zoo and built a giant complex"
"there are no trees and flowers in her town, all jungle cleared out for company high rises" The scariest.
"In our town we all only work nights, the next town they built they only work days "
Welcome to the non Jungle
Charming young lady, sent me to my extensive spice rack to toss things into my pea, and barley and whatever I could catch and chop up, and fit in a pressure cooker "Soup". Exquisite.
So after changing everything but my waist size, I, very tentatively am putting the system back together. Here we go, lets see what the Hell happens !rh and terriers

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No sense of humour, fish ponds and pics

Ok trying pics first. Text second.
Not a clue how this will turn out.Some white pelicans and a drift passed the fish farm which is going to be awesome this year. All the Tamarisk has been dug and burned, and my chum has got it looking good. 9 years, still can not get in, one simple miscommunication and in small town Blythe you pay the price !The pics I have posted are from there.
I tend to return from a day in the disease factory, awash with rumours of layoffs, pay cuts, class size increase and working 3 days a month for free, etc etc in a somewhat negative mood.
I walked in the back door and on the kitchen table was a magazine page, placed where I could not miss it, that screamed "ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION. At little or no cost to you"
Why would I want to buy it?
I am of the age that I realise that a the quick glance by a wench at my happy area, which 40 years ago would have sent my hormones racing with the utterly foolish concept of imminent mating, back then saying hello had the same effect !Has long since passed. Now I know it means the old fool left his zipper undone.
ButI still like to think I know what to do !
I read on. "No pump disassembly or oiling required". "You do not have to have diabetes to receive this" "Operates in less than 10 minutes""Patented ring Ejector system to maintain erections" "No more embarrassing manual pumping". Starting to become somewhat more deflated than I was. Phone rings. SWMBO, did you see what I left you, what do you think, looks good for this weekend. It may have not been those exact words. But you catch the drift. Tragic pause. We will have to borrow Joes submersible blender.
I said what the Hell are you talking about for Christs sake. "The black bean soup, we can do it in the crock pot, the recipe is right there. Turned the page over. It does look good.
Sense of humour returned, when she turned bright red with embarresment when I showed her how she had left it.
Roger terriers crawling around in Hystericsa

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mars, superbowl and rubbish

Trundled around,only bright spark, a Red Naped sapsucker at the cemetery. My warbler was,quite rightly corrected by a person, who probably cringes after all these years of my testing his patience. My response "Looks like a Nashville to me". Works for me, no point in wasting words with this chap.How come NBC can't interview the President, in the White House live without loosing sound and pictures ? Another channel I watch had no problems until the warrenty ran out. NASA has a thing the size of a large Sears freezer packing box wandering around on mars, that sends better sound and pictures. Oh well. I just sneezed. "Did you have to do that? You scared the fly off" My rashion of passion just appeared, like Diane the Hunter,clad only in her Diaphanous wind swept Winnie the Pooh pink flannel Jammies brandishing a fly swatter, with Terrier modified slippers on her cloven hooves. Ever see 3 cats and two Jack Russels, dive into a cat litter box. I beat them. Some random pics for those keeeping track of how many species you can photograph in Blythe. rh and warm blooded critters.