“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, October 14, 2015

Day 287 - Virginia's Warbler!

Today is Wednesday, so time again for Bird Class.  Today we explored the shore to the west of UCSB and Isla Vista, Coal Oil Point, and Devereux Slough.  It was quite foggy early on which made the birding challenging.  Visibility was limited and we relied mostly on the shape and behavior of the birds for identification, as very little color could be seen.  It was actually a good exercise in bird identification.  Also it was high tide which cut back on the shorebird numbers, but we did get a decent variety of those along the way.

Right about now I find Devereux Slough pretty depressing - far more dried mudflats than water, and not nearly as many birds around as normally would be.  Hopefully it will rain soon!  Nothing wildly unusual during today's class, but as always an enjoyable and educational morning out.

After class I made my way over to the Coronado Seep.  There have been reports of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the area, and this would be a really great bird to see.  Along the way I ran into local birders Gage and George, who reported nothing out of the ordinary birdwise in the area.

I arrived at the seep and began my vigil.  There was a good burst of bird activity with a number of birds visiting the water.  Gage and George stopped by for awhile.  While they were they we had an unexpected visit from a Virginia's Warbler.  It did not stay long, certainly not long enough for photos, but long enough to join the year's list at #259!

I sent out a message that this bird had been seen and then settled in, hoping it would return.  For the next half an hour it was pretty quiet.  A couple of other birders arrived, and soon enough the next wave of birds began coming down to the water.  Among them were 2 Fox Sparrows, the first I have seen this season.  Sure enough the Virginia's Warbler returned.  This time it stuck around long enough for two extended baths, giving us really nice views of all the pertinent ID marks.  A great way to end the morning!

Today's photos:  A bit distant and dark but better than nothing:

Virginia's Warbler

Virginia's Warbler

Virginia's Warbler

Black-throated Gray (front) and Virginia's Warblers

Purple Finch

Fox Sparrow (Slate-colored, I believe)

After the addition of this 1 species, the year's total stands at 259

The Score: Vermont 261, Green Big Year 259

Today I rode a total of 27.2 miles

More later,

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