Go Go Go, that is how we went biridng at four spots, two small nudist resorts (Deer Park, Olive Dell Ranch) a hot springs, Deep Creek Hot Springs, and Santa Cruz Island part of the Channel Islands National Park.
Ok, first the problems:
Bought wrong fuel for camp stove, because some lady at a general store gave me a handy small bottle AND california gas pumps have a sensor so that it is impossible to pump gas in a little cylinder. No heat…no hot food…we ended up eating cold spam, trail mix. A man can only go so far on Spam alone
second problem, after thirty miles of hiking, my old size 14 hoofers ran out of skin, bruised and blistered feet do not make for a good birding trip.
Third, the man who knew the directions to Deep Creek Hot Springs was in rehab (or so we were told) and as such we got directions that led to a closed road, but after an hour of driving we found another way down the mountain
Fourth, the captain on our ferry boat heard whales were in the area so we made a side trip to see them, this made us thirty minutes late and almost late for closing time at Olive Dell
Fifth, the drive home was freezing hell from fargo, yet another Blizzard!
Ok the good:
1) Added twenty one new species!
2) Santa Cruz is a wonderful place and we had the best weather one could expect there….saw the isolated Island Scrub-Jay, heard the ultra cool Northern Saw-whet Owl, plus other cool lifetime birds. The Owl sounded like Sputnik or maybe they were just the sounds of Angels??
3) We arrived to Olive Dell Ranch ten minutes before closing thanks to nifty driving but they had no record of my reservation, but thye allowed us entry, thankfully the restaurant was open and the two young ladies running the place made us a heavenly burger, I was so hungry I would have eaten a shoe. They were angels in the kitchen!
California Gray Whale
Rufous Crowned Sparrow