“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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day 62 - Scott's Oriole

Since spring is coming and the wintering birds will be departing any minute, so I decided it was time to go get my Green Big Year Scott's Oriole.  You may recall from Day 3 that at least one of these Orioles likes to spend the winter in the neighborhood I lived for many years.

Unfortunately for someone on a bike, this entails a steep climb up Old San Marcos Road.  This stretch is well known to avid cyclists in the area who use it for training.  The profile for the 3 mile stretch is shown below.

Old San Marcos Road - 1200 feet climb in 3 miles

In my experience the best time to catch the Oriole(s) is around 7AM.  As I have not ridden up this stretch in some time, I thought it best to ride up the evening before, spend the night, and not have to attempt the climb at 6AM.  I did this, and it turned out the climb was not as bad as expected.  I made it from the bottom to the top in what I thought was a respectable 32 minutes.

After a restful night, I awoke to the sound of a pair of Great Horned Owls calling.  After a little coffee and something to eat, I made my way over to the favored Oriole viewing point.  Promptly at 7:03 an immature male Scott's Oriole appeared, stayed for about two minutes, sang a little song and departed.  I managed a couple rather poor photos to document the event.  For reference I also include a better photo of an adult male, which is quite stunning and has a beautiful song to match.

Scott's Oriole (Immature Male)

Scott's Oriole, Adult Male from March 2014

Having some time on my hands, I scouted the neighborhood in the hopes that something else interesting might turn up, like perhaps a Steller's Jay.  This is about the bottom edge of their elevation range.  Though not always present they are around from time to time.  Luckily, nearing the end of my circuit I heard the boisterous call of the Steller's Jay, and saw the subject working through the top of a nearby oak tree.  A nice little bonus to add to the year's list!

More photos from today:

Band-tailed Pigeons 

Lesser Goldfinch 

Oak Titmouse

After the addition of today's 2 species, the year's total stands at 182. 

Yesterday and today I rode a total of 24.0 miles

More later,

No comments:

Post a Comment