On the water


I was in San Diego for a conference last week and took an extra day to go out into the bay on a sail boat. As we floated by a station used for processing bait, I saw these two characters poking around and looking for a snack.

Great Blue Heron and Egret Scrounge for Food

It was a great day out on the boat. The wind was strong enough to move us along at a nice clip. There were a lot of sailboats out around us as we cruised around. I had a fantastic time.

Hardwood Throughout

Hardwood Throughout by Tygh
Hardwood Throughout, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

The nuthatches failed. They were evicted by chickadees. I was heartbroken when it happened, but I didn’t feel right intervening. Instead, opening up some new real estate – hanging a couple of additional nest boxes – seemed like a better idea.

Here is one of the new ones that went up in case the nuthatches were still around. Check out the highlights:

  • Spacious 8 in2
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Hardwood Throughout
  • Green Space
  • Feeder Access

It really does have some quality attributes, now let’s hope we get some takers.

Our House

Home Sweet Home by Tygh
Home Sweet Home, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

Here is a little nuthatch who, along with his or her mate, has claimed a small nest cavity hanging from our front porch.

This box has been used by chickadees before, but never nuthatches.

I don’t know if it means anything, but this guy is a bit ragged. You can see a little bit of a cowlick at the back of his head, and if you look closely, some of his feathers are a bit out of place. I’ve seen nesting birds show signs of fatigue and maybe bad hygiene, but it’s generally after the nestlings have hatched and it is time to feed them all day long to the point of exhaustion.

Fortunately, there is abundant food nearby, but I am hopeful that he hasn’t picked up anything that will put him at risk when he’s needed most.


Taste by Tygh
Taste, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

This is Noam probing for a treat. He is pretty comfortable with humans. I am always amused by his excited reaction when he gets a little snack.

He and his brother Steve both respond really strangely when they find socks and band-aids on their human friends. They don’t like these things for some reason and they try to remove them.


Redwing by Tygh
Redwing, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

I was out at Jackson Bottom today doing some birding and I happened to catch this blackbird near the path.

At the time I took the photo, I didn’t notice the red in feathers on his back. Once I got the picture home and put it up on my larger screen, the scalloped red pattern began to emerge.

I sometimes take these shots through my wife’s birding scope and it is really a matter of luck if the shot comes out. The subject really has to want his photo taken and be willing to sit long enough for me to fire off a half dozen pics. I basically ride the focus ring on the scope to compensate for what is going on with all the lenses.

Balcony of room 2807

The sliding door from my room on the 26th floor was supposed to be blocked, but it wasn't. Dizzying height.
The view from my hotel room
I stayed at the Hyatt Grand hotel near Union Square in downtown San Francisco the night before last. The sliding doors are large, but generally inoperable except that they open up to 4 inches to allow ventilation. The block that was supposed to hold my door in place was broken and so the safety controls were off for me. 
I could walk right up to the railing and as I did, my knees got weak. The tiny strip of concrete outside the door was sloped downward, away from the building. Standing there gave me the sensation that I was about to slip.
A fall from there would have been so unlikely – nearly impossible – short of climbing over the rail, but I held my breath in that place as the wind blew around my head.
It was a pretty view.