Welcomed By Coots In San Diego

We interrupt the entries about Gautemala to talk about the San Diego Bird Festival! I'm in sunny SoCal for the next few days to speak and go on some fabulous field trips. Guatemala needs to be put on hold because I need to have all my notes nearby to make sure I get my species correct.

I have a whole herd of coot (I figure if they are out of the water, they no long qualify as a raft) right outside my hotel room door.

Last night as I was digiscoping them, a woman came up to ask if I saw anything good. I told her that to me, coot feet are exciting--I so rarely get the chance to see the feet. Another case of a familiar bird in a different habitat acting incrediby mellow. Minnesota coots do not put up with foot fetishests like myself.

This musts be the laziest coot ever. It would rather stretch out to get that last little snippet of grass then walk around.

Also right outside my hotel room is a brown pelican, or Old Blue Eyes as I have dubbed him. He sticks close to shore and does mini-dives for fish. I love the colors in the sunlight.

Such a change from the American white pelicans I'm used to. The red, the brown, the buttery cream on the head--gorgeous!

But I need to wind up my hotel digiscoping. I'm putting the final touches on my programs. This afternoon I'm doing an "attracting birds program" and tonight I get to do some storytelling. I'm going to do my "The Woman Who Could Talk To Birds" story based on one very persistant caller we had when I worked at the wild bird store. Good times!

If any of you are at the gathering tonight, stop by and say hello!