“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, November 17, 2015

Day 321 - Birding On A Sunny Afternoon

After having taken a few days off from the chase I was eager to get out and look at some birds.  I had a little time on this beautiful afternoon so I headed down to the Santa Barbara Harbor breakwater.  I did not expect to find anything new for the year, but in the back of my mind I was thinking there might be a White-winged Scoter out there somewhere.

As I was heading out on the breakwater I got a brief glimpse of a duck diving in among the boats.  It seemed to have a white face with a dark cap.  My first thought was Black Scoter?  I waited around hoping for a better look.  On the second brief glimpse I was thinking Ruddy Duck.  The thing finally came out into view and sure enough it was indeed a young Black Scoter.

I saw my first Black Scoter back in January of this year right here in the Santa Barbara Harbor.  Ironically, I believe Black Scoters are rarer in these parts than White-winged Scoters but I have seen 2 Black Scoters and 0 White-winged Scoters this year.

Black Scoter

Black Scoter

Black Scoter

There were even some other birds around on this sunny afternoon, including the festive-looking male Surf Scoter, a couple of Black Turnstones, and a decidedly non-spotted Spotted Sandpiper.

Tomorrow I will embark on a ride north to try and track down some additional species.  I know they are up there waiting for me.  Look for a report in about 3 days.

A few more photos from today:

Spotted Sandpiper

Surf Scoter

Surf Scoter

After today the year's total still stands at 270

The Score: Vermont 266, Green Big Year 270

Today I rode a total of 7.3 miles

More later,

1 comment: