Date   
Re: County Bird List Update & Sage Sparrow Difficulties

Mike Stiles
 

Thanks Jamie for the write-up about the Sage Sparrow split. I came across this today regarding vocalizations of the group:

http://earbirding.com/blog/archives/3040

The two species may be separable by song, but the subspecies nevadensis and canescens are not only intermediate in plumage, but in song also.


Mike Stiles
Los Osos

10 Hermit Warblers, Figueroa Mountain

Peter Gaede
 

SB Birders—

I visited Pino Alto, the upper portion of the Davy Brown trail and the Ranger Peak area with Will Knowlton and Jeremy Pohlman today. Although no big surprises, Hermit Warblers were showing well. We had 7 at Pino Alto and 3 at Ranger Peak. Other warblers present included Wilson's (7); Townsend's (1); BT Gray (2); and Yellow (1).

There were also good numbers of Pygmy Nuthatches up top near Pino Alto, with several groups totaling 20-25 birds.

Peter Gaede
Santa Barbara

Re: County Bird List Update & Sage Sparrow Difficulties

Jamie Chavez
 

I've had a couple of replies saying the link to Kimball's message posted on
ID Frontiers didn't work. Rather than me trying get this linked correctly
his reply is pasted below. Sorry for the confusion.

--
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

-------------------
Jamie,

Your Santa Maria bird certainly looks like a good candidate for *Artemisiospiza
nevadensis* (Sagebrush Sparrow) – the sharp and extensive dorsal streaking,
the relatively thin malar (with white mixed in with the black in the
anterior portion), and possibly the longer primary extension (hard to tell
from the photos, and maybe not reliable in the field) all support that ID.
Also, I’m guessing that pale “Sage Sparrows” on the coast of California in
late fall and winter are far more likely to be highly migratory Sagebrush
Sparrows than *canescens* Bell’s Sparrows. Mojave desert *canescens* move
widely through the mountains of Los Angeles region after breeding (roughly,
May through summer), but I don’t know of any evidence that they move over
the mountains onto the coastal lowlands.

In Los Angeles County the only coastal specimens of “pale Sage Sparrows”
are November birds from the San Fernando Valley (coastal lowlands) and San
Clemente Island; both of these measure out to *nevadensis*(and plumage is
also consistent with Sagebrush Sparrow). This despite the fact that *
canescens* is a common breeder on the desert slope of the county and
wanderers into the mountains (post-breeding) regularly. I would guess that
San Joaquin Valley *canescens* behave similarly, with limited post-breeding
dispersal but no long-distance movements to the coast.

Yes, the eBird data will be a mess until the next eBird taxonomic updates
and a lot of scrutiny of the existing data entered under the now
paraphyletic category of “Interior Sage Sparrow (*canescens/nevadensis*).”

I suspect that with the publication of the AOU checklist supplement in the
July *Auk* there will be lengthy discussions on this list serve of the
characters that separate *canescens *and *nevadensis* in the field. It’s a
work in progress, and certainly won’t be easy, given that measurements may
be the most reliable way to separate them (*nevadensis* being larger).

Kimball

Kimball L. Garrett
Ornithology Collections Manager
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
213-763-3368
kgarrett@...
http://www.nhm.org/site/research-collections/ornithology

*From:* NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
mailto:BIRDWG01@... <BIRDWG01@...>] *On Behalf Of
*Jamie Chavez
*Sent:* Wednesday, June 26, 2013 7:03 AM
*To:* BIRDWG01@...
*Subject:* [BIRDWG01] Sage & Bell's Sparrow ID

With the pending split of Sage Sparrow I wondered if anyone had an opinion
as to the identity of a bird I photographed in October 2006 in coastal
Santa Barbara County, CA. Since this bird shows significant streaking on
the mantle and a weaker black moustachial stripe it is clearly not a
coastal Bell's Sparrow. However, It seems to me there will be potential for
confusion between the CA "interior" canescens, now to be lumped with belli
rather than nevadensis, and a true interior Great Basin Sage Sparrow which
shares similar physical traits. In particular, the amount of streaking on
the mantle. How reliable or variable is this for separating these two?

