Scorpion, SCI, October 10th and 11th

Hugh Ranson

Wim posted Marky Mutchler's report from yesterday at Scorpion Ranch on Santa Cruz Island. Peter Gaede and I stayed at the campground last night and were able to add some incoming birds to the list. First some general notes: the weather both days was mild with a moderately high overcast that burnt off mid afternoon. Winds were light and variable. My own experience, and those of others filing ebird reports, has shown low warbler activity over the past weeks; this was to change dramatically, with large numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers present in the newly flowering eucs, along with smaller numbers of Townsend's, Black-throated Gray, and Hermit Warblers. What was astonishing, however, were the number of sightings we had of Nashville and Tennessee Warblers. The former were as numerous as Orange-crowned Warblers, whilst the latter were seen so frequently that we stopped bothering to call them out. We were conservative in totalling these two species because we covered the same areas several times and they were impossible to count accurately. So 15 Nashville and 6 Tennessee are minimum numbers. You would have had to have seen it to believe it.

The other event, which I gather occurred on the mainland, too, was a major flight of Greater White-fronted Geese. Several skeins passed over both days, the largest totalling 65 birds. We even heard some birds at night. The grand total was somewhere over 120; Peter will have all the details in his ebird list.

We looked in vain for Saw-whet Owl and Spotted Skunk, though a nice consolation was excellent views of a Common Poorwill (we heard another calling, too).

Warblers were the theme of the two days, however, and we tallied 16 species. Here are some of the highlight birds, some already mentioned by Marky:

Virginia's Warbler--1
American Redstart--2 (1 new bird in today)
Black-and-White Warbler--  (1)
Palm Warbler-- (1)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (1 very skulky male at the top of the upper campground)
Ovenbird --(a very obliging bird traipsing about under the fig trees at the ranch house)
Blackburnian Warbler-- I think this is a different bird from the one seen a week ago as it seems a lot duller.
Northern Parula-- Could be the same bird as a week ago?


Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2,  imm male and imm female)
Indigo Bunting--young male
Orchard Oriole -- 1 female type
Clay-colored Sparrow--4
Yellow-breasted Chat --1
Tropical Kingbird--1

I'm sure I'm forgetting a bird or two.

Some photos of the Poorwill, Ovenbird, Blackburnian, and Tennessee:

Hugh Ranson

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