On Saturday (2/2), we headed out a bit before 7:30 and made for the coast. It was fun to show him how my route had changed after all these years. We caught up on good birds we had seen and a bit about his job working for the Tejon Ranch Conservancy. We ended up getting to Pigeon Point Lighthouse for our first focused birding session. We pulled up just as Garth Harwood was leaving. It was slow in terms of numbers of birds, which is why Garth was leaving, but Scot hadn't been to Pigeon Point for a while, so we stuck it out. Good thing we did. We ended up finding a few Rhinoceros Auklets and two Northern Fulmars that joined a small feeding frenzy about halfway to the horizon. One of the last times Scot and I birded there together, we wondered how anyone could identify things like Rhino Auklets so far away, so we left feeling good about the session. We had to scoot quick too, as Garth came back to the lighthouse to let us know he had found a Glaucos Gull on Gazos Creek Beach a couple miles south.
We didn't waste too much time pedalling down, but the bird didn't stay too long. We missed it. Drat!
Onward to Cascade Ranch, otherwise known as Brussel's Sprouts National Monument. This weedy ag. field is home to a Brussel's sprout composting heap that has been attracting good birds for about 10 years now. Last year, a Harris's Sparrow turned up. Years ago, a Hooded Warbler, not to mention, tons of other great birds. Not a ton of birds were about for us that day however. There was a beautiful White-throated Sparrow which was so bright it looked like it must have just recently molted.
Returning home we took Cloverdale Rd. and Butano Cut-off Rd where Scot got a picture of this Accipiter. It was a rock solid day and I was stoked to get to spend the day birding with Scot.