“People often ask me how it is that I seem to be so much at peace. There is a primary reason — and it is available to all who wish to have it. Here’s a simple prerequisite to attaining peace at that level. I invite you to observe the beasts, birds and fish and let them teach you. Let this be a daily routine and life, as you know it, will never be the same.”
– Eddie Bo

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day 10 - Shutout at the Bird Refuge

I had time for a brief outing this morning, so I decided to head to the Andree Clark Bird Refuge (how can I miss with a name like that?).  There have been at least two species reported there recently that would be useful to add to the year's list: Sora, and Virginia Rail.

I did see a Sora in this very spot last month.  The Virginia Rail is a different story.  These birds are very secretive and more often heard than seen.  I did see one once, near Flagstaff Az.  For some reason around Santa Barbara I have a difficult time connecting with this species.

I arrived at the Bird Refuge, and there were good numbers of birds around, but the diversity of species was well below what I usually encounter here.  For example, there were hundreds of birds on the water, but I could only see 3 species: American Coot, and 2 types of duck: Ruddy Duck and Northern Shoveler.

I was there for over an hour.  Things picked up a bit and I ended up seeing 32 different species, but nothing that could be added to the year's list.  Unfortunately I cannot count the California Condors that I could see in the Santa Barbara Zoo enclosure across the water.

On the way home I tried to find something list-worthy along the waterfront, but no luck.  This is the first day out I have not added any species to the list.  I knew things would slow down as the year went on, but I was hoping for a more gradual reduction in the action and later in the year as well.

But wait, there is more!  During the time I was striking out at the Bird Refuge, there were 3 desirable species reported from Shoreline Park.  I rode by Shoreline Park on the way to and from the Bird Refuge.  No doubt these folks were equipped with spotting scopes.  The good news is that I am now set up to carry my spotting scope short distances, and this park is a short distance from the house.  If the weather is decent tomorrow (showers predicted) I may give it a go.

At least the birds are out there.  They can run, but they cannot hide all year.

So to close out this rather uninspiring report, I leave you as a consolation prize a photo of an Orange-crowned Warbler taken at home last month.

Orange-crowned Warbler, Dec 2014

The year's total still stands at 147. 

Today I rode 12.2 miles

More later,

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