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11249A Solstice gift wrapped with a Little Bunting.

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  • Mark Rauzon
    Dec 23, 2013
      If the Little Bunting is not refound, it had quite a send off party on the winter solstice. The day dawned misty as birders arrived in the gloam and set up scopes. Our team left Oakland at 2am to be there then, and many traveled much further and longer. And thankfully the Bunting appears by 8am and foraged in the fog amidst the cow pies, until miracles of miracles, the sun came out.  In early morning light, the Little Bunting delighted the 50 or so folks aligned on the farm road, by flitting to and fro, up on the fence, down on the track, always near the crowd. By nine it move back away from the road and many folks began leaving with huge smiles. We ate our celebratory Chocolate Donuts and toasted our Paleoarctic vagrant, our winter solstice present. Sadly the afternoon visitors had many frustrating hours. Yet, it seems appropriate on the shortest day of the year for the Bunting to symbolically return north with the sun.

      So many, many thanks to the keen ear of Keith Slauson for having the acuity to discover this obscure little bird and to the local folks, Rob Fowler and NW posse, for keeping the word flowing, allowing our community a once-in-a-birding career celebration together.

      The party in full swing:
      The star of the party:


      Happy Holiday and all the best birds in 2014!

      Mark J. Rauzon
      Laney College
      Geography Dept.
      900 Fallon St.
      Oakland, CA 94607