“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, May 5, 2015

Day 125 - County Line Birding

This morning I headed to the Southeast corner of Santa Barbara County - Bates Road in Carpinteria.   I had a tip (thanks Wes!) that this may be a good spot to find Western Wood Pewee, Swainson's Thrush, and Yellow-breasted Chat.  Rincon Creek typically provides some riparian habitat here, but with the continuing drought it was bone dry this morning.

Bates road is actually the boundary between Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.  My theory is that I can count any birds I encounter while I am in Santa Barbara County.  The birds themselves are not required to be in Santa Barbara County.  So I was careful to stay on the Santa Barbara side of the line down the center of the road while looking for birds.

Shortly after arrival at the bridge over Rincon Creek I heard the call of the Western Wood Pewee.  Sure enough after awhile it showed itself.  One new bird for the year's list!  Sadly, it never really came close enough for a photo.

Despite the lack of water there was a good level of bird activity in the area.  Today's bird youngsters included House Wrens, Robins, and Bullock's Orioles.  I stayed in the area for about an hour but could not detect any Thrushes or Chats.  At one point I heard something that sounded like it might be a rather subdued Chat, but it turned out to be merely a Black-headed Grosbeak.

I stopped at the Mission Creek outflow on the way home to watch the Gulls and Skimmers.  Skimmers are definitely one of my favorite birds, and I never tire of watching them.

Some unspectacular photos from a rather dark and dull morning:

Robin on nest, note youngster's beak poking up

Bonaparte's Gull, breeding plumage

Bonaparte's Gull, breeding plumage

Black Skimmers

Black Skimmers

After the addition of today's 1 species, the year's total stands at 224.

Today I rode a total of 39.8 miles

More later,

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