do i feel lucky?

Swimming hole on the Kern River near Lake Isabella last Sunday morning. Two big raptors flying low, heading east. Very dark bodies, distinctive snowy-white heads and shoulders.

“Did you see those?” asked Jeremy.

I did, but I was swimming, so I didn’t have my glasses on. And now I doubt the evidence of my own eyes. The only white-headed raptor on Buteo is the bald eagle – rare, spectacular, and if in fact in Lake Isabella, hundreds of miles south of its usual range.

But this site also lists a sighting by a couple in Lake Hughes, another 130 miles south of Kernville. So it’s not impossible

Don’t get me wrong; I want to believe those were eagles I saw. But I also saw a huge raptor soaring over McWay Beach in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park last December, when we went down for J’s birthday. That one had great patches of white under its wings, right up against its body. Just like this.

The California Condor is one of the fifty rarest birds in the world. Either I’m the luckiest neophyte birder who ever trod this earth, or I need to get my glasses cleaned.

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