Dana Point, California and offshore to Laughlin NV
Big Year Day 16-18
Big Year Total: 354
Coded birds: 17
Cool animals: Bobcat, Harbor seal, gray whale, California sea lion
Miles driven. 5680
Hours at sea: 14
Miles walked 34
Miles biked 2
states/ prov. birded:8
26 years ago, while visiting my godparents with my new fiance, I caught the biggest bonito I ever caught right where I'm standing. A few minutes later, I got on an even bigger one, it puledl and tugged and pulled again. Then it just took off, and all I got was slack. I looked out to see a huge bonito in the mouth of a California sea lion. It was almost like he was thanking me for tethering his prey, Bonito on a rope they say.
A lot has happened in 26 years....I went ahead an married Silja, and now we have three wonderful children, one of them, Lena, accompanied me on this voyage into my past.
It was her first pelagic and I had made some promises a dad probably shouldn't have made like....we'd see whales and sea lions. Whew! Luckily, the sea lions are still here, the gray whales where still here.
And for doing a big year, the birds were still here.
I went out with the Sea and Sage Audubon Group from Orange county and we went looking for seabirds. We found them. I also found some famous people in the annals of birding. Dorian Anderson the Self-powered Big Year man was there. He said since his 18000 mile biking days are behind him, he is not as fit since he moved to California. He is obviously more fit and spry than I. John Dunn called out the birds, a real sage of birding. Thomas Ford-Hutchinson took amazing pictures and even scoped me out despite my usual low profile. I never know if I should wear a disguise of a name tag. I am NOT a famous person. I feel odd autographing my own books.
I even ran in to Dez the 2015 ABA Jr. Birder of the Year, he had the key spot all day in the bow of the boat. Biil from a local traveling ground called the Trogonistas actually told me of the group. We had met him in Key West back in 2014. Thanks Bill!
Nearby my bonito spot, we found a code 3 bird sitting on Edith the northern-most oil derrick of the three. (well the middle one is a double platform).
Common Murre in both plumage's