“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, December 14, 2015

Day 348 - A Chilly Morning

This morning I set out with no particular agenda.  Somebody needs to find some new birds, so it might as well be me.  At this point I am not expecting to find any new species, and today I was not disappointed in that regard.  The most notable thing about this morning was the chilly temperature, which was amplified by the brisk breeze.  It never really warm up.

I made a circuit past the UCSB Lagoon, Devereux Slough, and the old Ocean Meadows Golf course.  I did see a few interesting birds along the way.  Inside the UCSB lagoon I saw an unusual Loon Trifecta - Red-throated, Pacific, and Common Loons.

At Devereux Slough the female (un)Common Merganser was still around.  Also there was a group of at least a dozen Savannah Sparrows of the Belding's subspecies that were actively foraging on a pan of dried algae.  I had not seen this behavior before.

The most interesting bird of the morning was at the old Ocean Meadows Golf Course.  (And no it was of course NOT the Grace's Warbler)  A Northern Flicker that I believe to be of the Yellow-shafted flavor, though it may be an intergrade (a mix of the Yellow-shafted and Red-shafted flavors).  The head and face markings match those of a Yellow-shafted, thought I thought the actual color of the shafts was a bit on the orange side.  Yellow-shafted Flickers are quite unusual in this area, though there do seem to be more around this winter than I recall in the past.  UPDATE:  Consensus is this is an Intergrade (Yellow Shafted x Red Shafted) individual.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

I enjoyed a nice tailwind on the ride home.

Some more photos from this morning:

Surf Scoter

Pacific Loon and Red-breasted Mergansers

Common Merganser (female)

Belted Kingfisher

Belding's Savannah Sparrow

Cooper's Hawk

After today the year's total still stands at 285

The Score: Vermont 277, Green Big Year 285

Today I rode a total of 30.0 miles

More later,

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