Toad in the Hole

January 31, 2006

Bird-Related Weekend

Saturday we took an armload of munchies to a fundraiser for Keep Barn Owls in Berkeley. (Sometimes the site's a bit wobbly; try again later if it won't load.) Joe appears to be a founding member. Lisa Owens-Viani, who we work with now and then, is another.

The deal is: Berkeley has a population of barn owls, some of whom we've met, and it's a good idea to have them in town as we also have lots of rats and mice. If people keep cutting down the trees they live in and putting out rat poison, we won't have them long. So.

This meet featured a live barn owl from a Marin County rescue joint -- most impressive -- and later a live burrowing owl; they're also in trouble. Boy, you want to get looked at, be in a room with an owl or two. Oh, and we also got a bottle each of Reilly's Barn Owl beer, with the label Joe designed. If you also want to feel like hot shit, know a home brewer. Nice batch, Reilly.

Sunday we ran up to Mare Island for the annual Flyway Fest. We had a great time there a couple years ago, when we signed up for a tour of Skagg's Island, which is usually off-limits to the public and is quite hawky; I think we had half a dozen species including a peregrine roosting in a tree -- and also looking back at us. This year we didn't have time to reserve for any tours, but we met our friends Dick and Mona and we all did the self-guided marsh march together. Best thing was multiple harriers scattered around hunting, and a white-tailed kite, and a sort of token argument between them. Nice grouping of ducks in the water, too -- scaup, canvasbacks, redheads, shovelers; plus coots, p-b and eared? grebes; overhead, flocks of willets and dowitchers and godwits and one avocet. And chorus frogs in the water! Must be fresher than I'd thought.

Also we cruised the vendors and orgs inside the fest, as usual; there's always something to connect to. And I got a pair of moonbat earriings. Top that!

Posted at January 31, 2006 09:57 PM