“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, March 20, 2015

Day 79 - Three New Birds!

OK, forgive my rambling here, it is midnight and I have to get up at 5AM to take my friend Chris to the airport!

This morning I headed out to Goleta, I was hoping to catch up with a Surfbird and an Elegant Tern.  I headed to Coal Oil Point, where both of these species had been spotted in recent days.  Like an idiot I arrived at high tide - the worst time to find birds on the shore.  There were absolutely no shorebirds to be found - which begs the question: Where do the shorebirds go when the tide is high?

Having some time to kill while the tide subsided I headed over to Devereux Slough, hoping perhaps to find a Rufous Hummingbird.  Well, once again I looked at quite a few hummingbirds but could not find any of the Rufous type.  There were a good variety of birds around, including a couple of interesting raptors - a Merlin, and an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk.

While looking around I heard a familiar call of the Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  This was in an area I had seen this species before.  Every time I pass through here I keep an eye out for one.  The bird appeared in a tree in front of me, but it moved on before I could get a photo.  Hello Chickadee!  This is one of the few species in our area that has been expanding its area in recent years.  1 species added to the year's list!

Eventually I began heading for home.  Along the way I decided to stop at Campus Point, one last chance to find a Surfbird.  These birds like rocky areas, and in this area Coal Oil Point and Campus Point are pretty much the only options.  The tide was high but I could see a few birds moving around on the rocks.  Sure enough, 5 Surfbirds were foraging just above the breaking waves.  The Surfbird is one of my favorite sandpipers.  They are stout - kind of the linebackers of the sandpiper family.  I managed some rather poor photos in the midday sun, and also include a better photo from a couple years ago.  2 birds today for the year's list!

One more stop on the way home at Goleta Beach, perhaps an Elegant Tern to be found there.  I could see one group of gulls resting on the beach.  Often the terns are to be found amongst the gulls.  Upon closer examination, there were about 10 terns in with the gulls.  Right now most of the terns around here are Royal Terns.  An Elegant Tern will be smaller than the Royal, with a narrower bill and a slightly pinkish breast.  Sure enough, one of the terns fit the Elegant description - 3 birds today for the year's list!

A nice outing this morning.  It has been a month since I have added 3 birds in one day.  With more spring migrants arriving I hope to continue this trend!

Some photos from today:

Great Egret


Sharp-shinned Hawk (Immature)



Surfbird, Goleta Ca April 2013

Elegant Tern (center) and Royal Terns

After the addition of today's 3 species, the year's total stands at 194. 

Today I rode a total of 30.5 miles

More later,

No comments:

Post a Comment