Sunday birding and redgums v. tipus

Dave Compton

I birded a number of spots with infested exotic trees in Santa Barbara this morning, splitting my time between a couple of recent hotspots with lerpy redgums and several places with Tipuana tipus. It made for a weird morning of birding, since this program can take you face to face with the growing COVID homeless problem while touring some of the least natural bird habitats. Up front, I'll say I didn't have any new rarities today.

La Mesa Park was the most natural place I visited, and all you have to contend with there are daily groups of people working out or doing yoga. I had TWO BLACKPOLL WARBLERS, one at the location where Hugh reported two yesterday (south end of the lawn) and one along Shoreline Dr on Washington School property, about 50m east of the park. Nothing else of real note here, as Hugh mentioned, but there are a ton of birds in this area. Very much worth the stop. Those eucs at Washington School were particularly good when I was there.

The other redgum spot I visited was New Chase Palm Park. As Adam and Ron have mentioned, that one tree just east of the creek draws a lot of birds. I would add that Ron and I saw a lot of birds coming to the creek on the north side of the railroad tracks, as well as using a small lerpy euc there. This spot at the creek is worth a visit, if you aren't concerned about the homeless people along the tracks.

NOT so birdy were my tipu stops: Ortega St between De la Vina and Castillo, Cota commuter lot, Carrillo commuter lot, and Alice Keck Park garden. The Carrillo commuter lot had the most birds (still not many). but it's pretty sad to see that a homeless camp of 8 or 10 people has sprung up on the 101 side of the fence, since the beginning of COVID. The people living in their vehicles are pretty entrenched here, too, with few commuters around.

Paul Lehman noted in a post to the San Diego list that this is a great year for lerpy eucs (I'd say, specifically, redgums), and not so good for tipus, with some exceptions. Obviously, the LogMeIn tipus are an exception. But other tipu locations are pretty slow at the moment. This would also include the large area of tipus in the office complex along Mentor Dr.. Paul entreated people to check out lerpy eucs wherever they can find them. I think that could be a productive approach for the next several weeks.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

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