Bird Refuge in Montecito

George Roland

Finally......some birds other than the usual riff-raff are showing up at the Bird Refuge in Montecito. Yesterday there was a Short-billed Dowitcher at "Mallard Beach" ( the parking lot). It was still there this morning (Saturday). In addition this morning I found a Cassin's Kingbird, a Spotted Sandpiper and a Kingfisher. A few Northern Shovelers have returned. There is now a small island of sand/mud off the viewing platform nearest the zoo that is maybe providing some shorebird possibilities.

The Dowitcher is easily approached and is a pretty cool study of the basic (winter) plumage in these birds. As far as I can tell from my photos, it is in complete fresh  basic plumage with no trace of juvenile or adult feathering. It gives the typical rapid coocoocoo alarm call of Short-billed Dowitcher if disturbed.

Bird 0n...George Roland, Montecito.

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