“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, August 19, 2015

Day 231 - Not the Least of Terns

I had planned to take the off from birding today, for various reasons.  When the report of Least Terns at Coal Oil Point came in, those plans changed.  I left the house about 11AM and aided by a nice tailwind made the 12 miles to Coal Oil Point in 42 minutes.  I spent 90 minutes searching the beach and this was the only Tern I could find:


Two problems here: 1) This is clearly too large for a Least Tern and 2) Obviously the bird is well and truly dead.  It turns out the Least Terns were seen as late as 11AM, so I just missed them.  I will definitely try again!

The consolation here was a pleasant visit with the Snowy Plovers.  I counted 62 at one time.  I love these birds.  They have the cute factor and a serenity about them.  There were also some other shorebirds around so I gave my camera a workout.

 Black-bellied Plover

Snowy Plover - Immature



On the way home I kept an eye on the sky and the shoreline looking for Terns.  There was a pair out in Goleta Bay that looked to me like Forster's but they were too far away to be certain - definitely too large for Least Terns.  

I stopped at Goleta Beach, where there was a good selection of birds around.  Among those were two Caspian Terns, an adult and a begging youngster.  I do not believe I have seen a Caspian Tern this young before.  Caspian Terns are the largest Terns in North America - definitely not the Least of Terns!

Caspian Terns - Adult (left) and Immature (Right)

Short-Billed Dowitcher. Thanks Nick for the confirmation!

Brown-headed Cowbird

After today the year's total still stands at 237. 

Today I rode a total of 25 miles

More later,

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