jmg-photography: Purple Martins (Progne subis) #239I didn’t…

Saturday, April 14th, 2018


Purple Martins (Progne subis)


I didn’t stop at Nojoqui Falls County Park this morning to see turkeys; I was mainly there to see Purple Martins. The park is one of the few known breeding locations for them in Santa Barbara County, and they’d been reported from there a few times in eBird lately, so I knew they were back.

I haven’t seen Purple Martins since I was 12 and visiting my grandparents in Florida. They’re super impressive birds: Big, beautiful swallows, basically.

Nojoqui Park was officially closed when I arrived so I parked a ways down the road and walked back. But where were the martins? I circled the park, seeing lots of great birds, but no Purple Martins. Then I realized with a start that I was out of time; it was 7:30 and I needed to get on the road to make the check-in time for the tour at Sedgwick. I was a little disappointed, but I had seen those Wild Turkeys, so I wasn’t too disappointed.

I hustled back to the car, and there, in a big sycamore right above where I’d parked, I found them. Still big, still beautiful. Yeah!

I love seeing birds after I’ve given up. It feels like the universe is rewarding me for being mature enough to stop. “Good little birder. You have successfully controlled the obsession once again. Here you go.”

Thanks, universe!

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