Try. Then try again.

We believed that we’d be happier on our extended travels if we pursued our interests. We did – and we were. Time was well-spent reading, writing, painting, searching for the best apple pastry, and bird watching. We did very well at all these — except the bird watching.

DSC02073

Canada geese greeted us as we entered the park, giving us confidence we could ID the birds we’d see.

Somehow, after many years of watching birds, we still plod along with little improvement in our ability to identify birds, when left on our own.   A case in point is the bird below, seen on a walk along Los Gatos Creek Trail (CA), that we still haven’t been able to identify.

We snapped some photos in hopes that we could identify this bird when we got home by looking in our bird guide.

We snapped some photos in hopes that we could identify this bird when we got home by looking in our bird guide.

This second image, while not a good photo at all, did reveal a flash of yellow which we thought would help in the identification, but sadly didn’t.

This second image, while not a good photo at all, did reveal a flash of yellow which we thought would help in the identification, but sadly didn’t.

We walked on to see the water birds at the large Camden Recreational Ponds. We’d been there and to the ponds at nearby Vasona Resevoir on our last visit a year and a half ago, and this was our first visit back. We were excited to see what we might find. As we approached the pond, we couldn’t believe our eyes: a massive pit with no water. Where did the pond go?

A nearby official sign read “Because of the lack of local rainfall and cut backs in water imported from state and federal water projects, groundwater replenishment operations in ponds and creeks have been cut back to conserve water for drinking water treatment plants.”

A nearby official sign read “Because of the lack of local rainfall and cut backs in water imported from state and federal water projects, groundwater replenishment operations in ponds and creeks have been cut back to conserve water for drinking water treatment plants.”

Fortunately the nearby Los Gatos Creek did have some water. We took photos of several birds that afternoon along the trail and actually did manage to ID all but the bird above. We did take note that the bird population was much lower than we’d observed on previous visits when the ponds were full.

The vegetation along the creek is interesting and varied.

The vegetation along the creek is interesting and varied.

The mallard floated along through the most interesting reflected patterns.

The mallard floated along through the most interesting reflected patterns.

Our interest (and delight) in observing birds meshes well with our love of walking. Does it matter that no mater how hard we try, we’re just not that good at identifying birds? Not a bit!

(But if you know what that unidentified bird is in the photos above, we’d be happy to know!)

 

January 2015

 

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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5 Responses to Try. Then try again.

  1. Dale Claypoole says:

    It’s also referred to in more casual circles as a “butter butt”.

  2. Deb and Jack says:

    We’re wondering if your mystery bird is some iteration of a “Yellow-rumped Warbler”, perhaps a female first winter Audubon’s or female first winter Myrtle?
    xo, Deb and Jack

    • Yes, thank you. Why didn’t we see that? Now that you point us to the yellow-rumped warbler and we check our Sibley’s guide and other photos of the bird, we believe it is the Myrtle. We’ve seen 12 warblers in seven countries–several with guides–and still we couldn’t id that bird without your help. Pathetic, huh?

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