“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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 364 - Penultimate Day, Adjustments to the Total

After being away over Christmas and taking two days to participate in the Cachuma Christmas Bird Count, I got back on the bike this morning for the penultimate day of the Green Big Year.  Let me tell you, the first half hour was reeeealy cold.

I set out on an unlikely outing.  Just as we were leaving town for Christmas I got a report the Rebecca Coulter had found a Swamp Sparrow in Carpinteria.  This was 11 days ago.  As I needed this bird and had not ridden to Carpinteria in some time I decided to give it a shot.  I had no idea if the bird would still be in the vicinity.  

I rolled up to the address.  The first thing I could not help but notice was the road crew with the chainsaw about 40 feet away, and moving in my direction - not encouraging.  The next thing I noticed was a Swamp Sparrow!  Literally the first bird I saw after stopping.  Having had difficulty on the ID of this bird before, I got some long looks, checked my references, and looked again to verify the field marks.  The bird was even kind enough to pose for photos.  Sure enough, Swamp Sparrow for #286!

I was so pleased with this rapid sighting that I hopped on the bike and raced to Montecito for a breakfast engagement that I had assumed I would not be able to make.

Swamp Sparrow (Really!)

Now a bit of administrative business.  You may recall my somewhat truncated adventure to Big Pine Mountain back in June:

The net result of this adventure was the addition of two species, Lawrence's Goldfinch and Mountain Quail.  You may also recall I got a ride part of the way back home after running out of food and nearly running out of water.  The bit about getting a ride home has been nagging me ever since.  I have decided to remove these species from my total, as they were not gotten with solely human power.  It's a bit disappointing as I worked far harder for these birds than any other during the year, but this way I can end with a clean total and no asterisks next to these species.

After the addition of this 1 species, and the subtraction of 2, the year's total stands at 284.

Vermont has recently added 2 species to bring their total to 279.

The Score: Vermont 279, Green Big Year 284

Today I rode a total of 26.7 miles

More later,

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