UPDATE - The RUSTY BLACKBIRD first found Saturday by Tom Wurster was
present again this Monday morning at Cerro Coco Community College in
Ridgecrest, eastern Kern County. It was relocated at 6:30am by Bob
Barnes at the baseball field where it foraged on the grass in center
field, left field, around home plate, and around the pitcher's mound.
Steve Summers arrived at 8am from Tulare County and took some great
video of this bird. Stan Gray arrived just after 8am from SoCal to
observe it, too. The three of us went our separate ways at 8:30am.
Since this Kern Co. Rusty Blackbird might be of interest to state
listers, county listers, year listers, and/or others to pursue, the
simplest directions to the spot, which also avoids numerous downtown
4-way stops and traffic signals, might be:
* Get to US Hwy 395 north or south towards Ridgecrest (From CA
Hwy 14 go downhill/east through Inyokern to Hwy 395 South to the
major southern entrance into Ridgecrest on the left.).
* Take the south (Business 395) entrance to Ridgecrest off US Hwy 395.
* Proceed down the long hill to the first traffic light
(Albertson's/Staples/Walmart on the left and College Heights Blvd. on
* At the traffic light turn right onto College Heights Blvd. and
go up the hill to the isolated Cerro Coso Community College campus
soon visible on the hillside well above the last residential area.
* Upon reaching the start of the campus, turn right off College
Heights Blvd. into the first large paved parking lot which is in
front of/before the college gymnasium.
* Go to the end of the paved parking lot onto the back dirt half
of the parking lot to the far left (SW) corner and park vehicles here/there.
* Walk through the main gate at this SW corner into the athletic
* The running track lies straight ahead, well less than 100 meters/yards.
* To reach the main baseball field proceed along the c. 4 foot
wide asphalt walkway to the right of the running track area a short
distance to the open hard packed sand, gentle downhill slope to the
ball field on the right.
All observations of the Rusty Blackbird have been made on the lawns
of either the main baseball field or running track. If for some
reason this bird can NOT be found at these two locations, try the
softball field beyond/west of the running track or any other areas on
the campus with lawn grass. This morning the main gate leading to
athletic fields was open upon arrival at 6:30am. It is possible
maintenance workers might open it later than 6:30am some weekdays and
not at all Saturday and/or Sunday.
Regardless of whether or not going for this bird is in your plans,...
Continued Happy & Productive Birding (wherever that might be!),
Bob Barnes, Ridgecrest, Kern County, California
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