“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

Friday, October 9, 2015

Day 282 - WarblerFest Returns And A Bet With Vermont

After yesterday's Swamp Sparrow debacle I was ready to head out and make some progress today.  There have been a number of reports of a Blackpoll Warbler in the same area that we saw the Prothonotary Warbler a couple days ago so that's where I headed.

When I arrived the trees in this area were once again very active with what seemed like a million Yellow-rumped Warblers.  The puddles in the creekbed have dried up considerably in the past couple of days.  In fact there was only one puddle that seemed to be attracting the vast majority of the warblers.

There was a constant flow of almost exclusively Yellow-rumped Warblers coming to the water.  Over time a number of other birders showed up, most of them hoping to see the Prothonotary Warbler.  It did not disappoint, coming in to the puddle 3 or 4 times while I was there.  It was nice to see some old and make some new friends.

In addition to the typical warbler species (Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Wilson's, Black-throated Gray, Townsend's) I also saw a Nashville Warbler.  Unfortunately when I was looking at the Nashville Warbler the Blackpoll Warbler made an appearance and I missed it!

Well persistence paid off once again, as about half an hour later the Blackpoll Warbler returned and a number of us got nice views as it visited the puddle.  No photos, but witnesses are just as good.  Blackpoll Warbler joins the list at #257!

By the time I made it home it was a balmy 97 degrees.

In other big news, the Santa Barbara Green Big Year is now officially in competition with the state of Vermont!  When I put out the news that I had reached 250 species my friend Tom Berriman, who lives in Vermont, pointed out that this was almost the same number of species that had been reported by all birders in the state of Vermont this year.  One thing led to another and Tom and I have agreed to a friendly wager.  If my species list for the Green Big Year surpasses all species reported in Vermont, Tom will donate $100 to the Santa Barbara Audubon Society.  If Vermont comes out on top I will donate $100 to Vermont Center For Ecostudies.  Presently I am at 257 species and Vermont is at 261 species.  I will keep the tally updated as it progresses.

Some distant photos from today:

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

A rather distant Nashville Warbler

After the addition of this 1 species, the year's total stands at 257

Today I rode a total of 24.7 miles

More later,

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