Baja Sur: Todos Santos (Part one)

When Jacob and I first started planning our trip to Baja we really did not know much about the area so we took quite a bit of advice from Seagull Steve.  He mentioned staying in Todos Santos, a town on the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula over an hour from the chaos of Cabo.  We easily secured an Airbnb called The Hideaway on the edge of town, close to the known birding spot, La Poza.

This was an excellent choice.

We arrived in Todos Santos after dark and hit up Mi Pueblito for our first delicious meal.  Guacamole on point, tasty salsas, and even vegetarian options!  I have to say overall, finding veg food in Baja was WAY easier than on my previous Mexico trip to Nayarit/Jalisco/Colima.

Finding our Airbnb was mildly challenging in the dark as our rental car's headlights were pointed down for some reason, and the roads can get tricky to find.  The magical door to our casita in daylight:

Our first morning in Todos Santos we woke up early, way before the 6:30 a.m. sunrise.  We ha…

Meadowbrook Marsh

It's been almost a year since I first visited the section of the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail that is called Meadowbrook Marsh Park.  I was still mourning the loss of my old 5MR patch, Blue Lake, but was excited to find this area with ponds, marshes, native shrubs, trees, and the creek.  It smelled like potential.  I immediately suggested it as an eBird hotspot and now I've seen 96 species there.  Four to go till the hotspot changes from blue to green!

Time to catch up on my patch visits from the last month or so.

Eastern pond

Jacob and I visited the spot in early October on a foggy and misty morning.  Most migrants had departed by then, and ducks and sparrows were showing up.

Great Egret, Mallard on the western pond

Shovelers were new patch birds

Getting late for Rufous Hummingbirds

The biggest surprise for me that morning was these mushrooms, which look like amanita muscaria:

I had never seen them away from the coast before.  So cool!

The following week I visited on a sunny morning f…

Oregon Coast: Yachats to Newport

On our second and final morning at the coast, Jacob and I drove north from Yachats with our bellies full of sweet treats from the Green Salmon Cafe.  Our first stop was Seal Rock State Wayside where things were feeling a bit more like Oregon.

Cloudy and misty

I spent some time annoying a Black Phoebe while Jacob went exploring up the beach.

People can't not touch everything.

Next we drove north to South Beach State Park where we walked the beach up to the south jetty of the Yaquina River.  The best birds there were one or two Rhinoceros Auklets relatively close in, super loud Common Murres, and Common and Pacific Loons still in breeding-ish plumage.

Terrible photo parade.

We took the trail back through the pines where a boisterous mixed flock of primarily robins and yellow-rumpeds were feeding.  A Wrentit started singing and even popped into view a couple times.  I was trying to take its picture when two women out on a walk came up, and one creepily whispered directly behind me "…