“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, September 30, 2015

Day 273 - Tennessee Warbler!

Today being Wednesday it was time for Bird Class.  Today's class was at Refugio State Beach.  I started riding in the dark as it is about 22 miles from home and class starts at 8AM.  Also the weather forecast was for some wind.  The wind did not materialize until about a mile from my destination so I arrived early.

Having some time to spare I headed down to the creek.  The little bit of water here can attract a steady stream of birds.  Numerous sightings of unusual migrants have been made from this spot over the years.  The wind seemed to be putting a damper on the number of birds coming to visit the water.  I did see a yellow flash out of the corner of my eye and was surprised to find a Tropical Kingbird sitting in a tree overlooking the water.  This species is unusual for our area but there is often 1 or 2 around during the winter months.  I managed a few photos before it flew away with the wind.  I was hoping it would stick around for the class to see but sadly that was the last I saw of it.

The wind really cut down on our birding success for the morning.  We sought out some sheltered spots but the numbers and diversity of species were well below what we typically find at this park.  It seems the birds were smartly hunkered down out of the wind.  After class officially ended some of us continued up Refugio road to a spot known to attract sapsuckers and other interesting birds.  We found a Red-breasted Sapsucker there, the first one I have seen this fall.

The wind provided a welcome boost on the way home.  I stopped by UCSB where the past several days a Tennessee Warbler has been sighted in a particular Ficus tree.  I visited there a couple days ago but was unsuccessful in finding it.  Shortly after I arrived Tom Turner showed up - he had seen this warbler there yesterday.  After a bit of searching I managed to find the Tennessee Warbler up near the top of the tree.  The bird stayed up there out of photo range but we were able to see the bird well enough to make a positive identification.  I like to get a photo in this case, but if that's not possible a witness will do just fine.  We could see a Grayish head, slight white eye-arcs, light yellow chest, white vent and dark undertail.  We never did get a look at the back of the bird which is usually a nice bright olive green.  So Tennessee Warbler joins the list at #254!

Just before I arrived home one of the spokes on my rear wheel broke.  I took it in to the shop and they fixed it straight away so I am once again good to go!

Some photos from today:

Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird

Common Yellowthroat.  A first year female, I believe.

After the addition of this 1 species, the year's total stands at 254

Today I rode a total of 49.8 miles

More later,

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