Black-chinned Sparrow at Sudden Road off San Miguelito Road

John Callender

Continuing my effort to see a Black-chinned Sparrow, I went back this morning to the place I'd recently heard one (after seeing Brad Hacker's eBird report of three of them): West Camino Cielo just east of Refugio Pass. It was foggy and somewhat windy, though, and the Black-chinned Sparrows were quiet; I didn't see or hear any. So I went to my other stop for the morning: Sudden Road off San Miguelito Road, south of Lompoc. I was hoping for Grasshopper Sparrows, since I knew they'd been seen there in the past. I didn't find any of those, but the first thing I heard as I stepped from my car was... a Black-chinned Sparrow. I got decent looks at the bird, which sang more or less continuously from the hillside just east of the south end of Sudden Road (at the locked Vandenberg AFB gate) during the 2 hours I was there. I also heard a distant White-crowned Sparrow singing at the same location.

A few terrible digiscoped photos of the Black-chinned Sparrow are here:

John Callender

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