Red-necked Grebe, Tennessee Warbler, etc.

Dave Compton

Today, I checked up on a couple of south coast rarities that hadn't been reported in a while and did a few quick sea watches along the coast west of Goleta.

David Love Place, Goleta. The TENNESSEE WARBLER present since 31 December is still in the Tipuana tipu trees, today on the east side of the road. The gull flock at the recycling center at the end of the road continues to be underwhelming, but good numbers of blackbirds are here. Nothing of interest, though.

South bound US 101 east of El Capitan State Beach. The RED-NECKED GREBE found back in December is still with the Aechmophorus grebe flock. The bird was southeast of the pullout where Nick Lethaby was stationed when he first reported this bird last year, so the bird was pretty backlit when I saw it. I suggest looking for it in late afternoon, assuming the bird stays in the same area.

Gaviota State Beach trailhead area. From the bluffs near the trailhead on the west side of the park, you could see a lot of seabird activity. I saw more than 500 Black-vented Shearwaters, about 200 Surf Scoters, all three loon species, lots of Brown Pelicans, and other common sea birds. A lot of birds were well off to the southwest and could be seen better from someplace closer to Hollister Ranch, if someone wants to check out the flock here. With all the activity, it seems like a good place to keep checking up on. In addition to the birds, I saw 4 species of marine mammals: harbor seal, California sea lion, common dolphin (a big pod well to the southwest), and gray whale.

Other sea watch locations closer to Goleta were much less interesting. During a quick check of Devereux, I saw the EURASIAN WIGEON pair, but not the suspicious golden plover. Glad to hear it's still around. I'm still hoping people can get more photos, although I know it's hard to get very close to it.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

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