Some of you may remember Dave Quesenberry. Dave is visiting CA with a
birding friend this week in search of CA lifers. I decided to tag along
as they birded the south coast. We stopped at Gaviota, Refugio, and El
Cap today in search of migrants.
The only bird worth mentioning at Gaviota was a single Vaux's Swift.
Refugio had a few migrant warblers in the small willow growth near the
entrance to the campground. In a flock of blackbirds we found a
At El Capitan we located a Tennessee Warbler in a mixed flock (Wilson's,
Yellows, Or-crowns) near the creek mouth. We also found the Prothonotary
Warbler feeding in a Catalina Cherry bush with Western Tanagers and
Black-headed Grosbeaks next to the amphitheater. Also spotted was a
(possible) Dusky Flycatcher in the lower campground area. Remember, your
entrance fee into any of these beaches will get you into all of the
others for the day.
Santa Maria River estuary had two Red Knots, and one Dunlin. Found
within the massive flock of Sooty Shearwaters just offshore was an
almost entirely white shearwater except for a black trailing edge to the
wing. There was a small amount of dark mottling on the neck too. We
suspected a partial albinistic Sooty (?). Has anyone else ever seen
something like this before? It vaguely looked like a Streaked Shearwater
but whiter. If a bird with albinism like this is possible, how many of
these are misidentified as something exceptionally rare?