To Celebrate I’m Going to Have a Beer

It’s been a good birding week. Last Thursday I got over to Ukiah again. I took Route 75 both ways. Route 75 is using Highways 128 and 253. At the Ukiah Waste Treatment Plant I got Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Yellow-breasted Chat. I missed the American Avocets that had been reported the previous day. I then took the Local 9 to the corner of South Orchard Ave. and East Gobbi St. and walked down to Riverside Park. At the corner of East Gobbi and Oak Manor Dr. I heard a calling Hooded Oriole. After sometime I was able to see it. I had expected a hard time finding that bird. Nothing new at the park so I walked to the Pear Tree Shopping Center and did some shopping at Big Five Sporting Goods Store and the Home Depot. Also had a cup of Jamoca Ice Cream at Baskin Robbins. I think I’m getting this bus riding down.

Friday I did my SOS Survey. While I didn’t find anything new at Virgin Creek, the beach was hopping with shorebirds on their way north. Semipalmated Plovers, Dunlin, and Western Sandpipers were plentiful and mostly in breeding plumage. And There are some birds that have done their thing already.

Today at the Little River Airport I added a singing Swainson’s Thrush (always nice to hear and I’ve never had one in April), an Olive-sided Flycatcher that beat the earliest record by one day, and a Green Heron that was only the second one I’ve found there. Also heard Purple Martin, a regular, in the Redwood Trees and I’m still seeing large numbers of Red Crossbills.

So what am I celebrating about? On Friday while doing the SOS Survey I broke the 1000 carbon producing car miles barrier. I have now save 1022 car miles and I’m up to 185 birds seen.

Meditating on a Bus. The Trip to Ukiah

Thursday I went over to Ukiah to bird the Ukiah Waste Treatment Plant, one of the best places to bird in Ukiah. This is the second time I’ve been there this year. I would not normally go over the hill two times in the winter but at $5.00 for a round trip I save big everytime I go there. On the first trip over I took the CC Rider (Route 65) which travels Highway 20 through Willits to Ukiah. It leaves the Boatyard at 7:30AM and gets to Ukiah (Pear Tree Center) at 9:00AM. It continues down to Santa Rosa where you can connect to the Golden Gate Transit. I took the Ukiah Local (Route 9) south to Plant Rd where both the MTA Plant and the UWTP are located. After birding there I took the Ukiah Local north to Staples where I recycled some ink cartridges and shopped. Hint–Staples gives you a two dollar credit for each cartridge up to ten per month. I then traveled to Gobbi Street and Orchard Ave. and walked down to Riverside Park. I then walked through the Oak Manor neighborhood back to Pear Tree Center. There I picked up the Route 75 bus which uses highways 253 and 128 to get back to Fort Bragg. Thursday I used the Coaster (Route 60) starting in Mendocino to connect with Route 75 at Navarro River Junction to take me to Ukiah, Birded the UWTP and then took the Ukiah Local to Mendocino College to “miss” on the Common Gallinule at the lower pond. Back to Pear Tree where I shopped at Home Depot and then started the trip home.

Why go to Ukiah? There are a number of birds that you can’t get on the coast such as the Oak Titmouse, Nuttail’s Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, etc..There is also better shopping. Will be going over there more frequently during my experimental year.