Hi all! I'm not sure if this constitutes as significant or not, but if some of you plan on making a summer/late summer trip to Otter Slough this could be an easy find for you.
This morning, I observed two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers both with nest material at separate times. I was able to be inconspicuous enough that they carried on about their duties, and I was able to follow them to their building site. Their location is just south of the east entrance of Otter Slough as the campsite just south of Conservation Lane. The nest barely overhangs CR 675 in the fourth tree to the south of the north campsite driveway.
Other birds believed to be nesting at the campsite are Eastern Kingbirds, Br. Thrashers and Orchard Orioles.
Surprise no. 1: Two Yellow-crowned Night Herons flying overhead at about 5:20 a.m.
Surprise no. 2: A lone Least Tern on the back side of Otter Slough (seen flying over the privately owned properties).
Sadly Surprise 3: Other than 4 Bald Eagles (nesting pair with near adult size offspring), I observed no other raptors.
I rounded out my 5 hour Otter Slough visit with about 60 species - not walking the boardwalk near the headquarter's building.
Other misses: Blue Grosbeak, Tufted Titmouse, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Mockingbird.
Other noted species: 7 White-rumped SP's
Regarding Fuel Prices: Yes! I, too, am birding less . No wait, . . . still birding the same (everytime I am outside), but driving less. Yes!
Currently available, there is an "add-on" Hydrogen fuel cell that costs about $1200. It boasts 40%-60% increased fuel economy by supplementing your engines normal air intake with Hydrogen. The basic principle is that Hydrogen would aid in the combustion in the pistons - which would use less gasoline. I'm still investigating this, but should this pan out with fuel prices where they stand, this system would pay for itself within the first 6-8 months depending on its actual benefit to the vehicles efficiency. I'm also pricing scooters: low insurance, relatively low initial purchase price, high fuel efficiency. "Meep-meep!"
Good Birding to all!

Chris Barrigar
Stoddard Co.
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