I know that’s not an exciting title but it’s important for me to get some idea of how far I can roam during my birding year. Using my normal schedule, the earliest I could get to Ward Ave. would be a little before 11AM. That would allow just three hours to get to Inglenook Creek and back by 2PM for the ride back to my bus stop. 3PM if I use my safety cushion of catching the last bus back to Mendocino. Having to catch a bus has changed my way of thinking during this year. It does add some pressure. Another thing I have to think about is having the proper amount of change on my body for a new bus pass or trips to Ukiah. This involves dollar bills and quarters.
How did I do? This last Thursday I tested the idea. It can be done but birding wasn’t that good and I had to push the pace a bit. If the birding had been good I probably would have had to use the late bus. Saw Adam Hutchins of State Parks looking intently at the ground near a washed out section of the Haul Rd. I’ve noticed that looking intently at the ground seems to be something that Adam does a lot. All I could do was wave. No time to chat. The next person I saw was Angela Liebenberg of State Parks (in fact the only two people I saw out there were State Parks employees) doing a Snowy Plover(?) survey. We of course had to find out what each of us had seen. While I had not seen much, she had 3 Long-billed Curlews further north near the Ten Mile Bridge. This is the frustrating part of doing a “green” year. They were out of my range and I needed them for my year list. Hopefully I will get them on their return trip. I was able to get back to my bus stop with 5 minutes to spare for my early bus.
The MTA offers earlier pickup times in Mendocino for getting to Fort Bragg. It would cost me $2.50(senior rate), which doesn’t bother me but I hear that they send a “Dial-a-Ride” bus which doesn’t have a bike rack (probably not a problem, could store bike inside). The problem would be if they were just coming for me. My old truck stills gets better gas mileage then a bus but if they were already coming to Mendocino for someone else it could be a solution for getting to Ward Ave earlier.
Birding in general has started to slow. The northward migration of shorebirds seems to be mostly done. The expected Spring/Summer birds have arrived. I will be looking for mostly single unexpected birds during the next few months. The local Audubon Society has a pelagic trip scheduled in just over a week that will add birds to my list. I have been debating the issue of counting birds seen during this trip for my “green” year. Since I make up the rules for my year I’ve decided that the boat is like a bus filled with riders that is scheduled to go whether I’m on it or not. I will have to see if I can find a way to get up to the mountains to bird. At this moment in time it doesn’t seem likely. Maybe I could plant some trees to compensate for a carbon producing trip there.
While biking pass Virgin Creek on my way to Ward Ave. I found a Greater White-fronted Goose in the creek. I needed it for my year list. Ebird states that it is extremely rare at this time of the year. I didn’t add any new birds during my SOS survey or my airport walk This week. I did have a very rare Western Scrub-Jay at the airport:) My totals are 205 birds seen with 1200 carbon producing car miles saved.