“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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Day 288 - The Case Of The Curious Vireo

A couple of days ago Peter Schneekloth reported a very bright-looking Cassin's Vireo at the Bella Vista Open Space in Goleta.  This bird can be hard to find but not super rare.  Yesterday a number of people went and found the bird again.  Due to its unique appearance someone suggested it may actually be a Blue-headed Vireo - this would be a super rare bird for our area.

Photos of the bird were distributed to the local experts in an attempt to determine which species this bird is.  Sometimes even the experts aren't sure, so these experts sent the photos along to the uber-experts - the people who write bird identification books.  At least one of these uber-experts gave the opinion that the bird was indeed a Blue-headed Vireo.  (I looked at some photos and leaned towards Cassin's Vireo, but what the hell do I know?)

Last night an email was sent out noting that the experts were thinking it may be a Blue-headed Vireo, so this morning I headed out to Bella Vista Open Space to try and find it.  Shortly after I arrived Dave Compton showed up, then later Florence Sanchez joined us in trying to relocate this mysterious Vireo.  There was very little bird activity in the park, and we were unsuccessful in our quest and departed after an hour.

Since the bird had previously been seen in the afternoons I decided to visit a few spots around Goleta and return around noon.  The Coronado Seep area got hit by a thunderstorm yesterday and there was water all over the place - no bird magnet there today.  I continued to the UCSB lagoon where the wintering duck population is growing - there were a good number of recently arrived American Wigeon and also a few Redheads.  I also had a nice visit with a rather cooperative Marsh Wren.

I headed back to Bella Vista Open Space around noon.  There were a number of excellent and very experienced birders there searching for the mysterious Vireo, but it was not present.  I put in another hour of searching to no avail then headed home.

Some photos from today:

Marsh Wren

Snowy Egret

Black-crowned Night-heron

Greater Yellowlegs

After today the year's total still stands at 259.

The Score: Vermont 261, Green Big Year 259

Today I rode a total of 41.2 miles

More later,

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