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“The Owls of I.C.U.”   It was the most exciting fall season I’d ever had birding Santa Barbara County!  More new birds in the past months than I’d ever notched before.  Jump into the car, zoom off, one new bird after another in remote areas, new identification challenges that I’d never really thought through before,… Read more »

My Spanish Birding Trip: PART TWO

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  PART TWO:  THE MONEGROS STEPPE   March 9, 2016: Today’s plan involves driving south of the Pyrenees to an entirely different habitat.  This is where Alberto lives, in a little town surrounded by agricultural lands. The whole area has been termed the Monegros Desert, a semi-arid zone nearer to Zaragoza than to Huesca, but… Read more »


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Refugio State Beach: October 15, 2014   On a cloudy, cool morning, the Wednesday bird class ventured up the coast to Refugio State Beach, a well-known coastal vagrant trap for passerines in fall migration. As a teacher, I look at Refugio as somewhat of a challenge.  It’s not all that aesthetically pleasing, lots of tree… Read more »

Birding from Camlica Hill in Istanbul

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  Birding from Camlica Hill in Istanbul! Sept. 24, 2014: It’s full name is Buyuk Camlica, the highest hill overlooking all of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.  The Bosphorus, that marvelous channel that separates two continents — the European and Asian sides of the city—is a famous route for raptors in fall migration. I was determined… Read more »


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  Will I successfully get myself to the top of Camlica Hill in Istanbul, Turkey, to watch the migrant raptor show? My husband and I are going on a fantastic cultural tour, staying in Istanbul for a few days before boarding a sailing ship and traveling from there through the northern Aegean to Athens! BUT… Read more »