Saturday, January 17, 2009

Birding at Work

Audubon Yellow-Rumped Warbler in a tree near in the parking lot at my work.

Okay so any birder worth his or her salt birds just about all the time. A wandering eye of a different kind that follows anything that flies through. An American Robin behind your boss as he leads a team meeting? Cedar Waxwings outside the window by the snacks? What is that moving through the trees outside during the annual company state of business meeting? A birder is always birding. Alert for any flutter or movement outside that could be a bird.

Cedar Waxwing taken in December through the window at my work in a liquid amber tree.

During my break, I birded out the window when a flock of Cedar Waxwings converged on the trees in our parking lot. About 15 minutes of shooting pictures out of the window by the toaster. I knew that if I went outside I would not get as good a view as I was getting on the third floor. They were pretty high up. My co-workers asked what I was doing and some even enjoyed seeing the Cedar Waxwings.

Heermann's Gull at Shoreline Village not far from my old office. A mature Heermann's gull in winter plumage.

There are Audubon Yellow-rumped Warblers that flit from branch to branch in our company's parking lot. They land on the ground. I walk at breaks with my eyes checking out the trees, the lawn, the hedges, and the flowers. I stop for birds.

Heermann's Gull in winter plumage at Shoreline Village not far from my old work.

Birding at work can get you in trouble. I remember one time when I was a fairly new birder in my twenties. I was in a committee meeting with another co-worker or two being distracted by the fact that a Black Phoebe couple and their two fledglings were outside the window. Finally, Dana, my co-worker, said, "What are you looking at out there?"

Western Gull at Shoreline near my old work location.

"Oh, sorry," I said. I pointed to the Black Phoebes outside the window. "See the little birds with the pointed heads? Look they have babies." Dana was not enthralled. She said, "I am going to whack you on top of your little pointed head if you don't stop looking out that window at those dumb birds!" Luckily, she was not my supervisor. A birder's love of birds and birding is not always appreciated by the other people in their lives.

House Sparrow at Shoreline Village near my old Work location.

But more and more lately people ask about birds when they find out I am a birder. When I worked near the ocean, I had a lot of people come up asking about this bird or that bird that they had seen. Wanting to know the name and more about it. So I started an email called "Bird of the Day" about birds we could see on our walks along the ocean and the nearby river. It became very popular with some people. This blog grew out of the "Bird of the Day" emails I sent to my co-workers.

Pied-billed Grebe near Golden Shores Marine Preserve.

I even had the director of the department ask me to stop my work and go outside to check out a Brown Pelican that appeared to be sick. The location was ideal for birding and I went birding every day at breaks and lunch. In my new work location, it is a lot harder to see the birds, but there are lots of birds there, too. I still go birding at lunch and breaks on occasion.

Western Gull on the nest in the Catalina Express boat docking area near my old work. Every year they built a nest in this risky open platform at the end of a dock that had no space for little gulls learning to fly and at least one year they lost all their chicks.

Rock Dove aka Pigeon near the Catalina Express.

So what have I seen as I walk near my Orange County industrial complex work?

Audubon Yellow-Rumped Warblers

Black Phoebes

Hermit Thrush

Turkey Vultures

American Crows

Mourning Doves

Anna's Hummingbirds

Allen's Hummingbirds

American Kestrel

Red-Tailed Hawks

Cooper's Hawks

Cedar Waxwings

Starlings near my work location in Long Beach.

Ring-billed Gull at the Rainbow Lagoon neat my Long Beach work location.

The company I work for was located for years in Long Beach by the Catalina Express and by the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was located at the junction of the Los Angeles River and the Pacific Ocean. There is a parking lot with lots of trees and paths. At the far end of the parking lot was the Golden Shore Marine Preserve, a small wetlands area. Very small. Herons roosted in the trees and perched on the docks in the same protected area where the Catalina Express came in. Gulls, pigeons, and House Sparrows begged for food. It was great to walk or just sit on the benches overlooking the water.

Wherever you are, be assured that you, too can bird at work. A birder birds. Have fun birding at work in the OC or in LA if you commute. Just try not to bird and drive.

At my previous work in Long Beach near the ocean and Golden Shore Marine Preserve I hit the mother lode:

Mature Heerman's Gull in breeding plumage at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Black Phoebes


Great Blue Herons

Great Egrets

Snowy Egrets at Golden Shores Marine Preserve in Long Beach. At the end of the parking lot at my old work location.

Snowy Egrets

Green Herons

Heermann's Gulls

Western Gulls
Ring-billed Gulls

Rock Doves (Pigeons)

Audubon Yellow-Rumped Warblers

Wilson's Warblers

Orange-crowned Warblers

American Avocets

Marbled Godwits


Black Skimmers

American Coots


Bufflehead Ducks

Western Grebes

Eared Grebes

Horned Grebes


Red-breasted Mergansers

Double-crested Cormorants


Brewers Black Birds

Belted King Fishers

Barn Swallows

Anna's Hummingbirds

House Finches

House Sparrows

Brown Pelicans

Mourning Doves

Ground Doves

Forester's Terns

Caspian Terns

White-crowned Sparrows

(Note: If you decide to go and bird at Golden Shore Marine Preserve, be cautious early in the morning and late near sunset. Homeless live down the banks near the paths and there are gangs that frequent the area at night.)


IndianWildlifeClub said...

Your blog is interesting. i liked the trees shadow and the waxwing photos.

Orange County Birder Girl said...

Thank you for commenting. I checked out your websites and they are interesting as well. Thanks again for commenting.