An Afternoon in Sacramento with Dan Brown – ABA LIFEBIRDS #674, #675, #676, #677

There were a number of birds in Sacramento that would add to my life list.

I’d asked Dan about Oak Titmouse, Nutting’s Woodpecker, Thayer’s Gull and Western Screech-Owl.  Tricolored Blackbird was not a lifer but I did need a photo.  He knew where to look for most but time was limited (I had to be in San Francisco tomorrow morning) and we had to move fast.

Fast we did:

California Towhee (needed a better photo)


Oak Titmouse (split from the Plain Titmouse)  ABA Lifebird #674


Thayer’s Gull ABA Lifebird #675 – not 100% on this one, looking more and more like a hybrid.



Tricolored Blackbird (needed a photo, any photo)

These birds are getting harder and harder to find.  In this flock of 5,000+ blackbirds, cowbirds and grackles we could only find two.  Not a lifer but hadn’t seen one since 1994.



Yellow-billed Magpie (needed better photo) when I had tried for these birds before, West Nile had decimated their numbers.  We did find quite a few, their numbers were rising.


I was lucky on the Western Screech-Owl, one of Dan’s longtime birding partners Tim Fitzer had one roosting in his Owl box in his yard.  While waiting for sunset we walked around the neighborhood, Tim had said their was a Nuttall’s Woodpecker working the area.  We looked for about an hour before we saw a Nuttall’s fly by, landing on a nearby tree.

Nuttall’s Woodpecker  ABA Lifebird #676


We returned  to Tim’s house and were enjoying a beer and nachos when just like clockwork, at 5:15pm out he popped.  The image below was taken 1/2 hour after sunset.  The D800E sparkles in low light.

Western Screech Owl ABA Lifebird #677


Tim had a number of hummingbird feeders in front of the house and you really had to be careful, those little guys were buzzing around everywhere.  Available light was getting low but I still managed a few decent photos.

Hummingbird2015 Hummingbird2015B

I will go birding with Dan Brown again at some point, its such a pleasure to bird with someone who loves to bird with a pair of binoculars and a camera. examples of Dan’s fine bird photos can be seen at .

Dan and I had had a long day, after 17 hours I didn’t remember my head hitting the pillow.

Thanks Dan, hope the new AC works for ya…

Ciao for now

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