Since my last post, I have had the pleasure of adding 4 more species to my year list. They are as follows. On Wednesday April 7th, I rode my bike to the gallery where my first Brown-headed Cowbird flew overhead and uttered its “slurpy” call-note. #162. I took a group of birders out to hit some of my favorite spots in the Bolinas, Stinson Beach area. This fine group from The Marin Audubon Society totaled around 15. Now, since I was in my car, (after the Cowbird of course) I couldn’t count anything that was seen that day, but we did have a great time enjoying a flock of 7 Surfbirds off of the cliff above Stinson Beach. While we had a final total of around 80 species for the morning, to me, the most unusual thing was a recently fledged chick Song Sparrow at the Stinson Beach parking lot! This bird was being tended to by one of the adults. To me April 7th seems like an unusually early date for the kids to be out. Since I came back to the gallery and rode my bike home, I could count the previously mentioned Cowbird. No car was used!
The next birds added were on the next day when my “Carbon Free Big Year” friend joined me to clean up what was found the day before. I headed to meet him and as I passed through the Bolinas Resource Recovery Site I heard the high thin “See-u-Wit” song of a Pacific Slope Flycatcher, # 163 We joined up and off we went. As we rounded the upper end of the lagoon, the Alders were filled with the rich and robust songs of several newly arrived male Black-headed Grosbeaks, # 164. We rode quickly down the lagoon and perhaps a half a mile south of Stinson Beach where we found ourselves scanning the rocks for shorebirds. Having no luck there, we continued around another few bends until we were afforded a greater supply of wave tortured rocks. Sure enough, before long a small group of Surfbirds came into view and gave me # 165! These robust rock loving sandpipers are truly at one with the most tumultuous world I know of. Where the waves pound the slickest piles of jumbled up boulders and the tide pool menu is “just so”, one with effort, will encounter the aptly named Surfbird.