Kentucky Warbler at Cerro Alto etc.

Thomas Slater

Yellow-throated Warbler last weekend, Kentucky Warbler this weekend.
Who's complaining? Not me. Whatever ya'll doin', keep doin' it!

I booked it up to Cerro Alto just after 6 am and caught Maggie Smith just hiking up the hill so we walked it together (always a pleasure) up to campsite #2 and heard the Kentucky Warbler. It was playing hide and seek with us. A few other birders ambled up the hill and joined in the hunt. We got rough looks at the start but the bird grew curious and began coming out to watch us. I'd say we got terrific looks (much closer than the Yellow-throated Warbler). 

After the fanfare died down and the birding hoard dispersed, I stuck around with MNN (Movie Night Norm) because we heard a Northern Pygmy-Owl calling from the distant hillside (and because he was a cool guy to hang with). After conjuring a few spells, Norm lured the owl into the air and it flew down from the hill and perched HIGH in a sycamore tree. At the top. The very top. So... we had the great idea to climb up, cross country style, up the embankment. We then courted ticks and poison oak and crashed through the brush up the side of the hill, but eventually got higher than the owl so we could get satisfactory photographs. Just seemed like the thing to do at the time. It was a memorable foray into the wilderness that I won't soon forget (I'm pretty sure the poison oak that I'm sure to get will remind me).  

After that, I soloed up the trail in search of Mtn. Quail but we all know how that ends. Lots of hearing and no seeing.

All in all, it was a fun morning. Oh yeah, it poured rain on the walk down and on the drive back to Nipomo. Crazy May rain!

Pictures of the main event and 2nd acts can be seen here - 

Bird on,

Tom Slater