“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

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day 51 - Ruddy Turnstone

I don't have lots of time to write this, so I'll keep it short and sweet.

There has been a Ruddy Turnstone reported at Coal Oil Point in Goleta for some time, and several times in the recent week.  This is a relatively unusual visitor to the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, so I have been hoping to track it down.  I was in the area earlier this week, but the tide was high - Turnstones are shorebirds that like to pick over the exposed rocks and weeds at low tide.

Today I decided to swap things and go looking for the Ruddy Turnstone in the afternoon at low tide.  Along the way I stopped at the old Ocean Meadows golf course, where the wintering (and lately absent) Grace's Warbler was reported this morning.  I did not really expect to see it, as these types of birds tend to be more reliable in the morning - like me, they enjoy their siestas.  It did not surprise me by making an appearance.  At least it is still around, so I might catch up with it yet.

I made my way over to Coal Oil Point, parked my bike on the bluff, lifted up my binoculars - and practically the first thing I saw was the Ruddy Turnstone!  It was too far away for a photo, so I made my way down to the beach.  It took a little while to refind the bird, as it had moved, but I followed it around and did the best I could getting a photo given the unfavorable direction of the sun.

Another good bird added to the year's list!

I include a photo of the more locally common Black Turnstone for comparison.

 Black Turnstone

 Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

After the addition of today's 1 species, the year's total stands at 177. 

Today I rode 29 miles

More later,

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