Wednesday, November 9, 2016

1 Was By Sea, 2 Was By Land - Calibirdication Day 10

Summon out the rain clouds
Someone should hear how loud we sing
Blinded by the notion
Of fog in an ocean, all around
Oh Monterey
How can I say
I'll always stay
And slip away

Today's birding was planned around birding the Monterey vicinity, and visiting the world famous aquarium. We started out by heading to the Esplanade Park, where Lisa had scouted an eburd spot for us to hit. On the way we passed a small pond and got Pied-billed Grebe, a nice get for the day.

This park was a few blocks of greenery in the center of the road between the quaint houses that make up Pacific Grove. It was quite nice to walk around the neighborhood and find birds in the park and in the yards of the houses as well. 

Nuttall's Woodpecker was a save for the trip, and it didn't hurt that it cooperated nicely. Another nice bird here was Townsend's Warbler, as well as Yellow Warbler. We saw more of the usual suspects and then moved over to the rocky shoreline and walked our way towards Asilomar. 

Arlene and I mused over the rugged beauty of the shoreline and compared it to Maine's coast while Lisa in her typically overly enthusiastic deportment mentioned that she wanted to find Black Oystercatchers. I said: 'gimme a minute'.

I think it took six minutes, but find one I did, and then two more. Striking bird, nice lifer for Arlene. And then in the same vicinity I spotted Marbled Godwit, and Surf Bird: the latter so named because its call sounds like "gnarly dude". 

Hidden a bit but visible nonetheless was a Wandering Tattler which afforded us much better looks than the first one we had at the start of the trip, and Black-bellied Plover.The later was much more photographically cooperative than the aforementioned.

Black-bellied Plover

A short distance down was a pond where we watched the distinguished looking Heerman's Gulls bathe.

Heerman's Gulls
When we were satisfied with our birding in these locations, it was suggested that we go to the Aquarium as had been planned because of strong desire to see Sea Otters, and the fact that its one heck of an aquarium.

Having seen otters in the wild very well on this trip, and noting that it was mid-day on a Sunday with teeming masses probable, Arlene and I declined because we did not feel like dealing with the crowds. We dropped Lisa off at the Aquarium, and thought lunch and a brew at the Alvarado Street Brewery was a better idea for us.

Having walked past it a few times it had called to us like a siren. A siren with beer. How could we resist? OMG was it such a pleasure. Arlene and I sat outside while enjoying a tasty lunch, some exceptionally tasty beer, and relaxed - something we had not really had the opportunity to do on this trip. That was by design, "bird til you drop" you know...

Cookies and Creme
"Inspired by the wave of Golden Milk Stouts some of our favorite breweries are making, we decided to replicate Oreo Cookies in beer form, with a luscious, milkshake-like texture on nitro. Ample amounts of Dutch cocoa, Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans & Ecuadorian cacao nibs coupled with minimal bitterness and a rich, toasty malt base, this beer is ice cream in a glass."

We had luxuriated and relaxed, and when we were summoned by Lisa who had completed her visit to the aquarium, we collected her and headed off on more exploration.

Our first stop was Fort Ord, an impromptu stop. We had a nice walk and got good looks at Pyghatch, Spohee, Bewicks and House Wren and Chestnut-backed Chickadee before continuing on to Moon Glow again.

This visit was far more productive, as we arrived much earlier than previously but... We got great looks at multiple White-tailed Kites, much differently colored Red-tailed Hawks. Red-shouldered Hawks, Harrier, and Merlin rounded out the raptors, and we added American Goldfinch for the trip. 

We also met the owner of the property who stopped to check in on us. He was very affable, and happy that we had traveled from the east coast to visit his farm. The bad news for us was that he said that the best way to see the Tri-colored Blackbirds was in the morning. We had missed them again, and for the trip. Doh! Oh well, better luck next time, but a wonderful visit to Monterey and vicinity nonetheless.

No comments: