Casual Dirty Big Day - 100?

Thomas Slater

Today I had it in my mind that I'd try a casual big day just to get out of the house.
I promised myself I'd keep it casual. I didn't leave the house until after 8 am.

So I walked my loop in Nipomo and collected 42 species. The highlights were 3 BULLOCK'S and 3 HOODED ORIOLES and a female and maile LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH doing you know what! Spring is still in the air. Then I went home and ate breakfast.

Next, I headed off to Oso Flaco. I added 33 more species to my growing list. Highlights were 3 NASHVILLE WARBLERS (one extremely pale... looked more like a Virginia's), several YELLOW and WILSON'S WARBLERS, 3 HUTTON'S VIREOS, and 2 male and 1 female BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS in the parking lot. I hit the beach and picked up one brown pelican, one whimbrel, one godwit and a few other beach and ocean birds. I was glad I hoofed it all the way out there. Sometimes it's a bust mid-day at the beach. But it was decent. Then I went home and ate lunch.

Then I headed out to Dana Foothill Road. 7 ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS (more, I just stopped counting so I could focus on other birds)! Meadowlark, White-tailed kite, Lark Sparrow... no Blue Grosbeaks yet. I tried, believe me.

I decided to swing out to Suey Creek Road next, doing my best to keep this a Nipomo area thing.

I knew I was close to 100 (turns out I had 95 local birds) but by this time I was keen on hitting the big number but didn't want to head all the way out to Pismo or Shell or Avila or Lopez. I was trying to keep it to a quarter tank of gas... and casual. SO... (SLO Purists, stop reading... ) I went to Jim May Park off Donovan Rd. in Santa Maria. Yes, I counted Rock Dove BUT I found one solitary WHITE-FACED IBIS, a CLARK'S GREBE, and a GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE. Then I went home and ate dinner. 

After dinner, I went outside and got GREAT-HORNED OWL and BARN OWL

4 Swallow species, 3 Vireo species, 7 Warbler Species, and all my meals at home.

A pretty fun way to spend the day*. I know it was a little dirty to stray out of the county but... it fit better with what I was trying to do. Hey, I hit 101 with only ONE GULL SPECIES, I could have crushed it if I'd have hit Pismo or Port or Shell ...

*masks were used and social distancing was practiced.

Bird on,

Tom Slater 

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