One Bird At A Time

Last Saturday, a Pectoral Sandpiper was reported on Virgin Creek Beach. This was just the day after I had done my SOS Survey on Virgin Creek. It shows what I’ve always thought, that birding is all about a moment in time. You could be a day or an hour too early or too late. It’s frustrating for someone whose doing an experimental “green” year because there’s no way I can get to Virgin Creek before Wednesday(because of work and bus schedules) without driving my truck. I just have to hope for the best, maybe the bird will stay for a time or another just might fly in. 

Wednesday I drove a Lodge Resident to his group VA Session on Odom Lane which is near Virgin Creek. I basically have to wait for him in Fort Bragg, so I can use that time to bird.  With driving and hiking time I can have about 30 minutes of birding  on the beach. I had heard that the Pectoral Sandpiper was using a bed of kelp on the beach to feed in and that was where I found it Wednesday morning. PESA’s are listed as uncommon in Mendocino County with more being seen inland than on the coast.

On Thursday I continued my attempt to kill my legs and birded Ten Mile Beach again. Last week it was hot with shorebirds this week it was cold (the weather was hot). There were lot’s of Semipalmated Plovers but very few Snowys. I was able to get a better picture of a Baird’s Sandpiper then the one I last posted.

The highlight of the walk was noticing that there had been some vehicle traffic on the beach in two places. I have only seen tire tracks on the beach one time before this day. Some of the heaviest traffic had been near a Snowy Plover roost and I suspected it was the reason for the low count of Snowy Plovers. 

I reported this to State Parks and it turned out that the tracks were because of medical emergencies. On the way back to the bus stop I broke another spoke on my back tire. This is probably the eighth I’ve broken this year. May have to get a heavier back tire. 

Friday I was back at Virgin Creek Beach for my SOS Survey. The broken spoke on the tire didn’t affect the tire rotation like previous broken spokes have, so I used it to get to Virgin Creek. The Pectoral Sandpiper was still in the same kelp pile so it has been there for 6 days (there hadn’t been any need to worry about it staying). There was also a friendly Long-billed Curlew that let me walk by it. Long-billed Curlews are listed as rare in Mendocino County.

I chased 4 dogs and their owners off the beach during my survey. I observed one small dog chasing the shorebirds which makes me mad. When I spoke to it’s owners I told them what I was doing and that I had a picture of their dog chasing birds and I was inclined to forward it to the rangers. When I looked back they were gone.

Adding one bird at a time, I’m up to 228 bird species and I’m approaching the 2000 mile mark with over 1902 truck miles saved and my bike back in the shop.

While waiting for my bus back to Mendocino I was offered a combination of Sour Diesel and Blueberry Kush to smoke. I declined the offer but had a short talk with him about that combination. I told him that I had been offered hashish once at another bus stop and he told me I should have taken that offer and sell it to people like him. He also told me how I could make Hash. I’m so out of that culture that I had to Google the correct spelling of Kush (I wrote it down as Cush). I decided that I should write more about my experiences riding the bus then I have been doing. 

Another thought. I’ve found that when I tag my posts with the words “beer and wine” my posts get noticed more and I get more “likes”. I’m going to use Sour Diesel and Blueberry Kush as tags and see what happens.




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