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San Benito birders skip the crowds on Black Friday

Instead, they took a nature walk for #optoutside.
Nest of common raven. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Nest of common raven. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Small group gathers before starting bird walk at the San Benito County Historical Park on Nov. 23, 2018. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Obie Gutierrez looks at a pair of mated golden eagles through the spotting scope. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Mark Paxton giving a short birding talk. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.

While people all across the country waited in line and bickered over electronic gadgets, some San Benito County residents spent Black Friday in search of feathered fauna.

Hollister resident and certified naturalist Mark Paxton led a small group of bird enthusiasts through San Benito County Historical Park on Nov. 23. The walk was arranged by REACH San Benito Parks Foundation as part of #optoutside, a campaign started by REI to get shoppers out of the stores and into nature.

For Paxton, “nothing would be more miserable” than being at a mall. “I wanted to do something modest in support of the foundation," he said.

Paxton brought his bird identification skills and natural history knowledge with him, teaching participants as he pointed out birds to the group of eight. Some of the birds spotted include the common raven, California scrub-jay, Northern flicker, red-breasted sapsucker, ruby-crowned kinglet and a pair of mated golden eagles.

REACH President Valerie Egland said she was there to support the foundation and get outdoors on Black Friday. She said she was thankful for Paxton’s involvement.

Hollister resident Obie Gutierrez said he went on the bird walk because he wanted to “see all the birds of California, I am still trying to learn them all.”



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Carmel de Bertaut (Carmeldb)

I have a BA in Natural Science, a minor in environmental studies and an AA in communications studies. I have worked as an ecologist and as a writer.

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