What does the average person go looking for, in a new place to live? Close to schools, grocery store, a nice neighborhood, all things well worth considering. None of those thing in fact, even came into consideration during our search, when my wife and I started looking for our next residence. Granted our requirements are a bit unusual, now that we are transitioning to our new abode. Moving off our 40 foot sailboat of 17 years, and moving to a 32 foot 5th wheel trailer, is like moving to a mobile mansion. Our first requirements are a flat piece of real-estate, power, water and sewer, and after that they become quite esoteric. Neither of us have much desire to live in a city, so a piece of land in the country was important. For Jeanne, who feels a strong connection to the ocean, a view of the water is important. Of course for me, there has to be at least some birds in the area, the more the better.

We heard about an ocean side piece of property, near La Ventanna, and within a 1/2 mile of one of the locations that use for guiding trips. We arranged to meet the owners there on Sunday morning to take a look. Long private drive, Check! Nice, flat location, Check! Great ocean views and access, Check! And of course birds, lots of birds. The photo at the top of the story will be the new view as soon as we get moved.

This is looking down at one of the neighbors.


In the 45 minutes we were on the property, we identified 19 species, two of which are endemics, and located my first ever nesting pair of Phainopeplas right there on the property. The Phainopeplas alone were enough for me to make up my mind.

This pair of Phainopeplas have built a beautiful nest, complete with two speckled eggs.



In addition to the Phainopeplas, there was a pair of Verdin that established a nest as well.


Nearly a dozen California Quail wandered about the property


There were several Gray Thrashers working the small arroyo on the property edge.



While we are excited to get moved out there, it will be a few months yet. We will need to finish the training and transition of the new owners of our business. You can rest assured, there will be several trips out to the property to check in on those new babies!

Here is a list of the birds that we found on, or flying over the property last Sunday:

Gray Thrasher
Xanthus’s Hummingbird
California Quail
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Black-throated Sparrow
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
California Scrub Jay
Magnificent Frigatebird
Brown Pelicans
Eared Grebes
Yellow-footed Gull
Red-tailed Hawk

Turkey Vulture

Elegant Tern

Common Ground Dove

Double-crested Cormorant

Scott’s Oriole

Written by Tom Brown
Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age. Thru the course of time, travel, and a lot of different occupations, he ended up living in Seattle, and met a girl with a sailboat. When he is not scouring whatever area they are in, looking for the next great bird photo, he can be found trying to earn enough money for the next adventure, and of course, a new lens or camera body! Having been nick-named “The Bird Nerd” by his last remaining friends and family, Tom continues search for that next lifer, and the accompanying photo that goes with it. Find his continuing adventures, photographs, and guiding opportunities at Focus on Feathers.