I woke up early enough to sneak a little birding into my day. I cruised down to Upper Newport Bay to bird along Back Bay Drive. It was absolutely gorgeous out, sunny but with a steady cool breeze. In typical summer fashion, it was fairly subdued bird-wise, but I had some nice surprises, like a great look at a vocal black-headed grosbeak, a close fly by barn swallow, and a Cooper's hawk that nearly took off my face.
It was a very nice day, but to be perfectly honest, I'm having a hard time focusing on birds here when visions of blue tits, European robins, and little owls keep dancing through my head! An ecologist in the Cambridge area has graciously extended an offer to arrange to let me tag along on a banding program at Monks Wood Nature Reserve - that's gotta be the best way to learn new species, see them up close and personal! 10 days and counting...