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

County Bird List Update & Sage Sparrow Difficulties

Jamie Chavez
 

All,

I have updated the county bird list at www.sbcobirding.com with the new
changes from the AOU (Birds link). These changes include the split of Sage
Sparrow into Bell's and Sagebrush Sparrows, and the new taxonomic order of
sandpipers and thrashers. By my count the total remains at 490 species.
Based on the CBRC database search White Ibis is still in circulation so
this bird is not included yet but will likely add another to the total
soon. Taking the conservative approach, Sagebrush Sparrow is not included
in my list but may be confirmed at some point based on a bird I've
highlighted below or others wintering in areas where Bell's Sparrow is
found in the eastern part of the county such as in Ballinger, Quatal and
Santa Barbara Canyons in the Cuyama Valley. Resident birds away from the
coast (A. b. canescens), although appearing different from Bell's but very
similar to Sagebrush, are now lumped with Bell's, therefore all resident
birds found in SBA are Bell's Sparrows. I always find splits and lumps
fascinating so I've looked deeper into this to try and understand the
differences. If you would like to read the proposal for splitting "Sage"
Sparrow with a discussion on distribution see this pdf file:
http://www.aou.org/committees/nacc/proposals/2013-A.pdf

I posted photos of a "Sage" Sparrow in Santa Maria in October 2006 found at
Jim May Park on my Flickr site (see:
http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=20709090@N00&q=Artemisiospiza ). This is
obviously not a Bell's Sparrow based on plumage (just Google Bell's Sparrow
for comparison), but maybe can be assigned to Sagebrush Sparrow. What is
troubling is if a bird like this can be seen well and photographed from
multiple angles showing all it's key features but still not be assigned to
Sagebrush Sparrow, can any be identified as such? If this bird or any in a
local collection represents a Sagebrush Sparrow then our county total can
be bumped to 491. I posted this question with a couple of photos to the ID
Frontiers listserve in June and Kimball Garrett replied with his
thoughts...
(see:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/web?A2=ind1306d&L=birdwg01&T=0&X=30D3305C8C763CF26A&Y=almiyi%40GMAIL.COM&P=165
)

There is very little current info on the net regarding separation of
Sagebrush Sparrow (A. nevedansis) from interior Bell's Sparrow (A.
canescens). It was always assumed or at least published that interior
California birds were related to Sagebrush Sparrow and much information
about these forms in print (Rising & Beadle), (Byers, Curson & Olsson),
lumped these birds with "Interior" Sage Sparrows of the Great Basin. Given
the new split/lump of these, separating Bell's from Sagebrush is not too
difficult except when trying to separate interior birds which may prove
very difficult. Canescens is typically described as "intermediate" but
compared to Sagebrush Sparrow it is, "slightly darker above with less
streaking, and has more prominent black malar stripe; in these characters
it tends towards the coastal group" (Byers, Curson & Olsson). Or, "smaller
and generally more richly colored than nevadensis. These cannot be safely
differentiated in the field..." (Rising, Beadle). Ouch. You can find
several photos of interior Bell's Sparrows from the Carrizo Plain in SLO
and elsewhere, and I located this site: (
http://www.greatbasinbirds.com/wordpress/sage-sparrows-of-long-valley-eastern-sierras/?show=slide
)
which shows Bell's Sparrows in Long Valley near the contact zone of
canescens and nevadensis near Owens Valley in E CA. No doubt some of this
will be worked out over time and birders should pay close attention to Sage
Sparrows in winter in the eastern part of the county or as a vagrant when
they turn up elsewhere in order to determine which birds might actually be
Sagebrush Sparrows. Good luck with that.

--
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

UCSB Beaches August 8

Florence Sanchez
 

I never got around to posting Thursday.

I walked the UCSB beaches and around the Lagoon Thursday morning from 7:30 to 9:00 on a low but incoming tide.  The marine layer was light, there was no wind, and the sea was calm.  In addition, I had the beach almost entirely to myself!  While there was a nice assortment of shorebirds, there was nothing remarkable and the numbers of any one species were not particularly large.  

The east-facing beach from the stairs to the end of campus continues to be heavily covered with kelp. There was a nice concentration of birds near the waterfall.  I had 7 Black-necked Stilts, 7 Greater Yellowlegs, 3 Semi-palmated Plovers and 2 Black-bellied Plovers at this location.

Elsewhere on the east-facing beaches, I had a total of 12 Stilts, 20 Greater Yellowlegs, 11 Whimbrels, 4 Long-billed Curlews, 12 Semi-palmated Plovers, 6 Willets, 1 Black Turnstone, 1 Least Sandpiper, and 1 Western Sandpiper.  The tern flock was not large, but contained Forester's, Elegant, 1 Caspian, and 4 Royal Terns.  One of the Royal Terns was a very young Juvenile--it barely had a crest.  There was also a resting tern that looked suspiciously like a Common Tern, but I could not get close enough to determine that without disturbing the whole flock.  The gull flock contained Western, Heerman's, California, and 1 adult Glaucous-winged Gull.  A fair number of Pelicans were resting on the beach with more flying by along with Brant's and Double-crested Cormorants.

