Re: Possible Sage Thrasher at Carpinteria State Beach

John Callender

I checked for the Sage Thrasher at the original location near the State Beach Campground entrance this morning and did not find it, but an hour later I found it (or a different one, though I suspect it's the same individual) 1 mile east at the harbor seal overlook at the Carpinteria Bluffs just east of the Casitas Pier. Details (and more bad-iPhone-digicam shots) at my eBird listing here:

The bird flew up and perched on a bush about 20 feet away from the overlook benches, stayed a few minutes, then flew to the west.


There's a parking lot next to this spot at the south end of Dump Road, but it's private and reserved for the oil platform support operation at the pier. The closest public parking would probably be at Tee Time on Carpinteria Ave, next to the small patch of tams. Then you could walk south on the dirt road that runs along the east side of the agricultural fields, cross the railroad tracks (carefully; it's an uncontrolled crossing and trains approaching from the east can appear suddenly), then follow the path along the bluffs to the right until you come to the harbor seal overlook.


On Sun, Sep 24, 2017 at 7:22 AM, John Callender <callender.john@...> wrote:
The Sage Thrasher is still there this morning at 0719, running around on that same patch of grass.

FYI: There's a special event going on (a triathlon) at the State Beach today; hopefully that won't disturb the bird too much. Also, it being Sunday morning, the nearby street parking around Reality Church may be limited.

On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 11:32 PM Dave Compton <davcompton60@...> wrote:
Definitely a Sage Thrasher. Nice bird! Dave

On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 8:29 PM John Callender jbc@... [sbcobirding] <> wrote:

Around 6 pm today I was walking past the entrance kiosk for the State Beach Campground at the south end of Palm Avenue in Carpinteria when I saw a bird foraging on a grassy patch. The bird appeared to be a relatively short-billed thrasher, grayish above with a speckled throat and breast. It was repeatedly running and stopping in a robin-like manner.

The bird was fairly tame, allowing me to watch it through binoculars at close range (as little as 20 feet) for about 30 minutes. A couple of times it was flushed from the spot by passing pedestrians, but each time it returned. When it flew I saw that it had prominent buffy patches in the outer corners of its otherwise-dark tail.

I was able to get some low-quality photos by holding my phone up to my binoculars; I've attached them to my eBird report. See:

I realize sage thrasher would be very unusual, but I've had a hard time coming up with an alternative ID. I'd appreciate suggestions. :-)

If people want to try to see if the bird is still there tomorrow, I'd suggest parking on the street at the south end of Palm Ave., just north of the railroad tracks, then walking (carefully) across the tracks toward the State Beach campground entrance. There's a model tomol (Chumash canoe) on the right side of the entrance road at that point; the bird was foraging in the grassy area in which the tomol is located. It's possible to stand in the area of the campground amphitheater immediately to the west and have good views of the grassy patch.

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