Solitary Wandering, Leaving no Stone Left Unturned.

Great things come “in threes”. Such is the way with carbon Free Birding. Yesterday I was on my way to take care of a friends Siskins! What I mean by that is that a buddy of mine is out of town and he wanted me to make sure that his Goldfinches and Siskins had enough thistle feed to hold them over. Well, while peddling over to his place I passed the “pumpkin field” near the Bolinas Elementary School and decided to take a gander at what was out there. In the first split second of scanning I was gifted a sight that I had not beheld in this area in perhaps 10 years. That gift was in the form of an actively feeding Solitary Sandpiper! # 191. This busy tringa walked through the marsh looking for nutrient rich tid-bits. I wanted to make sure that it was in fact a Solitary Sandpiper and not something “life changing”, so I stepped over the fence only to sink nearly up to my knees in “cow rich” brown water. Oh well! So, since I was soaked, I decided to simply GO FOR IT! I made my way out there and was able to put a good name on this bird and backed off. Happy, I proceeded to feed my friends Finches. Riding back by, I relocated the bird and then ran into Peter Pyle who was taking a couple friends birding. We found the bird and they were happy to share in the excitement. Casually, Peter informed me that he had just seen some Ruddy Turnstones out on Duxberry Reef. Well, like any good Carbon Free birder knows, one has to strike when… So I bid them well wishes and blasted over to the cliff above Agate Beach and located a Black Oystercatcher along with what appeared to be a small flock of Turnstones. unfortunately, they were far to distant to properly id with my “binz”. So, I rode down to the beach and then walked about a mile out and on to the reef through flooded tide pools. Well, the wind was up and the tide was coming in quickly and so I had to act. Once I got to the spot where the birds were, it was apparent that this was a flock of Black Turnstones only. While enjoying these fine fowl, I was completely surprised and thrilled to have a Wandering Tattler come walking into my field of view, not 100 feet away. #192. The Ruddy Turnstones never made an appearance but I was so happy to have two species in one day and both were tringas!

This morning, I thought that I would give Duxberry Reef another try and so made my way there in short order and found myself once again, high on the predominate cliff. Almost immediately I was scanning the distant rocks when BAM, a stunning pair of breeding plumage Ruddy Turnstones came into view. “YES” I said under my breath. Persistence pays off. #193


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