It’s been a few days since I posted a new group of species to my carbon free big year, so here goes. On the 24th I receive a call from a fellow “Carbon Free’er” who informed me that he had a few Ring-necked Ducks at his pond so I zipped over there on my trusty steed (bike) and to my dismay they had departed. So, you can imagine my delight when he called me back the next day to let me know that they were back. My second try was a success as two beautiful pair were just waiting for me! #144. Later that evening while locking up my gallery a group of 5 or 6 medium sized bats came shooting out of the barn next to my shop. While I am not sure what species they were, they were certainly a new mammal for the year and so I will simply call them a “Free-tailed Bat, (species)”. Mammal #7!
Today I wanted to try something a little different. I was told about 4 Snowy Plovers that were hanging out in the dunes on Sea Drift, the long peninsula of Stinson Beach. So, I kayaked across the mouth of the Bolinas Lagoon against the very strong and just a little bit scary current on the incoming tide. I ditched the craft high on the spit as I knew that the tide would be unforgiving to a poorly placed boat and I would be left to swim back home or to walk about 9 miles (if I wanted to stay dry). I walked to the beach only to realize that there was no beach! The tide was so high and the surf was pounding against the rocks so there was simply no way of getting down the 2 mile long spit. Change of plans! I was going to be meeting my bride for breakfast at The Parkside Cafe in Stinson and so was determined to get there. I headed to the “inland” side of Sea Drift and hoofed it south, (it’s actually south east). Once I got opposite of Stinson Gulch I checked the oaks that typically have Band-tailed Pigeons in them and sure enough there were about 6 perched here and there. #145!. I was so happy to get this “gimmie” species under my belt. Not more than a few moments later I found myself pishing (the act of blowing air through pursed lips and clenched teeth to create a “pishing” sound that birds really seem to be attracted to) into someones yard to see what I could see when a House Wren came in to give me the once over. That was not what I was expecting to see pop up but there it was. This is never an easy bird to lock down in these parts so I was smiling as I met Patricia for breakfast. #146! After a hearty “Parkside Special” we parted and I headed back for my long walk to my Kayak. Shortly after leaving the restaurant, I glanced skyward to see not one, not two but 13 White-throated Swifts zipping hither and yonder over the hillside homes. # 147! This unexpected gift was all I needed to put a spring in my step as I made my way home and to work. A great morning.