Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Punxsutawney Phil Warbler, Ibisbillbills, and another hummer

Here is a White-faced Ibis. One has to wonder, why does North America get all the drab, unsuspecting-looking ibises like this White-faced Ibis? Why not some stunner that blows your eyes out like the Central/South American Scarlet Ibis? Why do our ibises not crap out rainbows like Kim Jong-un, at least? Also, if the Ibisbill was named after the ibis but  taxonomically diverged earlier, should'n't an ibis be called an Ibisbillbill? 

  Anna's Hummingbirds can flare up their gorgets for a millisecond and force even the twitchiest, trash-bird-scorning birder aspiring to be Neil Hayward and Sandy Komito combined go "Maybe I could stop chasing after what will be lifer #9,920 for a second and appreciate this thing....well, nahhhh." They can also balance on one toe. 

The Black-and-White Warbler lands in its very own genus, due to its ultra nuthatch-warbler-ninja skills of avoiding being photographed.

Every year, Americans continue to celebrate the blatantly useless tradition of Punxsutawney Phil, the Stupid Groundhog Who Has More Power Than God(s) Over The Weather Thereby Guaranteeing That If It's A Cloudy Day On The Second In Philadelphia All Northerners Will Be Cursed To Endure More Cold And Snow and Miserableness. And Black-and-white Warblers continue to stray from the Mexican mountains from whilst they belong in the winter, much to the delight of birders and to the chagrin of the warblers who wonder why they're suddenly seeing cacti, In-and-outs, and obese people in the middle of winter.

The type of person who always shows up thirty minutes early to a party, wears atrocious outfits, and ingests all the punch and Cheetos? That's a Black-and-white Warbler. While most warblers chill around in the tropics biding their time until April to make their annual flights, Black-and-white Warblers jump up and take off at the first subtle sign of springs there are.  Their wintering range is also on the borderline of the Southwestern U.S, insuring that a small,  steady stream of Black-and-White Warblers will wander to Southern California and give bored birders something to chase after in December and January. So, for those exact same bored birders who anticipate spring vagrants, a Black-and-white Warbler could be a much hoped-for sign of warmer months to come, or another false alarm (Coincidentally, their calls also sound like a miniature car alarm).

Or, instead of speculating based on the appearance of a warbler that looks like it's wearing a shredded-up tuxedo (but is beautiful nonetheless) we could all shut up and just listen to Punxsutawney Phil from now on.

Happy birding,


Monday, February 16, 2015

Odds and Ends (East Asia #5)

"I toad you it was a frog!" Said someone who was trying to make a good pun, unsuccessfully, because it actually is a toad.  I think. Watch it be a frog. 

A Pacific Swallow, looking very dandy with the (unintentional) pink color cast, a problem which a month of practicing Photoshop skills has not yet managed to solve. Pacific Swallows are fearless, and to be feared by mosquitoes, flies, and everything small and annoying.
Barn Swallow. For those of you who ask, why has the Barn Swallow not been split into Eurasian and American Barn Swallow even though they are clearly separate species? The answer-question is, Why are you still using Clements?

I use the IOU
How about you?
Only use Clements 
If you want to have laments. 

 No, that's not a leucistic Eurasian Nuthatch, it's just overexposed. Bravo for my photography skills. 

Chinese Pond-heron. It's one of the bajillion herons and egrets in China and Taiwan, albeit one of the easier-to-view ones. What else can I say? 

My one and only Lesser Coucal photo has been enmeshed in a load of junk photos, and it seems to have been sucked into the king vortex of all vortexes, the most feared of all among bloggers and photographers, The Black Hole Of Lost Photos.  The only remaining option to salvage this blog post was to insert the closest thing there was to a Lesser Coucal I had.