Near Campus Point on the south-faing beaches, I had a flock of small shorebirds, including 6 Black Turnstones, 6 Least Sandpipers, and 12 Semi-palmated Plovers.  Then the beaches were pretty quiet until I reached the western outfall from the UCSB Lagoon.  There I had 22 Black-necked Stilts, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 1 Willet, and 1 Whimbrel.

The UCSB Lagoon had no shorebirds except for a couple of Kildeer near the UCEN.  A raccoon was again fishing in the west end of the Lagoon.  Two Belted kingfishers foraged overhead.  There were several Black-crowned Night Herons in the vicinity and in the new wetland below San Nicolas Hall.  At least one Mute Swan remains in the Lagoon.

Florence Sanchez


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Warblers

terryluvsjan
 

It was interesting to watch a YELLOW WARBLER play 'catch the bug' with a WILSON'S WARBLER. They seemed to be traveling together, hunting along the creek that runs on our property on Arboleda Rd. And as we were watching our feeders, a LONG TAILED WEASEL came along and looked at us before continuing it's hunt.


Jan and Terry

Andree Clark Bird Refuge

C. Ryan
 

Birded the refuge today. I had 11 wilson's phalaropes and 1 red-necked phalarope. The red-necked had some tar on its undersides that seemed to be causing it some issues. There wasn't much else to note other than a calling sora, 2 eclipse wood ducks, 2 eared grebes in not so bright alternate plumage, and 2 green herons (1 juvenile).

Good Birding,

Casey Ryan
SB

Wilsons Phalaropes at Devereux

goletajeff
 

Hi All,
Cher H. and I had 5 Wilsons Phalaropes foraging in shallow water just north of the bridge. At least 2 were juv's.
Jeff Hanson
Goleta

Request for Volunteers: Goleta 4H

Jamie Chavez
 

All,

I received a message through the sbcobirding web site from a volunteer with
the Goleta 4H club asking for any willing birders to assist with a bird
study program. If you live in the area and are willing to lend your time
and talents please contact Lacie Harper at her email address below.

Thanks!

------------------------------

Hello, I am a project volunteer with the Goleta 4-H club serving kids 5-18
in Goleta and surrounding areas. I am leading a Nature Study group and we
will be studying birds in September. I was hoping to enlist some
knowledgeable birdwatchers who would be willing to volunteer a hour or two
to help us identify and learn about the local birds at Goleta Beach, Lake
Los Carneros, or Devereux. Can you please send an email out to your group
with my contact information for any interested persons? thank you!

lharper@...


-------------------------------

--
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

To Santa Barbara Island and back again, 2013-08-08

Wim van Dam
 

This Thursday, Jim Moore, Joel Barrett, Brad Sillasen, and myself enjoyed the Island Packers trip from Ventura, to Santa Cruz Island, to Santa Barbara Island, back to Santa Crus Island, back to Ventura for eight hours of unsupervised pelagic birding. The pelagic highlights were as follows (the first number refers to the stretch between Ventura and Santa Cruz Island, second number refers to the stretch between Santa Cruz Island and Santa Barbara Island).

Pink-footed Shearwater: 26 + 25
Sooty Shearwater: 325 + 35
Black-vented Shearwater: 50 + 0
Black Storm-Petrel: 0 + 100 (very conservative count)
Ashy Storm-Petrel: 0 + 25
Red-necked Phalarope: 20 + 10
Red Phalarope: 1 + 0
South Polar Skua: 0 + 2 (conveniently one in SBACO, the other one in VENCO)
Pomarine Jaeger: 1 + 0
Pigeon Guillemot: 3 at SCI, 3 at SBI

Thanks go to Joel Barrett for keeping track of which birds were seen where.

Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA

Summer Yard Birds

Adam Lewis (sbfledgling)
 

Probably because of my proximity to Lake Los Carneros I'm seeing a few young birds in the yard.
Black-headed grosbeak: an adult male feeding a begging young one.
Hooded Orioles: an adult female has been feeding 3 begging young birds in the side yard.
Lark Sparrow: after several weeks of only one bird there were 2 adults together, first seen as a pair July 29. Unfortunately I didn't see a fledgling but one adult was walking around with a raised crest. This is the third year for Lark Sparrows to visit as a pair but only once (2012) did I see a very young one. Even that sighting was for 1 day only. They might be gone now.
Lesser Goldfinch: a curious one that has no wing bars or white spots seen in guides.
Hummingbirds: the number is again up this summer, an increase over last year, with Black-chinned, Anna's and Rufous identified. A few potential Allen's but not pinned down.
There are some photos of these at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbfledgling/sets/72157634969472601/
Included are some amateur videos taken with a point and shoot... Three Hooded Orioles being fed and 3 clips showing Hummingbird antics at the feeders.

