Saturday, July 18, 2015

Christmas in July

Just as Timber Press promised us, writing a book has led to some wonderful opportunities over the last couple years. We've given talks everywhere from Bellingham to Othello, and Charleston to Sisters. We went out on a day cruise as naturalists. We've used our minor celebrity to raise money for Portland Audubon and its important work. Then, a few months ago, things took an even more exciting turn. 

I sent the following (mostly joking) tweet to Celestron, not really expecting a result.Yes, that's electrical tape.
By delightful coincidence, the person in charge of the Celestron Twitter account was none other than John Riutta, fellow Oregonian and (positive) reviewer of our book for Birdwatcher's Digest. He had an idea for a partnership with Celestron, which is known for its telescopes, but makes a large range of optics. Fast forward to this week, when Max's sad binos were joined by this good-looking Granite 10x50 and a 10x42 for me. To state the obvious, these new binoculars are a huge improvement and we love them.



We also got a Regal M2 scope with an iPhone adapter that we took out into the field at our very first opportunity. So far, we like the dual focus knobs and the case that can stay on while you use it. We hope to increase the quality of our bird phone-scoping and frequency of our blogging, while showing how much wonderful birding there is to be found in this corner of the world.
And now for some birds found at Jackson Bottoms:

Long-billed Dowitchers were our first targets. So pumpkiny. All photo fuzziness is my fault, not Celestron's.

Shorebird migration season quickly approaches. We found some Least Sandpipers contemplating their handsome reflections in shallow water. You can even see the pale legs on this one.

A Greater Yellowlegs represented the large end of the shorebird spectrum.

Ah, brown duck time is here. A Cinnamon Teal family flashes tell-tale blue wing patches.

These Ospreys (baby on the right) excitedly greeted the other parent.

The only thing cooler than a Lazuli Bunting...

is a Lazuli Bunting singing with a grasshopper in its mouth.

Definitely an improvement over our previous birding and photography set up. Can't wait to get out again, especially when it isn't blazing hot.

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