“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, April 21, 2015

Day 111 - Great Bonus Bird!!!

This morning I had a brief window for an outing.  It was low tide so I headed down to the Santa Barbara Harbor Jetty, hoping to find a Wandering Tattler.  Once again I did not find any Tattlers (I did see one last weekend in Monterey, so I do know they are out there!), but there were a few other waders around.  They are starting to really show their breeding plumages.  There is only a short window in each year where we see Spotted Sandpipers that actually have spots!  I must say the Surfbirds are looking quite handsome as well.

Spotted Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper


Upon my return home I received a text from Liz Maruoka that there was a sighting of a Sandhill Crane at Devereux Slough.  In my limited experience we get less than one of these per year in the Santa Barbara area, so this was exciting news!  Whatever it was I was supposed to be doing was quickly forgotten.

The chase was on!  I got on the bike and covered the 13 miles to the viewing point in less than 43 minutes.  When I arrived I ran into Liz, who was leaving.  She had just texted me the exact location of the bird, and sure enough there it was!  I had never seen one in Santa Barbara County before, so this was a great find.  Many thanks to all those who found, reported, and got the word out so quickly.

As I watched over the next 45 minutes several friends, old and new, also arrived to see the Crane.  This included Jared Dawson, who just happened to be in the middle of a green big day.  He was hoping to break his old record of 123 species.  At this point he was not optimistic about that, but was quite pleased to be looking at a Sandhill Crane as part of his day's walk.  At this point the crane began gently calling, which sounded not unlike a giant pigeon cooing.  It was really cool to hear this!

Some distant photos of today's star:

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

After the addition of today's 1 species, the year's total stands at 217

Today I rode a total of 32.6 miles

More later,

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