Carpinteria area

Florence Sanchez

First of all, I'm going to say I blew it. I'm pretty sure I had a Yellow-throated Vireo in the tams near City Hall this morning, but I didn't realize it in time to confirm my suspicion.  I first saw the bird in a small mixed flock about half-way down the row on the driving range side.  I mostly saw it from below--yellow head and breast, strong wing bars on blackish wings, slightly larger and bulkier than the warblers it was with, actively feeding.  My initial call was Western Tanager.  The flock moved on and so did I, but something was not right.  The bird had a white lower chest, belly and undertail coverts.  I retraced my steps and got another quick look at it, this time picking up what seemed to be some sort of pattern on the head or face, not plain yellow.  Then it disappeared in the vegetation and another half hour of searching did not turn it up nor the rest of the flock it was with.

I checked some materials when I got home, all of which seem to confirm my hunch that the bird in question was a Yellow-throated Vireo.  But I'd need to see it again clearly to be sure.  If anyone birds this area tomorrow, I suggest keeping your eyes peeled for it.

Other warblers seen at this location today were Wilson's (1) Yellow-rumps (2), Orange Crowned (1), Yellow (1), Townsend's (1) and Common Yellowthroat (1).  I also found a Sapsucker in the tams that looked like a Red-breasted X Red-naped hybrid.

I walked along Carpinteria Creek from Sixth Street to Eighth Street and spent some time on the bridge.  Not a lot happening here--one each Orange-crowned, Wilson's and Townsend's Warbler.  The birds of interest were a small group of loudly calling RED-BREASTED Nuthatches in the big pine by  the Creekwood Condominiums entrance at the end of Eight Street.  It's shaping up to be a good winter for them.

Florence Sanchez

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