Purple Martins

Wes Fritz

SB Birders,

I had only a couple of hours to bird today. Yes, I had to be responsible
today. Anyway, I made the short circuit around the Alisal and Nojoqui Park.
At the south end of the Alisal Guest Ranch at the rodeo grounds I counted a
minimum of 16 Purple Matins and at Nojoqui Park I counted or saw at least 8
Purple Martins, this was around noon, not the best time to be counting
Purple Martins. This seems to be a pretty good year for them with martins
being seen in former nesting areas of SLO County and San Diego having a few
birds prospecting nest site in the Kitchen Creek area, that is way cool. The
Central Valley seems to be reporting more marins than normal and more wide
spread also.

The north side of the Santa Ynez Mountains has just been going off with
western migrants. I could make a long list of the birds I just heard today
singing, but that would take longer than I wish to type. If you are wanting
to hone your western bird song skills, I recommend birding on Refugio Road,
yes the Santa Ynez side or the Alisal Road and up near Nojoqui. It is full
of singing birds and they are easy to see for confirmation.

Good birding.

Wes Fritz



Solvang, Ca.

Oak Park, Bell's Vireo

Noah <skater_ako1@...>

This morning, 5/1/12, I heard a probable Bell's Vireo at Oak Park.

Along Tallant Road, just east from where it passes by the tennis courts, there is a staircase. I heard the bird between the stairs and the Samarkand community.

I never saw the bird (I needed to get to work) and although the song sounded a bit slow for Bell's, it sounded much to scratchy for Warbling. I only heard it call twice.

Noah Gaines
Santa Barbara, CA

Campus Point 5/1 5:30-6:45 pm

Barbara Millett

During a seawatch this evening:

On rocks below point: 4 Wandering Tattlers, 1 Black Turnstone, 2 Brant, about 80 Sanderlings (2 in almost full alternate plumage), 3 Whimbrels.

Seabird migration was pretty minimal -- 7 small groups of Pacific Loons -- about 4-5 loons in each group. 2 skeins of 70 Brant each, 2 skeins Surf Scoters, about 40 each. Brandt's Cormorants, about 20, in singles or groups of 2-3.

Barb Millett
Santa Barbara

Winchester Canyon chat

Nick Lethaby


There was a singing YB Chat near the entrance to the small creekside park in Winchester Cyn this AM.

Nick Lethaby
Software Development Organization
Texas Instruments
office: +1 805 562 5106
mobile: +1 805 284 6200
e-mail: nlethaby@...

UCSB Campus notes

Florence Sanchez <sanchez@...>

First time this week out at noon! There are a few smaller shorebirds going through. Mostly Semi-palmated plovers: groups of 7, 12, and 20 actively working the beaches; with them 6 Sanderlings, some in breeding plumage, and a breeding Dunlin. Also found 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 3 Whimbrels, and on the rocks, 3 Black Turnstones. Only migrating seabirds found were two Pacific Loons.

In the Lagoon, there were 4 Dowitchers feeding. Looked like Long-billed going into breeding plumage; sounded like Short-billed. I give up.

Not much found in the old gym wetlands besides a female Selasphorus hummingbird. However, a Downey Woodpecker has an active nest low in the trunk of a willow on the north side of the wetland (behind and between two young pines).

Florence Sanchez

Audubon White-tailed Kite Watch Update

mariahhelenedmonds <mariahhelenedmonds@...>

Hello, everyone!

This is Mariah from Audubon Kite Watch!

What a lovely springtime-- after all of the overcast days, it's so nice to have blue skies and sunlight again.

Sorry I've been so poor at communication; it's been a hectic year. From now on, I will try my best to have a weekly update and kite watch time/locations.

I would love your help with this year's Kite Watch! Please feel welcome to join!

We meet on Monday evenings from 5:30PM-dusk and head to Natural Cafe (Hollister in Old Town Goleta) afterwards. We have many active kite sites (see below): More Mesa and Ellwood Central/East have weekly volunteer groups and the less-active sites have rotating volunteer groups. Please feel free to stop by More Mesa or Ellwood Central/East; if you would like to join up with the other groups, please email me for the dates that they will be out there.

As of now, we have over 16 volunteers who meet weekly at Goleta sites. Most are biology-focused SBCC and UCSB students; we have a friendly, passionate group of people! If you are free on Monday evenings, we would love your help and company. As most of the volunteers are new to birding, we are particularly in need of birding mentors and weekly volunteers.