Adam Lewis
Goleta

Fw: Ledbetter Beach

Dave Compton <davcompton@...>
 

This from Oscar Johnson about Parasitic Jaegers.
 
Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Oscar Johnson <henicorhina@...>
To: Jamie Chavez <almiyi@...>; Dave Compton <davcompton@...>
Sent: Thursday, August 8, 2013 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: [sbcobirding] Ledbetter Beach



Hey guys,

I did also have a full adult Parasitic just off Ventura Harbor a few days ago. There might be a few early arrivals this year.

Oscar




________________________________
From: Jamie Chavez <almiyi@...>
To: Sbcobirding <sbcobirding@...>
Sent: Thursday, August 8, 2013 7:20 AM
Subject: Re: [sbcobirding] Ledbetter Beach


Regarding Dave's comment, the filter for
Parasitic Jaeger was set to 10 in
the month of August so as he suspected this would not have been caught by
the filter. Filter limits used to be set for an entire month and each month
could have a different value, but as of last year eBird programmers changed
this so filters can be set on a sliding scale. Now any day of the month can
begin a new limit, so the jaeger can be set to mid or late August with a
smaller number. I will adjust this to reflect current knowledge. With the
new configuration now all species in the county list could have as many as
365 filters (none do of course), and with just over 490 species you can see
the work involved in fine tuning filters. Some birds are found year round
with little fluctuation in numbers while others increase or decrease
seasonally where the filter needs to accommodate these changes in
expectation. You can also see the power of the filters or the drawbacks of
trying to
capture early or late dates, but I can easily make adjustments. I
almost ALWAYS use Paul's Birds of Santa Barbara County as the reference for
setting these or through discussions with others. BTW- these filter numbers
used to represent the quantities a birder could reasonably expect to see in
the county, but since this type of checklist is discouraged I have tweaked
the limits over time to represent birds expected at a given location.
Checklists should only be submitted for individual spots or Hot Spots
within smaller areas or travelling counts. There are still many species
that could use some filter tuning so if you have suggestions as you see a
need for change please let me know. While eBird is not 100% reliable it
would be good to have this available resource as close to accurate as
possible since it has so many incredible features for storing and
retrieving data.

Lastly, you will see this line at the bottom
of every message: "For
everything birding in Santa Barbara County: http://www.sbcobirding.com/"
This will take you to the sbcobirding web site where you can easily find a
link to Paul's Birds of Santa Barbara County, California. The link is also
available at the SB Audubon chapter web site. Thanks to Wim for his work
updating the chapters and making them available to us.

--
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 10:57 PM, Dave Compton <davcompton@...>wrote:

**


Casey and everyone,

Just wanted to make sure everyone understood that a Parasitic Jaeger is a
fairly unusual bird at this date. As has been mentioned before, we have an
excellent source in Santa Barbara County for
understanding records like
this: Paul Lehman's Birds of Santa Barbara County, California (see previous
posts pointing to where on the web you can find this source). Paul lists
only four records for June and July, and all of them involved single birds.
The earliest August record, and the earliest that he considers a fall
arrival, was one on 11 August 1993 off the Santa Maria River estuary. Now,
I do know of at least one record (1 south of the Rodriguez Seamount on 31
July 2010) that appears to have fallen through the cracks, and I think it's
possible some other recent records have as well. But seeing two off Santa
Barbara on 7 August should be a considered a surprise.

Incidentally, while I think our eBird filters in Santa Barbara County are
good, this probably wouldn't be flagged in eBird, which has filters set for
each month. Seeing two Parasitic
Jaegers off Santa Barbara in late August
shouldn't raise any red flags, so the filter is probably set somewhere
above two for this species in August (Jamie Chavez could tell us if I'm
right about this). So, this is a good example of how we can't just rely on
eBird to tell us when a report is unusual.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

From: wingedmarmot <cormorantfingers@...>
To: sbcobirding@...
Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 5:00 PM
Subject: [sbcobirding] Ledbetter Beach

Spent some time down at the water this afternoon, there was great
visibility offshore. I was able to watch at least 2 parasitic jaegers
harassing the terns and
a large cluster of sooty shearwaters. There was
also at least 10 black turnstones hanging around the rocks near the jetty

