“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

Monday, November 9, 2015

Day 313 - Gulls and Ducks

I headed back to Goleta this morning - why not?  I planned on stopping by the Goleta Sanitary District sewerage ponds, where many ducks were reported to be congregating.

Before stopping there I visited a couple of other local standbys - Lake Los Carneros and Goleta Beach.  At Lake Los Carneros there was a tidy-looking adult Mew Gull, and this odd creature:

A Strange California Gull

My first impression was a California Gull due to the leg color, but the overall ratty appearance and ridiculous bill threw me off for awhile.  After returning home I got confirmation on the species.

There was another Mew Gull at Goleta Beach, likely the one that was there on my last visit.  When I arrived at the sewerage ponds one of the first birds I noticed was a stylish Bonaparte's Gull.  It was turning out to be a gullish morning.

One reason for heading to the sewerage ponds was to follow up on a recent report of a Greater Scaup.  I had seen this species earlier in the year but did not get photos.  Also, it is always a challenge for me to try and separate the Greater and Lesser Scaup so some practice in this would be good too.

There were indeed plenty of ducks to be found, mostly Mallards and Northern Shovelers.  There were also a few Pintails, Cinnamon and Blue-winged Teal.  And Scaup.  I spent a good bit of time studying the Scaup and taking photos of the one that looked most likely to me to be the Greater Scaup, based mainly on the shape of its head.  I sent the photo below to a couple local experts who confirmed the ID for me.  Maybe I am getting a handle on the Scaup thing.

Greater Scaup

No new birds today but another fine morning with the birds.

A few more photos from this morning:

Mew Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

 Gadwall - male

Northern Pintail - male

Cinnamon Teal - male

After today the year's total still stands at 269

The Score: Vermont 265, Green Big Year 269

Today I rode a total of 30.0 miles

More later,

No comments:

Post a Comment