Figueroa Mtn and Ranger Peak

Dave Compton

I drove Figueroa Mtn Rd this morning and early afternoon, and I made a couple of extended stops, one along the road in the conifer forest at Ranger Peak and one along Catway Rd. The most notable birds were probably a single TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE at Ranger Peak, several Golden-crowned Kinglets at both places, and 2-3 flyover Pine Siskins at both stops. It will likely surprise no one that Red-breasted Nuthatches were abundant at both stops. Hard to know how many there were, but my eBird checklists included 18 at Ranger Peak and 10 at Catway Rd (all of the latter in a small area about a quarter mile from Figueroa Mtn Rd). 

Other than these species, there were almost no montane species anywhere. Not only were there no Pygmy Nuthatches, but there were no Mountain Chickadees to be found. Just two or three Steller's Jays at each of the two main stops and a couple of Hairy Woodpeckers at Catway Rd. 

It's pretty normal to have Townsend's Solitaire at Ranger Peak, and a few Pine Siskins in November is pretty normal, too. We've had one report of a Red Crossbill, but a check of eBird shows that the occurrences of that species in southern California this fall are not out of the ordinary. Seems like the big influx of Red-breasted Nutnatches isn't being paralleled in the occurrence of any other montane species.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

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