“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

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Day 263 - Warblers!

After all the warbler reports coming in yesterday, this morning I was ready to go!  I headed out in the dark and arrived at the puddle at the end of Coronado Drive in Goleta shortly after 7AM.  This was the spot where 3 interesting warblers were seen yesterday - Prothonotary, Tennessee, and Blackpoll.  Of these, the rarest by far in our area is the Prothonotary.  In reality I did not think it was a huge advantage to be there so early but after missing out yesterday I just felt the need to be out looking.  I was also willing to stand there all day of that's what it took to see something interesting.

I parked myself in front of the puddle and began to watch the steady though irregular parade of birds, mostly warblers, as they came down to drink and on occasion bathe.  The most numerous warbler was Wilson's, followed by Yellow and Orange-crowned.  The odd Townsend's and Black-throated Gray were thrown in for good measure.

After awhile other birders began to show up and I caught up with old friends and met a couple new ones.  Some of them went off to explore the nearby area.  I stayed near the puddle.  

Around 10AM someone reported that Nick Lethaby had found a Blackpoll Warbler a couple hundred yards to the east of where we were.  I left Rebecca Coulter, Bill and Joan Murdoch to watch the seep.  In less than a minute I had a call from Rebecca - the Prothonotary Warbler was there!  I hurried back in time to get a brief glimpse of it flying away.  It was a glimpse nonetheless and so Prothonotary Warbler goes down as bird #248 for the year!  

There continued to be a good flow of birds coming to the water.  I figured if I waited long enough the Prothonotary would return.  Sure enough it did, giving those of us gathered there some "crippling" views of this gorgeous bird.  Let me tell you it was well worth the wait.  This is definitely one of the most handsome birds I have caught up with this year!

While waiting this morning I managed to collect photos of a few new species.  I have now posted photos of 75% of the species seen this year. The puddle is a tough spot for photography so the results are not award-winning, but you get the picture (so to speak).

Some photos from this morning:

Prothonotary Warbler - star of the show this morning!

Yellow Warbler

Townsend's Warbler

Townsend's Warbler

Black-throated Gray and Yellow Warblers

Willow Flycatcher

After the addition of this 1 species, the year's total stands at 248.

Today I rode a total of 24.4 miles

More later,

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