“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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 300 - Return From Figueroa Mountain

This morning Wes and I were sitting at the picnic table chatting.  The campground was quiet, there was no bird activity.

The quiet was broken by a bird approaching overhead, with a buzzy "Cheer" flight call.  Wes jumped up "That's your bird!"  and overhead was a large finch with a yellow belly, black wings with white wing patches - Evening Grosbeak!  During a visit to the area earlier in the week Wes had heard some in the distance but not seen them.  Seeing one this morning was a great surprise as they appear in our mountains infrequently, during "irruption" years (years when they leave their normal home range).  Evening Grosbeak joins the list at #268!

We searched around a bit more but could find nothing else unusual.  There were no other finches around this morning.  It is interesting how the birds seen in a particular location can change so dramatically from one day to the next.

I headed down the mountain so that I could spend some time searching along the flat portion of Figueroa Mountain Road for Lewis' Woodpecker, Prairie Falcon, and Golden Eagle.  I can report there were no Zombie Dancers at the gate to Neverland this morning.  Nor did I find any Lewis' Woodpeckers or Prairie Falcons.  Wes caught up to me and we did see not one but two Golden Eagles.  Both far away, one in a tree and one on the ground eating a squirrel.  Golden Eagle for #269!

After watching the eagles for a bit I headed for home.  The weather was pleasant and I arrived home in the late afternoon without incident.  My right knee would have been happier if the riding had been over by noon.  So ends a grand trip to Figueroa Mountain.  Some great birds and a highlight of the year.

Thanks Wes!

Some photos from today:

Savannah Sparrow

Steller's Jay

Golden Eagle
IPhone handheld to spotting scope.  Better than nothing.

After the addition of these 2 species, the year's total stands at 269

The Score: Vermont 264, Green Big Year 269

Today I rode a total of 67.4 miles

More later,

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