Black-headed Grosbeak on the Tuolumne Parkway Trail
It's a real hit and miss proposition. As the summer wanes, I've been walking the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail almost every morning. On many of those days, the exercise is great, but the birds will be in hiding. On other days it will seem like every bush has an interesting bird perched in it. Three days ago I took nearly a hundred pictures. Yesterday I took none. Today was kind of a middle ground, with fifty pictures, of which about five are useful. But I was pretty thrilled with these. Apparently, the Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) is not a particularly rare bird, but I've only seen it twice on previous walks, and these pictures show that I didn't get very good shots. Today I did a little bit better.
I was actually tracking some Belted Kingfishers across the Tuolumne when I noticed the female Grosbeak in the bushes of to my right only about thirty yards away. I got these pictures before it got bored with me and flew off. The grosbeaks will only be with us for a few more weeks; they are summer visitors who winter down in Mexico.