We arrived at the McKinleyville Vista Point north of Arcata before 8:00 AM and our spirits were high in anticipation of finding the Brown Shrike. We worked our way down the cliff then south to the south pond where we noticed two birders from Tennessee, Tommie and Ron Rogers. They’d seen the bird 20 minutes earlier but lost it when it dove to the ground. Two minutes later, Tommie had it in her scope from 180 yards. She’s a sharp cookie and a damn good spotter. Gary Matthews and I watched it, a lifer for both of us, for half an hour while Tommie told a couple of very funny stories.
After that the year birds began to fall like mighty Redwoods under the assault of a razor sharp saw! Wrentits at the Vista Point, then Pacific Wrens, a Varied Thrush and four more FOY species as well at Trinidad State Beach. Arcata Marsh added Greater Scaup and we ended the day with Black Turnstones at the Eureka pier. I now stand at 2011 totals of 325 bird species and 341 total species (birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians).
Tomorrow, we drive the road to the Tall Tree Grove in Redwood National Park looking for grouse. The road ends at a magnificent grove of primeval Redwoods. If the FOY birds begin to fall…..I’ll use a different metaphor.