Where to find Chuq, the “I’m going to be really busy” edition

by Sep 2, 2019

I’ve just finished finalizing my plans for the next few months. We’re heading into fall and winter, which means fall migration is starting (we just saw our first warblers in Santa Clara County), and winter season is high season for me and my photography with the cranes and geese back in the refuges.

That also means there are opportunities for us to get together and go do stuff when I’m out leading a birding group. Here are some dates where you can come out and bird with me in the next few months:

  • In a couple of weeks (September 17), I’ll be headed to Olympic National Park to attend Art Wolfe’s Lake Quinalt Photography Retreat. This is a small, intimate workshop with only 8 attendees, so I’m really looking forward to it, when I’m not scared shootless at the of Art Wolfe judging my for my images. As of this week, there are two spaces left — surprisingly not a sellout — so there’s a chance to sign up at the last minute. Or not, and that means I have to share Art with fewer people…
  • On November 17, from 3-5, I’ll be doing another Big Sit/Drop-in at Coyote Valley OSP. I did one of these last weekend and it was rather hot and quiet, but I have good expectations for this location in the winter so I’m looking forward to it.
  • In Mid-December I’m taking a two day trip to do some intensive photography at Sacramento NWR and Colusa NWR.
  • January 17-19 I’m headed to Morro Bay for the Morro Bay Bird Festival, where I expect to spend a chunk of time on a boat in the harbor with a camera, and splitting that with time up at the Elephant Seal colony, since January is prime season there for photography and chaos.
  • And on January 26, 3-5PM I’ll be doing another event at Coyote Valley OSP, in case it wasn’t obvious this was a favorite place of mine.
  • On February 23, from 9AM to 1PM I’m doing my annual half day outing to Merced NWR. These are always fun and interesting with generally great looks at Sandhill Cranes and three species of geese.
  • And on March 21, I’ll be at Coyote Valley OSP for a third time.

So that’s four group events I’ll be leading, the photo workshop with Art Wolfe, a few days in Morro Bay for the bird festival, and a solo trip up to Sacramento for a couple of days hoping for great photos of Bald eagles.

And wait! there’s more! Since this is busy season for me doing my Crane and Geese photography at the refuges, I have planned four solo day trips out to Merced and San Luis NWR, plus Laurie and I will go out together to those refuges on the Friday or Saturday after thanksgiving, and again the weekend between Christmas and new year. That’s basically scheduling me every couple of weeks for the next almost five months, without conflicting with holidays, Laurie’s travel, work things and the rest of life.

There are times when I do these schedules where I shake my head and wonder if I’m an idiot, and occasionally I seem to prove to myself I am — but this year, I’m really looking forward to it. I even had two more trips penciled in, but as I looked at the schedule, I realized that was just too much given my other commitments. But I a not going to complain about lack of time on the refuges this winter, unless the government shuts down or we get really nasty weather.

And I’m just realizing as soon as this block of things ends, on March 28, we kick off the 2020 Birdathon fundraiser. I expect I’ll lead my normal 2-3 outings for that, but I’ll worry about that later, since this year, I’m not running that committee! It’s someone else’s problem for now…