Though I’m a physical scientist by heart and by education I took advice from the old famous proverb and decided that “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” Though I would’ve preferred to have been in Rome and do as the Romans do and taste some of their delicious wine I was, instead, surrounded by bird enthusiasts (addicts) and so I went to my first bird walk by my own free will, not counting the bird walks I attended as part of my shorebird survey training.
Every first Saturday the Elkhorn Slough has a special bird walk known as the Early Bird Tour and is led by Rick Fornier, local bird expert. This month the tour was offsite and the first site we visited was Jetty Road which is also one of my shorebird monitoring sites. With luck on my side I was able to demonstrate the knowledge that I have gained in the past few months and was quickly, though incorrectly, labeled as a bird expert. This would later on come to haunt me in the later sites as I was constantly asked about passerines and other birds that I have no training on.
We then moved on to Moonglow Dairy where we were able to hear hundreds of birds in an instance that I would call one of the most serene experiences of my life. No wind. No cars. No talking. No nothing. Only passerines singing their songs. The group saw a Brown Creeper, Allen’s Hummingbird, Yellow Headed Blackbirds, and many House Finches. At the end I would say that I enjoyed my first bird walk.