Saturday, June 14, 2008
San Francisco, earlier
Hi all. I'm back safely from San Francisco, where the weather was pleasant, the hills were steep, and the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill were raucous.
My first day, I had a couple of extra hours to spare, and hiked from my hotel (which, although very swishy, didn't have a room ready for me just then) over to Telegraph Hill, a distance of a couple of kilometres or so, to peer at the attractive Coit Tower. A note to potential tourists: the hills are absolutely brutal to walk. Take the tram instead.
The view from the hill is rather nice, with the bay, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge and various other landmarks in plain sight.
But - and here's the highlight - being a big fan of both the book and the film about said parrots, I was resolved to find the famous Greenwich Steps, hike down them looking for the house where Mark Bittner lived, met and cared for the parrot flock, and see if the birds themselves were in evidence.
Finding the Greenwich Steps turned out to be remarkably easy:
This, I'm pretty sure, is the house in question, hidden among the leaves, about halfway down the steps to the base of the hill.
And this, my friends, is a big green tree that was squawking a lot more than trees usually do. A great big flock of what are predominantly Cherry-Headed Conures was in there, and I caught a few glimpses of them wheeling around between trees. As one might expect of parrots, they're very noisy, very fast fliers, and darned near impossible to see once they alight in the foliage.
All in all, a thorough success, I'd say.
More photos in the San Francisco set.