I must have had ESP when I packed my Sony Cybershot Digital Camera into my purse before setting out for Amtrak 711 on Monday.

After a 3+ hour journey along the scenic route,

I de-trained and caught the Bart at Richmond, inching my way to the Del Norte Station in El Cerrito.

Greeted by crystal clear air and temperate weather, I embarked upon my robust walk up into the Hills, having my camera within easy reach.

Not six blocks into my healthy romp, I spotted a turkey strutting coquettishly up the steps of a modest split-level residence.

At first I thought it might be the latest pet attraction. After, all some animal lovers were known to keep tarantulas and poisonous snakes, not to mention baby gorillas. So what was novel about a bird prancing about, getting a bit of sun?

As I grabbed my digital, thinking this T-Day eye-catcher was still a headliner worth a capture, a woman clad in running clothes doing her morning jog, paused to tell me I was looking at a “wild turkey,” likely separated from his pack. (down from the Berkeley Hills, perhaps, a deer and racoon sanctuary)

She’d seen him(?) in the neighborhood, winging it from day-to-day.

In passing, she mentioned goats and a rooster kept by a homeowner a few blocks away.

The “Cocka-doodle-doo” was a familiar greeting each Tuesday as I sauntered DOWN the hill from my piano studio to BART. Amidst manicured lawns along the way, I wondered about the mystery farmyard hidden behind a gray gate.

Meanwhile, I smiled with delight, knowing I’d managed to land a treasure-trove of unforgettable pics.

Finally, when I arrived at my El Cerrito piano studio, a turkey photo review was first on the agenda.