Had to fill up my truck Thursday. It was almost empty. I had been wanting to go into the New Year before doing this but a late bus and the Thanksgiving Holiday forced me to use my truck more than I had planned. I went 50 days between fill ups this time which wasn’t bad. My record is 56 days which I did twice. Before this “green” year I was going an average of 21 days. I have saved lot’s of money on gas this year. I only put gas in my truck 8 times which averages out to once every month and a half.
Where did I use gas? Most of it was getting to bus stops. Then there was getting to the recycling centers, banking, and shopping for large items for home projects. As always I tried to get as much birding done while taking my truck into town.
Thursday I stopped at the Rose Memorial Cemetery but still no luck on the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Scoped off of Ward Ave. and spotted a Mendocino County rare female Long-tailed Duck. We see 1 or 2 every winter. It was too far out to get a picture so this Wikipedia picture will have to do. It’s a little darker then the one I saw. I didn’t see a credit for the picture.
From Laguna Point I spotted what I was sure were Cassin’s Auklets which would be a new “year” bird but because they were so far out I’ve decided not to claim them.
Friday I did my normal SOS Survey at Virgin Creek Beach. While on the bus I spotted the Snow Geese still at the Dana Gray Elementary School. It would have been a good sighting from a bus if I hadn’t already found them on Wednesday. While I didn’t find anything new at Virgin Creek there were 9 Snowy Plovers on the beach in the afternoon. I had heard about them being there earlier. The entire flock had been down at Ten Mile Beach and why they have split is unknown.
I added a new bird for my Little River Airport list on Saturday. I heard a strange call coming from a marshy part of one of the ponds at the west end. I suspected a rail and reviewed their calls on my Itouch. It turned out to be a Sora “keep” call. I rarely use my Itouch to call in birds but rails are rarely seen so we talked back and forth for a minute. I never saw the rail. Soras are not a year bird but I was happy to add it to the airport list as it was a bird I was expecting to find there at some point.
New totals are 249 bird species with over 2859 carbon producing truck miles saved.