“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, May 13, 2015

Day 133 - Carpinteria Bluffs

It's been a few days since I have been out chasing birds.  I have been distracted by other things, and without going further afield there is not much around at the moment that I have not already seen this year.  But of course once you go out searching, you never know what you might find!

My plan this morning was to ride to the Carpinteria Bluffs via the foothills (climb more hills!).  Within the last week there were a couple of Oystercatchers reported there.  This is the one spot in the county that I know of where Oystercatchers are reported on a somewhat regular basis.  I figured there was a low probability of finding one, but at least I would get a walk on the beach at low tide.

I managed to climb all of my hills and arrived at the Bluffs as the tide was nearing its lowest level.  I walked the beach, and as I expected there were no Oystercatchers to be found.  In fact, as expected there were very few shorebirds around.  Most of them have headed north for the breeding season.  There were a couple of Spotted Sandpipers - actually with spots!  Most of the year the ones we see around here are not wearing their breeding finery.

After I climbed back up the bluff, I noticed a raven sitting on a rock outcrop above the beach.  Ravens are not very common on the coastal plain, but I did recognize this individual as one I had seen at this site before.  It has some white areas on its feathers, giving it a spotted appearance.  As I was watching I was surprised to see it fly over and into a cavity in the bluff itself.  Giving it a closer look, I could see that there was a nest in the cavity, with another Raven sitting on it!  I was very surprised to see Ravens nesting at the beach.  I did a little research in Paul Lehman's "Birds of Santa Barbara County" and was surprised again to see that Ravens have been nesting at the Bluffs since 1994.

On the way home I stopped at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge.  The Ruddy Ducks in their snazzy breeding outfits caught my attention.  While getting photos of this I was happy to see a Green Heron nearby, so I grabbed a photo of it as well.

All in all a nice outing.  Of course, as soon as I got home there was a report of a Yellow-breasted Chat in Goleta - this is one bird I need to see!  However I was simply too tired to hop on the bike and chase it down.  Perhaps tomorrow.

Raven on nest


Spotted Sandpiper

Semipalmated Plover

A very bleached 1st Cycle Glaucous-winged Gull

Green Heron

Ruddy Duck

After today the year's total still stands at 226. 

Today I rode a total of 40.8 miles

More later,

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