GOLETA WTK STATUS as of 1 May 2012:
Maps provided by Mark Holmgren.
Monday was quite overcast and very slow.

Isla Vista (Red Barn): No kites seen on site. 2 kites seen flying overhead towards Coal Oil Point Reserve. (Map:

Coal Oil Point Reserve: Established pair (prey exchange) at faculty housing. Pair frequents 3 trees; volunteer suspects a potential nest nearby. (Map:

Winchester Canyon: No kites seen.

Ellwood West: 1 kite seen foraging from Ellwood East. No confirmed prey captures. (Map:
Ellwood Central and East: 2 kites with confirmed territories, one in Central West, one in Central East. Possible 3rd kite in Central East. Possible breeding behavior, very uncertain: 2-3 prey captures at Central East, each followed by direct flight into eucalyptus grove. 1st time seeing this behavior. (Map:

More Mesa: 1 confirmed pair on East Side: 3 prey strikes with no confirmed capture. 2 birds on West Side: 1 confirmed prey capture, no prey exchange. Each side had a crow encounter. 4 confirmed birds on More Mesa total, possible 5 total birds. Volunteer group enter on Patterson side.

Feel free to call me any time at (916)479-2503 or email me at audubonkite@....


Wandering Tattler at SB Breakwater

Paul Rosso <prrosso@...>

May 3rd, 4 pm, at the very end of the Santa Barbara Breakwater was a
Wandering Tattler in breeding plumage quietly sitting on a rock. From others
there , it had been quite active previously. There was group of 8 Whimbrels
foraging in the very swallow water near the NE end of the line of rocks.
This was about 2 hours after a 0.7 foot low tide.

Paul Rosso

Lompoc, CA

UCSB Campus Notes

Florence Sanchez <sanchez@...>

Again, the beaches belonged to the Semi-palmated Plovers and Sanderlings today, with the Sanderlings outnumbering the Plovers. The lone dunlin was also with them again.

There were 3 Surfbirds on the rocks at Campus Point. Also present on the beaches were # Whimbrels and a flyby Marbled Godwit, a species I haven't seen for a few weeks. No sebirds flying east to west past Campus Point today, but I did have a lone Surf Scoter going the other way. Lots of Brandt's Cormorants on the Point, almost none flying by.

Four Dowitchers continue in the UCSB Lagoon.

Florence Sanchez

Wandering Tattler

Jim Long

Still there today. On the beach when I was there at noon, right
next to the end of the breakwater.

Jim Long
Santa Barbara

Farren Rd.

Nancy States <bnstates@...>

Debbie, Gayle and I went to Farren Road this morning.

We saw 2 Grasshopper Sparrows at the first turn out at the top of the hill. Vaux' Swifts over head and down the hill a bit a Lazuli bunting.

In the Eucs across from the gate we had 2 Phainopeplas and a Hood Oriole. Farther on the road we had Bluebirds, 10 West. Kingbirds and an Ash-Throated Flycatcher.

Near the reservoir we saw two Killdeer with 2 small fledglings. Another Lazuli Bunting plus a Willow Flycatcher.

Nancy States

Santa Barbara

Farren Rd. Purple Martins

Noah <skater_ako1@...>


Today I walked Farren Rd after work. The pollen was bad but the birds were good. I parked at the top of the first hill and birded till next hill past the reservoir  Seeing 3 Purple Martins was a surprise. I saw the same female 3x near the reservoir.  Other good birds include. 
Blue Grosbeak. 2 females
Lazuli Bunting. M and F
Grasshopper Sparrow. 1 heard
Hooded Oriole. M and F
Black-headed Grosbeak. 1 male singing. 
Lark Sparrow: 4
Western Kingbird. 4
Warbling Vireo: 4

Thanks Nancy for posting on this great spot. 

Noah Gaines

Moonwatch 5.4.12

Noah <skater_ako1@...>

Last night (5.4.12) I performed a moonwatch for 3x10 minutes from 9:55 - 10:30 pm. I observed a total of 26 birds sillhouetted by the moon. This included 19 UFOs, 3 warblerish birds, and 4 thrushy birds. Of the 19 UFOs, there was a flock of 6 birds.

The birds generally flew from the lower left quadrant to the upper right, with some birds going from 6 to 12 and others going 9-3. One bird did zip across going the other way.

