Northern Parula and Refugio Creek birding, Sunday, 4-18

Dave Compton

This morning I birded two extremely birdy spots along Refugio Creek from Refugio Road. The first stop was around and just north of the two crossings a little north of 101. The second stop was a 3/4 mile stretch a couple of miles upstream of these two crossings, and still below the Circle Bar B Ranch.

The best bird was a female NORTHERN PARULA on the west side of the road, in a sycamore at these coordinates:

34.472313º N, -120.068674º W

The bird was silent, and Steve Gaulin, two other birders, and I could not refind it once I called them over to see it.

Also of minor interest were a MacGillivray's a bit south of the parula spot, a Cassin's Vireo near the northernmost point of my second stop, four Hermit Warblers at the second stop, a Yellow-breasted Chat south of the first crossing, and a half a dozen or so Swainson's Thrushes on the morning. The most common migrants were Wilson's Warbler and Warbling Vireo. At specific locations, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, and Townsend's Warbler were among the dominant species. Migrants occurring in smaller numbers included Black-throated Gray Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Bullock's Oriole, and Nashville Warbler. I had 11 warbler species overall (no, that doesn't count the chat, which is not a warbler).

I'm sure others must be encountering lots of migrants, today, given my experience and several days of strong northwest winds.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

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