Sunday, January 10, 2010
Chasing rarities is a little more of a challenge when you have to cycle to a bird, rather than drive to it. I have more time invested in a chase if I have to cycle twelve miles and hike 3 miles rather than driving and hiking 3 miles. This was the case with a Sage Thrasher, which my wife and daughter found on the local December 19 Christmas count. It had not been looked for since (as far as I knew) so it may may or may not still have been there. It was a bird I might not otherwise have seen on my BIGBY.
So, I decided to spend much of my morning looking for it today. My wife agreed to pedal over with me and show me where it was found. We locked our bikes at the kiosk for the Point Buchon Trail (PG&E property), just south of Montana de Oro State Park, and hiked out to Disney Point. From that location, the bird had originally been seen about 1/2 mile south - next to a boulder and rock pile, with bushes. Today it was not there! We searched all of the brushy area to the south of the boulder without luck. Just as we were about to leave, Celeste spotted the above bird perched on a bush over 100 feet away. It was too far away for a good photo, so I am posting the photo taken by my daughter on December 19th. A bird that you have to really work for is even more satisfying to find! We watched it for about ten minutes as it repeatedly flew to the ground to feed and then flew back to an open perch.