Monday, February 11, 2013

Just like old times

Last weekend (2/2-3/13), my friends Scot and Kristin came up for an Imbolc (half way point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox) celebration and stayed with Claire and I in Pescadero.  These are old friends from back in the day when they worked at the outdoor school where I still work.   Scot and I were old birding buddies from back when we were just learning some of the basics.  I still remember very clearly learning how to tell Hutton's Vireos from Ruby Crowned Kinglets in Worley Flat together.  Since then we've had some fantastic adventures including a week-long camping/birding binge in all those great canyons south of Tucson.  It was awesome to have him back in the spot where he and I started birding together.  Plus, he's one of the only people that I know that can hang with a long birding/biking day.  Actually, he outlasted me this time.
  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.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah buddy! Kristin and I loved being able to visit- thanks to you and Claire for the great hospitality. Glad to see you're starting to make the big trips and getting to see some cool birds! Best of luck to you this spring.