Pine Mountain area June 18

Florence Sanchez

I birded around the Reyes Peak area yesterday, stoping at two spots before hiking a mile or so of the trail.  It was great weather for birding.  I ran into no one on the trail, but the campgrounds were pretty full.  I think people were just grateful to be able to camp again.

I saw plenty of the usual mountain birds.  For the first time in several years, I had at least 3 singing Green-tailed Towhees in different locations.  Usually I count myself lucky to turn up one.  White-headed Woodpeckers were easy to find because they were coming down to the roadside above the Pine Mountain campground to feed on the smashed pine cones at the edge.  I found nests for both Red-shafted Flickers and Violet-green Swallows, as well as young Red-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches.

The unexpected find was a singing Black-throated Gray warbler on the trail about 1/2 mile from the trailhead.  It was extremely active and sang almost constantly for a long time.  It's behavior suggested a male on territory rather than a late migrant.  Are there any records of this species breeding on the Pine Mountain complex?

Flowers were surprisingly nice.  Fremontia is in full bloom along the road in and there were orange wallflowers in all the grassy areas.  Both Scarlet Bugler and Penstemon bridgesii were in bloom and there was a great patch of lupine along the dirt road to the trailhead.  On highway 33, Matilija Poppies were making a good show was is Yerba Santa.  Near Ojai, I came across a nice specimen of Blazing Star.

Florence Sanchez

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