Ah, the joys of the traveling birder.
Here I sit surrounded by suburban sprawl and 12 lane freeways and enjoying some great birding. Being primarily an East Coast birder, I'm visiting family in Pasadena right now and rediscovering western birds. Bushtits and Anna's Hummingbirds flit above heavy traffic and between high-rise apartments. Acorn Woodpeckers store acorns in the palms planted along the street. Exotic parrots screech their way through the neighborhood on their daily commutes. California Thrashers and Golden-crowned Sparrows inhabit the city parks. All treasured birds, rarely (if ever) seen back east, and I see them just walking around the block. And best of all, I can enjoy it all in the comfort of shorts and sandals.
In a weeks time an even greater treat awaits, for I'll be in Hawaii, soaking up the tropical sun and studying native songbirds in the mountains. This is how winter is meant to be spent.