While in Kyoto last week with my father and the butterfly lady, we visited the Gold Pavilion (Kinkakuji), which is notable for its, um, pavilion clad in gold and - now, to me - for its pond, which when we were there had about a half-dozen Baikal teals swimming around. Here's what they look like (someone else's video, alas):
What a treat! Not a bird I ever expected to see, for sure.
Yesterday, I caught wind of another oddball bird, a great gray owl, that is hanging around the local Corps of Engineers flood-control project, and I met up with a couple of in-the-know bird people who showed me its haunt. A half-hour of snooping around in the cold river bottom and presto! Here's a for instance, so you can see how cool it was: