“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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day 99 - 2 New Birds!

This morning I decided to head uphill in search of birds.  I did not have any particular species in mind, but there are a few migrants that are already here or should be arriving that I could catch up with.

The reason for heading uphill is twofold - First, I need to raise my fitness level so I can survive some of the more challenging rides I would like to tackle in the upcoming months.  My son tells me (and quite correctly) that I should ride more hills.  Second, there tend to be some different birds in the hills  so it would be nice see a few of them.

First stop was Rocky Nook Park.  No new species for me here though there was a good level of bird activity.  The most interesting thing I saw was a young Orange-crowned Warbler begging from its parents.

I continued on up to the Tunnel Trail.  A total climb of 1400+ feet, which I thought went pretty well.  I hung around the trailhead for a bit then headed on up the trail.  The first 3/4 mile of the trail is basically a paved road so I rode with frequent stops to watch for birds.  I did in fact see or hear a few species that are not so common in the flatlands this time of year - Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a pair of singing Black-headed Grosbeaks, and Canyon Wrens.

The hit of the morning was the solo Vaux's Swift that made a pass overhead.  A small grayish swift with low-contrasting lighter throat and very short tail.  New bird for the year!  Getting photos of a flying swift is beyond my abilities so I have no swift photos to share.

In fact I have no presentable bird photos from this morning, so here are a couple of others for your entertainment:

Nice View From Tunnel Trail

Butterfly - I do not recall seeing this type before.

This afternoon I got myself invited over to Noah's place.  He has been hoarding the Calliope Hummingbirds with several coming to visit his feeders this week.  Well he certainly has the secret figured out, because just a couple minutes after he re-filled his feeder a male Calliope Hummingbird appeared -much to my delight!  It was even polite enough to pose for photos.  Unless something very unusual happens, this will be the last new species of hummingbird I see in Santa Barbara County this year.

Thanks Noah!

Calliope Hummingbird (Male) and Rufous Hummingbird (Male)

After the addition of today's 2 species, the year's total stands at 206

Today I rode a total of 17.4 miles

More later,

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