Casey Ryan
SB

------------------------------------

For everything birding in Santa Barbara County:
http://www.sbcobirding.com/Yahoo! Groups Links

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

 

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



------------------------------------

For everything birding in Santa Barbara County: http://www.sbcobirding.com/Yahoo! Groups Links





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Re: Ledbetter Beach

Jamie Chavez
 

Regarding Dave's comment, the filter for Parasitic Jaeger was set to 10 in
the month of August so as he suspected this would not have been caught by
the filter. Filter limits used to be set for an entire month and each month
could have a different value, but as of last year eBird programmers changed
this so filters can be set on a sliding scale. Now any day of the month can
begin a new limit, so the jaeger can be set to mid or late August with a
smaller number. I will adjust this to reflect current knowledge. With the
new configuration now all species in the county list could have as many as
365 filters (none do of course), and with just over 490 species you can see
the work involved in fine tuning filters. Some birds are found year round
with little fluctuation in numbers while others increase or decrease
seasonally where the filter needs to accommodate these changes in
expectation. You can also see the power of the filters or the drawbacks of
trying to capture early or late dates, but I can easily make adjustments. I
almost ALWAYS use Paul's Birds of Santa Barbara County as the reference for
setting these or through discussions with others. BTW- these filter numbers
used to represent the quantities a birder could reasonably expect to see in
the county, but since this type of checklist is discouraged I have tweaked
the limits over time to represent birds expected at a given location.
Checklists should only be submitted for individual spots or Hot Spots
within smaller areas or travelling counts. There are still many species
that could use some filter tuning so if you have suggestions as you see a
need for change please let me know. While eBird is not 100% reliable it
would be good to have this available resource as close to accurate as
possible since it has so many incredible features for storing and
retrieving data.

Lastly, you will see this line at the bottom of every message: "For
everything birding in Santa Barbara County: http://www.sbcobirding.com "
This will take you to the sbcobirding web site where you can easily find a
link to Paul's Birds of Santa Barbara County, California. The link is also
available at the SB Audubon chapter web site. Thanks to Wim for his work
updating the chapters and making them available to us.

--
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 10:57 PM, Dave Compton <davcompton@...>wrote:

**


Casey and everyone,

Just wanted to make sure everyone understood that a Parasitic Jaeger is a
fairly unusual bird at this date. As has been mentioned before, we have an
excellent source in Santa Barbara County for understanding records like
this: Paul Lehman's Birds of Santa Barbara County, California (see previous
posts pointing to where on the web you can find this source). Paul lists
only four records for June and July, and all of them involved single birds.
The earliest August record, and the earliest that he considers a fall
arrival, was one on 11 August 1993 off the Santa Maria River estuary. Now,
I do know of at least one record (1 south of the Rodriguez Seamount on 31
July 2010) that appears to have fallen through the cracks, and I think it's
possible some other recent records have as well. But seeing two off Santa
Barbara on 7 August should be a considered a surprise.

Incidentally, while I think our eBird filters in Santa Barbara County are
good, this probably wouldn't be flagged in eBird, which has filters set for
each month. Seeing two Parasitic Jaegers off Santa Barbara in late August
shouldn't raise any red flags, so the filter is probably set somewhere
above two for this species in August (Jamie Chavez could tell us if I'm
right about this). So, this is a good example of how we can't just rely on
eBird to tell us when a report is unusual.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

From: wingedmarmot <cormorantfingers@...>
To: sbcobirding@...
Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 5:00 PM
Subject: [sbcobirding] Ledbetter Beach

Spent some time down at the water this afternoon, there was great
visibility offshore. I was able to watch at least 2 parasitic jaegers
harassing the terns and a large cluster of sooty shearwaters. There was
also at least 10 black turnstones hanging around the rocks near the jetty

Casey Ryan
SB

------------------------------------

For everything birding in Santa Barbara County:
http://www.sbcobirding.com/ Yahoo! Groups Links

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Re: Ledbetter Beach

Dave Compton <davcompton@...>
 

Casey and everyone,
 
Just wanted to make sure everyone understood that a Parasitic Jaeger is a fairly unusual bird at this date. As has been mentioned before, we have an excellent source in Santa Barbara County for understanding records like this: Paul Lehman's Birds of Santa Barbara County, California (see previous posts pointing to where on the web you can find this source). Paul lists only four records for June and July, and all of them involved single birds. The earliest August record, and the earliest that he considers a fall arrival, was one on 11 August 1993 off the Santa Maria River estuary. