After a bit of a lull at the beginning of the month the species have been adding up nicely and I have been approaching the 250 species milestone faster than I imagined I would. Fall migration has been very good to me. Today I reached the 250 species mark with a Solitary Sandpiper!
Peter Schneekloth found the bird today at Lake Los Carneros during his lunch break. The email report arrived and the routine began. 1) Tell my wife "there's a bird in Goleta." 2) Get dressed, pull the binocs and camera together, make sure the bike is ready. 3) Ride off towards the bird.
When I arrived at the lake the only wader I could find was a Greater Yellowlegs. Similar in appearance to the Solitary Sandpiper yes, but not the bird I was after. I saw local bird-chasing enthusiasts Marge and Don Thornton on the far shore of the lake looking intently at something so I headed over there. Sure enough in addition to the Yellowlegs there was a Black-necked Stilt, a Dowitcher, and the star of today's show - Solitary Sandpiper! Its speckled back, strong eye ring and straight bill distinguish it from the other waders.
So I have made it to 250 species with 100 days left in the year. I will be away for a bit of that, but otherwise I plan to keep chasing the birds until the calendar runs out. It will be interesting to see how many more species I can add to the year's list!
Solitary Sandpiper - #250!
White-crowned Sparrow, first of the season.
Today I rode a total of 24 miles