Fall Big Day in Santa Barbara County #bigday

David Compton <davcompton@...>

Hi folks,

Yesterday, Monday, 25 September, Mark Holmgren, Peter Gaede, and I did a fall Big Day for the PRBO Bird-A-Thon. We met at 2am and birded all over Santa Barbara County, until 10pm. The final tally was a very respectable 170. The best we've been able to do previously in fall was 164, so we were pretty happy with this total, although looking over the list again, I'm surprised at how many fairly common birds we missed. Still, we saw some nice stuff, and had a great time doing it. Next year, 180!

Incidentally, this year we concentrated on the route around Figueroa Mtn, the area around Lompoc, and the south coast. Two great areas that we decided to bypass were the Santa Maria Valley and Lake Cachuma, the latter being dropped at the last minute. Both areas certainly would've turned up some birds that we missed, but things went pretty well, even though yesterday didn't seem to be a particularly good migration day.

Thanks to Peter and Mark for a great time. I can't wait to do it again next year.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


Stakeouts at Mesa x Los Carneros, Goleta:
RUFF - At least one
BLUE-WINGED TEAL - female and eclipse male

Best new bird of the day:
ORCHARD ORIOLE at Refugio State Beach

Other nice surprises:
COMMON MURRE - 130 (!) off Surf Beach, west of Lompoc
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL - One near adult at the SB Harbor Sandspit

BOBOLINK - 11 in Goleta, on private property
WHITE-FACED IBIS - Five at Devereux Slough
AMERICAN AVOCETS - Ocean Park, seen from the bluff south of the park
PEREGRINE FALCON - Devereux Slough, Santa Barbara Harbor
WANDERING TATTLER - SB Harbor sandspit (next to last bird of the day)
COMMON POORWILL - East Pinery Rd, Ranger Pk
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER - Figueroa Mtn, near the summit
PINE SISKIN - One at Figueroa Mtn near Pino Alto Picnic Area

Owling. It was tough work, but we had some success owling, including
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL - Two around Ranger Peak and Figueroa Mtn
SPOTTED OWL - One at a known location in the Santa Ynez Mtns
GREAT HORNED OWL - All over Figueroa Mtn Rd
WESTERN SCREECH-OWL - Near the Spotted Owl location and near Midland School on Figueroa Mtn Rd
BARN OWL - After being missed at various locations, finally heard (#170 for the day) at the parkling lot at Lake Los Carneros

American Robin (ugh!)
Black-headed Grosbeak

Surf Scoter
Clark's Grebe
Pectoral Sandpiper
Caspian Tern
Vaux's Swift
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Bullock's Oriole

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