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

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@...

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

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

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.


Wim van Dam


A draft revision of the book THE BIRDS OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY,
CALIFORNIA by Paul Lehman is now available on-line at:

It is updated with information available through February 2012. For many years Paul has wanted to update his 1994 manuscript—a lot
happens in the bird world over almost two decades! So, he began
updating the book in 2010. Two years later, here are the revisions to
all the species accounts, as well as to the introductory chapters
dealing with Habitats and Methods. The other chapters in the 1994 book
—dealing with Topography and Climate, Ornithological History, Bird
Migration and the Seasons, and Changes in Habitats and Bird
Populations in Santa Barbara County—have yet to be updated and so are
not yet included.

The species accounts are all ‘current’ through Winter 2011-2012. Paul
has attempted to not only incorporate the many individual records of
interest made since April 1994, but also to update general status and
distribution information for most species, as well as to discuss
important historical and recent population trends. But this is still
very much a ‘work in progress.’ Every time he re-reads several
accounts, he still finds things to tweak. There are many holes
remaining to be filled. More detail on the changing status for some
species is still needed. More information on other species is
warranted. The 'flow' of some accounts since being updated could be a
bit more 'seamless.' He'll continue to add past records of interest as
they come to his attention, and he will add future records as each
future county seasonal report is compiled.

Input from the birding public is eagerly sought. If you have
corrections or other information that would be valuable to include in
any of the species accounts, please submit it, preferably labeled
"BOSBC", to . But recent
records from the current 'season' should be sent to county compiler
Dave Compton (davcompton@...). We will consider these data
for all future updates. This electronic publication can be modified
easily, and the plans are to do so on a regular basis.

The book is presented as a series of both pdf and Word files. At the
end, there is also one large pdf of the entire manuscript. The pdf
versions include line numbering, which should be used for ease in
making comments. Depending on your computer, the Word files may or may
not show the same line numbering.

Feel free to comment privately to Paul as well, but we encourage
suggested changes to be posted publicly on the sbcobirding site, so
that we can all share in this potential new information.

- Wim van Dam (Solvang, CA) on behalf of PL.

--PAUL LEHMAN (lehman.paul@...)
30 April 2012

Ocean Park Ibises and Phalarope

Paul Rosso <prrosso@...>

Apr 30th, noon, Ocean Park at the Santa Ynez River Estuary, there was a
flyover of 5 White-faced Ibises. A single female Wilson's Phalarope was seen
along the center sandbar east of the RR Trestle, and with 5 Black-necked
Stilts and 2 Semipalmated Plovers.

Paul Rosso

Lompoc, CA

Goleta Beach 4/30

Rebecca Coulter

During this morning's birding class at Goleta Beach, we counted at least 20 Double-crested Cormorant nests, 1 Great Egret and probably 4 Great Blue Heron nests. It seems that there are quite a few more cormorant nests this year than in recent years. We also watched a pair of Belted Kingfishers come and go from a nest hole in the bank opposite the east end of the parking lot. Very little seabird migration seen, with only one Red-throated Loon resting east of the pier. But the large number of Caspian Terns (14), 4 Royals, and a flyby flock of 12 Elegants made up for it. Also notable were 3 Whimbrel, 1 Long-billed Curlew, 3 Greater Yellowlegs, a handful of Willets, and not a single Black-necked Stilt.

Rebecca Coulter
Santa Barbara

Re: Refugio Rd. Chat Clarification

Wes Fritz


No apologies needed, there are a couple of Chats singing in the Santa Ynez River and can be heard and seem from the Refugio Bridge. The resident and migrant birds are all in good numbers with Wilson's Warbler being the most numerous and Yellow Warblers showing well also. The Lazuli Buntings are still moving through and the Blue Grosbeaks are starting to defend territory. A few Vaux's Swifts were seen moving through, also small waves of Cliff and Tree Swallows.

Other birds of note are 5 Wilson's Phalaropes at Ocean Park today, 3 females and 2 males. The duck numbers have fallen way off with just a few N. Shovelers, Gadwalls and Cinnamon Teal, with the latter two being possible nesters. In the pool next to the parking lot had 32 Greater Yellowlegs and what looked to be a Lesser Yellowlegs. It was not seen well enough for a positive ID. 4 American Avocets were present along with 12 Black-necked Stilts, the Avocets attempted to nest last year I not sure if they were successful or not. I think the most notable birds were a Cassin's Kingbird at River Park in Lompoc and a pair of Cassin's Kingbirds about 4 miles in on Sweeny Road.

