One of the birds I was most anticipating in California was the California Thrasher. I've seen Brown Thrasher in New York and Georgia, Long-billed in Texas, Sage in Washtington and Azizona, and Curve-billed, Bendire's, Crissal and Le Conte's in Arizona. This was then the final North American species that I needed, and actually they seemed pretty common if a bit hard to find due to their skulking nature. The first one was at our camp site in the hills above Santa Barbara, but I ended up seeing them on the coast at Big Sur and a couple of other places too. This is the one on the cliffs at Kirk Creek campground, which we reached via the incredible Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, a narrow twisting pass over the Santa Lucia range (home to the Bristlecone Pine), a somewhat hairy drive in a 25 foot RV!! Highway 1 has been closed all year due to last winter's storms, so this road is the only way in unless you have a helipcoter. We didn't. The bird is a bit scruffy, but this was late August and most if not all the birds looked like this!
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