I told you about the early pick-up in Mendocino last week when I used it to get to Fort Bragg for a Ukiah trip. I’ve since learned that the man’s name who is picked up early is Lyle. I’m hoping that Lyle continues to commute to Willets because I’m going to use him.
I used him Thursday to get to the bus stop behind Denny’s. Got there at 7:30AM instead of the usual time of 10:30AM. From the bus stop I biked to Ward Ave. It was strange being on the Haul Rd. that early. There were only a few people out at that time but I did have to survive a raccoon attack. While biking just past Lake Cleone and just before the horse trail I noticed a raccoon coming across the road. I may have surprised it but it kept coming towards me hissing as it went. Needless to say, I didn’t stop to chat. I looked back as it went into the bushes on the other side.
I got to Ward Ave. just a little after 8:00AM, three hours earlier than normal. This means that I could take my time birding Ten Mile Beach and still get back in time to catch my bus. The fact that I could spend more time got me a year bird. Just pass Inglenook Creek (normally I wouldn’t go that far) I found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper. You may remember that I failed to get this bird last week at the Ukiah Waste Treatment Plant. BBSA’s are extremely rare in Mendocino County and this would be the third sighting this Fall. They normally migrate down the middle of the country. There was another sighting on Ten Mile Beach that I’m going to have to write about later.
Using the early Mendocino bus will allow me to get more birding time in looking for Fall migrants. I’m going to have to get Lyle a Christmas present.