Sunday, December 17, 2017

Davis Camp County Park

Ever since our friend Glenn Reuben left Oregon in October to roam the sunny South-West for the winter, we have been itching to catch up with him. Glenn is one of the few people we know that is perfectly aligned with us in our love for RVing and birding.  At last we are now camped with him on the banks of the Colorado River here at Davis Camp County Park.  We are set-up together, he with his pick-up and 5th wheel, and us with our Serenity. Our wandering routes finally came together here on Friday and we have been birding our brains out for the past two days and will probably stay three more. We discovered this park last winter in January and made a second stop in March. This Mohave County Park is a left over from the construction days of Davis Dam, one of the many dams that control the Colorado River in an effort to harvest water and electricity for the demanding urban populations of Los Angeles and Phoenix and beyond.  The park and campground are spread out along the river for about two miles at the foot of Davis Dam, with a combination of full hook-ups, partial hook-ups and dry camping.  We are located in the North Beach dry camping section, and are both making do with solar and generator back-up for our electrical needs. With the river providing habitat for water fowl, and the riparian area with trees and shrubs providing cover and food for other birds,  a diverse population of birds makes for some outstanding birding.  Click here for out bird list with photos from yesterday.
House Finch harvesting dates

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Boulder Beach Campground - Lake Mead

relaxing in the afternoon sun
We arrived here at Boulder Beach Campground a little frazzled after the congestion of Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City.  Makes me think I am getting too old to do this.  But this is a wonderful campground on the receding shore of Lake Mead, with lots of trees and shrubs at a bargain price of ten dollars a night.  A good variety of birds from noisy Great-tailed Grackles to colorful Red-naped Sapsuckers constantly draw our attention.  Several good walks and friendly folks have renewed our spirits. Tomorrow morning we will travel on to Davis Camp at Bullhead City to meet our friend Glenn and do some birding together.

flowering Brittle Bush

Monarch Butterfly

Monday, December 11, 2017

Seeking Birds in the Desert

Great Egret

This morning as we traveled east from the town of Tahachapi, we stopped to do some birding at California City, which is in the Mohave Desert.  For years as we have crossed the Mohave on Interstate 40 on our way to Arizona we would drive past a sign pointing across an endless view of Creosote Bush to an out of site California City. Last spring as we were traveling through we actually took the turn off to see what was California City.  Here amongst the dried out tumble weed was a town layed out, half empty, but with a city park with some ponds.  In the desert where there is water, there are birds to be found. Last year when we stopped we were deterred by a "No Dogs" sign at the park entrance.  But this year a friendly local informed us that it didn't really mater, and that lots of people walked their dogs in the park.  We were set, and off we went for our morning bird walk.  You can see our bird list here

Sunday, December 10, 2017

To Bakersfield And Beyond

We seemed to be dealing with catastrophes every couple of days during the last week and a half.  Yesterday's problem popped up in the evening when Jeanette went to set up the TV and the coaxial connection broke off  inside the TV!  It looks unrepairable.  Our route plan was to turn east and eventually get to the Colorado River, via passing through Bakersfield.  We did some calling and found a 12 volt TV to our liking at Camping World in Bakersfield.  That fit right in to our schedule of traveling through Bakersfield and stopping for the night in Tehachapi. We had originally toyed with the idea of traveling to San Luis Obispo, but with the fires raging in Los Angeles, that seemed like a bad idea, and a check of the weather showed poor air quality. As we drove south on Highway 101 this morning from King City the smoke in the air was quite noticeable at Paso Robles.  The air continued to be poor all the way to Bakersfield and it wasn't until we climbed up to Tehachapi that we found clear air.  When we reached Tehachapi we went directly to Meadowbrook Park, a good birding spot we found last Spring. Although we did not see many birds this afternoon, we did get in a good walk.  You can see our list and photos here. We are now parked for the night at the Tehachapi K-Mart.  We have had good experiences at a K-Mart before, so are looking forward to a good stop here.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

San Lorenzo County Park - King City

We actually did not arrive in King City by train yesterday as it may look from Jeanette's pose, we drove here in our Serenity after our two day stay at Mercedes-Benz of Santa Jose. The "check engine light" has remained off, but it will probably be awhile before we get our confidence back. After a stop at Safeway to stock up on groceries we checked into the campground.  We were the only campers, except for three sets of host. As the day closed out two more RV's rolled in.  This is a 100 site campground, so we are definitely not crowded.  San Lorenzo Park is one of our all time favorites.   An extensive collection of farm equipment and a excellent museums can keep a traveler occupied for days. We always come here to heal for a few days after dealing with all the congestion of the Bay Area.

With lots of trees and trails it is an ideal birding spot. We always get in some good walking and find lots of interesting birds.  Click here for yesterday afternoon's bird list.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Lake Cunningham Regional Park

We birded at Lake Cunningham for the second day yesterday. It has been a real god-send to have this wonderful park just next door to Mercedes-Benz of San Jose while we have our RV worked on. We have enjoyed so much strolling through the park both mornings, and Buster has enjoyed the abundance of ground squirrels. Be sure and look at our bird list with lots of photos here.  The dealership finished the repairs yesterday afternoon, but we elected to stay the night in their back parking lot rather than starting out for King City and San Lorenzo Regional Park that late in the day.  After lots of diagnosis work the culprit was believed to be a poor connection between the oxygen sensor wire loom and a computer.  They installed some new pins and hopefully the check engine light will stay off.
Buster sniffing out squirrels

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Mercedes-Benz of San Jose

Lake Cunningham Regional Park

Yesterday morning we drove from Pleasanton to San Jose for an appointment with Mercedes-Benz of San Jose.  We did this for several reasons.  They were able to squeeze us in to their busy schedule a couple of days earlier than the dealer in Pleasanton. Plus, San Jose was on our continuing route south. And as luck would have it, right beside Mercedes-Benz of San Jose was Lake Cunningham, an eBird Hot Spot! So while the Serenity was being worked on we spent our time strolling the 50 acre lake and city park looking and photographing birds. Check out the list and photos here. It's kind of hard to be in a bad mood when we are having so much fun. It appears the dealership may have fixed the problem.  They allowed us to park for the night in their lot, (one more free overnight), and they will be doing a driving test this morning.

Green Heron