“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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day 52 - San Marcos Foothills Preserve

This morning I headed out to the San Marcos Foothills Preserve.  This is an area of open space that was saved from development by a community group and donated to the Land Trust in 2007.  It is one of the few remaining accessible open spaces in the Santa Barbara foothills.

The reason for heading here - recent bird reports, of course!  Yesterday local birder, biologist, and open space advocate Mark Holmgren reported 3 desirable species here: Greater Roadrunner, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, and Townsend's Solitaire.  Any one of these would be a good addition to the year's list, as they are difficult to find locally (Roadrunner, Sparrow) or usually stay in the mountains (Solitaire).

As I arrived at the entrance to the reserve there was a group assembling for a guided tour.  Mark Holmgren arrived to join the group.  I was going to ask him where he was hiding the Solitaire but he was engaged with the group and I did not want to interrupt.  Mistake.

I looked in the noted spot for the Solitaire, without luck.  I then made a loop of the eastern side of the reserve, which did not turn up the desired Roadrunner or sparrow.  On the way out, I stopped agin to look for the Solitaire, but it was not cooperating.  0 for 3 on desired birds today!  To rub salt in the wound, Mark's ebird report from his visit did show the Solitaire to be present.

So, I will need to revisit this place.  Not a bad thing, as I have seen several interesting birds here during the spring and summer in previous years.

I leave you with a photo I took of a Townsend's Solitaire last year.

Townsend's Solitaire, February 2014, Figueroa Mountain

After the today the year's total still stands at 177. 

Today I rode 11.8 miles

More later,

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