Palm Warbler at the Carpinteria Bluffs

John Callender

I had good views of a breeding-plumage Palm Warbler at the Carpinteria Bluffs this morning. The bird was in and around the row of large eucalyptus trees that run parallel to and just north of the railroad tracks (the "Artist's Passage" on Bluffs maps). I tried a couple of times to digiscope a photo, but the bird was too active for me to succeed. It was a large warbler with dark streaks on the sides, a rufous crown, and extensive yellow below, especially in the area of the throat, breast, and undertail coverts. It pumped its tail constantly.

The bird had a distinctive, soft chip note that allowed me to refind it a couple of times once I'd learned to recognize the sound. It worked its way all along the row of eucalyptus, at one point going a little ways into the north-south row of eucalyptus that runs next to the blueberry/flower fields at the west end of the Artist's Passage, at another point flying up from a coyote brush into a euc at the far east end of the Artist's Passage.

Eric Culbertson reminded me that Peter Gaede had a Palm Warbler here on January 5, 2018 for the Carpinteria Christmas Count; his photo of the (nonbreeding plumage) bird is here:

Eric wondered whether it's the same bird found by Peter, or if it's a wandering spring migrant instead.

John Callender

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