Migration is on!!! Good birding.

Wes Fritz
Solvang CA.

On Apr 29, 2012, at 6:27 PM, "rebeccacoulter" <rfcphoebe@...> wrote:

Apologies: in my post yesterday about Yellow-breasted Chat, I omitted exactly where on Refugio Rd: I meant the section of Refugio Rd SOUTH of the ridge, in the first few miles north of Hwy 101.

Rebecca Coulter
Santa Barbara

Swainson's Hawk, Yellow-breasted Chat at Lauro Cyn Res/Jesusita Trail

cedar Mathers-Winn

Hi all, sorry for late post.
Had a light morph SWAINSON'S HAWK flying west over Lauro Canyon Reservoir today at 5:50pm; I watched it for about ten minutes before it disappeared into the sun. Waited around ten minutes to see if I could spot it again, but no luck.
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT singing on an open perch in the flat shrubby area just below and to the west of the Jesusita trailhead, about ten minutes after 6. Also present were at least two male and one female PHAINOPEPLA, and six occupied Starling nests in ACWO holes in the telephone pole at the trailhead.

Cedar Mathers-Winn
Santa Barbara

Refugio Rd. Chat Clarification

Rebecca Coulter

Apologies: in my post yesterday about Yellow-breasted Chat, I omitted exactly where on Refugio Rd: I meant the section of Refugio Rd SOUTH of the ridge, in the first few miles north of Hwy 101.

Rebecca Coulter
Santa Barbara

Kinevan Road

Nick Lethaby

I had a number of expected breeders and common migrants this morning. Best was a Hermit Warbler.

Re: Is there a Zone Tail Hawk around these days?

Dave Compton <davcompton@...>

Dear Tripleadria,
Your report is the only one I know of pertaining to this species in Santa Barbara County since Halloween 2010, and that bird was in the Santa Ynez Valley. Photos or a detailed description would be appreciated for any sightings of this species, for inclusion in North American Birds.
I would also note that the Zone-tail that was present for 13 years in the Goleta area was never observed later than 4 April, although it was usually not seen after March, so this date seems very late (based on our sample of the habits of a single wintering bird!). We have only two other well-documented records of the species, including the one in the Santa Ynez Valley and a very odd record of a well-described bird in the Sierra Madre Mtns on 30 June 2006.
Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

From: tripleadria <Jrsaaahome@...>
To: sbcobirding@...
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2012 2:44 PM
Subject: [sbcobirding] Is there a Zone Tail Hawk around these days?

Turnpike and Cervato Way area. Yesterday right before sundown and about 2 days previous we saw a large sooty colored bird that looked like a turkey vulture in manner of flight but without the white underwings.  A crow was ushering it.



For everything birding in Santa Barbara County:
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Refugio Yellow-breasted Chat

Rebecca Coulter

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

Lesser Yellowlegs

Nick Lethaby

Yet another Lesser Yellowlegs was at Devereux this evening.

Snowy Egrets at Los Banos

Hugh Ranson <zonetail@...>

In the trees at the SB Harbor where the Snowy Egrets nested last year were 4 birds present this afternoon, April 28th. Also there were several BC Night-heron chicks, including three dead under the trees.

Hugh R

Farren Road

Nancy States <bnstates@...>

Nina Bliss and I went to Farren Road today.

We saw a Grasshopper Sparrow singing, Lazuli Bunting singing, Ash -throated Fly catcher, a pair of Phainopeplas in the Pepper trees, a late White- crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrows, Bluebirds, a Hooded Oriole, and a White-tailed Kite chasing a Red- tailed Hawk. Violet-green and Cliff Swallows over the reservoir. Plus lots of the local birds.

It was so beautiful up there.

Nancy States

Is there a Zone Tail Hawk around these days?


Turnpike and Cervato Way area. Yesterday right before sundown and about 2 days previous we saw a large sooty colored bird that looked like a turkey vulture in manner of flight but without the white underwings. A crow was ushering it.


San Marcos Foothills - Lazuli


Nice day at the foothills preserve today.
Best birds -

7+ Lazuli Buntings (even had 4 in one tree)
1 Raven being harassed by some crows
Coopers,Red shouldered, Red-Tailed hawks + 1 White Tailed kite
wilsons and yellow warblers in the oaks

-Justin Watts

Devereux WF Ibis

Nick Lethaby

One at 10 AM today