Yesterday after I returned from my birding outing I received a report that a Northern Waterthrush had been found by Dave Compton in Carpinteria. By that time it was just too hot to hop on the bike and try and track it down. This would be a great bird to see. The only ones I have seen have been in Costa Rica and Panama.
This morning I got an early start and at 7:30 was at the spot where the bird was seen yesterday. I really had no idea how good the chances would be that it was still around. As I was making my way through the Poison Oak Thicket towards the creek I could see the Waterthrush picking through the plants in the creek bottom and vigorously pumping its tail - as Waterthrushes do. Well, that was certainly easier than I expected! The uniformly colored and light yellow undersides as well as "eyebrow" differentiate this from the similar Louisiana Waterthrush. Another one I was not expecting to catch up with this year. Let's hope this is a trend for the fall migration.
I watched the bird work through the creek bed for awhile and got some rather crappy photos. The light level was low, and also I discovered later my camera lens was pretty grubby so I do not think that helped. I was ready to go so I submitted my ebird checklist and put the camera away. Much to my surprise at that moment a second Waterthrush came out of the bushes and joined the first one in the creek! I am thinking I need to get my eyes checked as I keep seeing things I find hard to believe.
Northern Waterthrush (note tail is in motion)
Also from Carpinteria Creek:
Next I went down to the creek mouth. Among the usual birds here I found a Sora which was unusually cooperative for the camera. This means I was able to get any pictures at all - these birds generally stay back in the foliage and do not show themselves too much.
A great little outing made even sweeter by the tailwind that helped push me home!
Today I rode a total of 32.2 miles