“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

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Day 225 - Nojoqui Falls Park, Buellton

This morning I set off from Lompoc, with the plan to return home via Buellton so I could visit nearby Nojoqui Falls County Park.  The reason for this stop is to see a Purple Martin or two.  As far as I know this is the only reliable spot in Santa Barbara County to find this species.  They return yearly and nest in a few Sycamore Trees.  Like the Least Terns yesterday, it is getting time for them to be moving on so I was unsure of my prospects in finding them.

The 20 or so miles from Lompoc to the park passed without event, I even had a slight tailwind which was nice.  I arrived at the park and made my way over to the area where the Martins nest.  It was very quiet there, which was disappointing - the Martins are generally boisterous and you pretty much know right away when they are around.  Clearly they had raised this year's batch of young and were no longer staying near the nests.

Though this was not the news I was hoping for, I thought that perhaps at least some of them might still be in the area.  If I waited around and kept an eye on open spaces perhaps I could spot some flying around.  The first thing I found in the open field next to the park was this Coyote looking for breakfast.

Coyote in field adjacent to Nojoqui Falls Park

I stayed around for about half an hour listening to the local birds calling away - the soundscape dominated by Acorn Woodpeckers and Crows.  (If you ever need to see Acorn Woodpeckers, this park is a very good place to go.)  Suddenly I heard a different call in the mix, kind of a buzzy chirp that seemed to be coming from overhead.  I looked up to see two Purple Martins cruising over the park!  Not the extended close-up views I had been hoping for, but given the late stage of the season I was very pleased with any sighting at all.  No chance for a photo, so I include one I took at this park last spring.

Purple Martin, male, Nojoqui Falls Park April 2014

Spirits lifted by the Martin flyby, and the slight tailwind, the remaining miles home passed by without incident.

I added 4 species on this little overnight jaunt to the North County, but missed out on the Least Tern.  I declare it a success!

After the addition of this 1 species, the year's total stands at 237.

Today I rode a total of 68 miles.

More later,

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