It was a great morning at Santa Ana NWR where I walked the trails with Carolyn Stenberg, a friend who is also a volunteer at the refuge. Although the weather seemed threatening, there was no wind at that time. So we were able to hear birds very well. My main target was the diminutive Northern Beardless Tyrannulet. We hadn't gone more than a hundred yards before we heard our first one (web photo). We would get two others before the morning was over. We walked over to Willow Lake where we saw the first Fulvous Whistling Duck of the season. We spent some time on the tower which doubles as a hawkwatch platform. The weather was socking in rapidly and no hawks were flying, but I did manage first of the year Purple Martin and Chimney Swift. After the rain started, I went back to the car to get my rain jacket. That, of course, made the rain stop, so we headed back out to Pintail Lake to check some shorebirds. We did find the shorebirds, but none of them was new for the year. However, in the trees around the edge of the lake we found a Yellow-throated Vireo which was new. It was at that point that I looked up to see a beautiful female Hook-billed Kite with two more flying above her. The hawkwatchers at Santa Ana think that species may be reliable there now. Later when the ceiling lifted and the raptors began to fly we saw a few Swainson's Hawks and Broad-winged Hawks among the large number of Turkey Vultures. Then the wind came up. I left the refuge and went to a sod farm where I saw the American Golden Plovers that had been reported from that location. At that point, I have to confess, I decided to find a TV and watch the ODU basketball game. ODU lost but did a good job coming from behind at the beginning of the second half. They took the lead but couldn't quite hold it at the end. I'm proud of their fine performance. So with the six new birds today the year's list now stands at 425.