I observed the birds from my driveway in Santa Barbara

Noah Gaines
Santa Barbara

Jesusita Trail Continuing YB Chat


Today near Jesusita Trail, just after the trail crosses the concrete structure over the creek (34.45416,-119.73238).

Yellow-Breasted Chat prominently singing on high perches and feeding on berries near the trail. In the same bush there were 2 Swainson's Thrush, and a male and female Phainopepla.

Black-Chinned Hummingbirds, Western Tanager, a yellow warbler, Warbling Vireo, and large numbers of Lessor Goldfinch were nearby. Good spring birding.

Justin Watts

Miguelito Canyon

libby lindsay <glassolives@...>

Male WESTERN TANAGER at marker 4.44 in huge oak at streamside.
Brilliantly colored male HERMIT WARBLER at Frick Springs in oak.
3 OLIVE SIDED FLYCATCHERS on electric wires at marker 8.27 near Eucs.
LAZULI BUNTINGS at top of hill and at bottom after 8.27
Libby Lindsay

north-west county, 2012-05-05

Wim van Dam

This Saturday Peter "Tropical Mockingbird" Schneekloth and I birded the NW corner of the county. Our more notable observations were as follows.



@ Black Rd, South of 1: 1 GREATER ROADRUNNER

@ 246 between Lompoc and Buellton: 2 GOLEN EAGLES

- Wim van Dam (Solvang, CA)

Nesting Swainson's Thrushes in Miguelito Canyon

Paul Rosso <prrosso@...>

May 6th, 9 am, two Swainson's Thrushes in Miguelito Canyon were gathering
nesting material. They were located about 3-400 ft upstream of Frick Spring
on the opposite bank from the road in some flatten dead 'reeds'.

Paul & Rita Rosso

Lompoc, CA

Farren Rd. May 6

Barbara Millett

Seen during an hour's walk on Farren Rd this morning -- the birds of note (to me):

Common Raven - 1
Blue Grosbeak - 1
Phainopepla - 2
Hooded Oriole - 2
Chipping Sparrow - 1 adult
Lark Sparrow - 3
Ash-throated Flycatcher - 2
Western Kingbird - 1
Cedar Waxwings - 15
Warbling Vireo - 1
California Thrasher - 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 1, singing its entire song - usually I only hear its calls.

Missed the Grasshopper Sparrows.

Barb Millett
Santa Barbara

South Refugio Road, 2012-05-06

Wim van Dam

This morning I saw and heard the YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at South Refugio Road that Rebecca reported last weekend. At around the same location I also had, besides the usuals, 2 BLUE GROSBEAKS, a LAZULI BUNTING, and, surprisingly to me, 1 or 2 CASSIN'S VIREO.

Continuing in Rebecca's footsteps, further up the road there were at least 3 CANYON WRENs interacting at a likely nest site. I don't know what that was about as it seems too early for young Canyon Wrens to have fledged already. Besides some more Canyon Wrens singing, I also heard a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL.

- Wim van Dam (Solvang, CA)

--- In sbcobirding@..., Rebecca Coulter <rfcphoebe@...> wrote:

This morning along Refugio Road, I had a singing Yellow-breasted Chat about 1/4 mile upstream from the first creek crossing that flows over the road. The bird never showed itself, but sang heartily in the dense riparian along the creek west of the road. Other abundant singers included Black-headed Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, and a bit further up the road, Canyon Wren (at a probable nest in a rock crevice). Also had two Allen's Hummingbirds, Robin, and House Wren on nests, plus juvenile Oak Titmice and Bushtits in several places, and two fledgling Hutton's Vireos trailing an adult.

Rebecca Coulter
Santa Barbara

Sunday birds

Nick Lethaby


A YB Chat was vocalizing along the creek in Winchester Canyon, best seen from inside the small park. An Olive-sided Flycatcher was perching up in a dead Yucca along E. Camino Cielo.

After starting to look good for the rest of the spring migration, Devereux blew out again with last night's high tide. Nothing of interest at Area K or Goleta Beach.

Nick Lethaby
office: +1 805 562 5106
mobile: +1 805 284 6200
e-mail: nlethaby@...


libby lindsay <glassolives@...>

Male BRANT joined AVOCETS and STILTS this afternoon at
low tide--on sandbar up stream from island.  Whimbrel, Willets,
Western Sandpiper, Greater Yellow Legs, and 3 baby Killdeer joined
the festivity.
Libby Lindsay