Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The morning was sunny, slightly cool and gorgeous. We entered the Bob Jones Bike/Walking Trail at San Luis Bay Drive. We walked to the bridge that crosses over the San Luis Creek, about a 2 mile round trip. At the beginning of our walk there was much bird activity. Juncos, Chickadees, and very talkative Oak Titmouse were abundant. Acorn Woodpeckers were squawking and hiding acorns (photo - 2 Acorn Woodpeckers in gnarled Sycamore tree). It was birding heaven.

The section of the trail we were on follows the San Luis Creek as it meanders to the sea. At this time of year the Willows and Sycamores have lost most of their leaves which makes viewing the birds a pleasure. The most fun we had was trying to figure out the species of a large plump bird, scrunched down, sleeping with its back to us, and its head tucked in. At first I was mostly convinced it was an owl. Then we saw two more of them. We were still unsure. Several people stopped by to help us ponder the situation. We had moved on a few yards but decided to have one last look. My friend Sylvia said, "It's head is up." It took only a few moments for us to realize that our owl was an immature Black-crowned Night Heron. I really wanted it to be an owl.

At the bridge we saw one of our winter migrants,a female Common Goldeneye, and I believe I had a glimpse of the male further up the creek. Our total count for the morning was 25 species. I highly recommend the Bob Jones Trail.

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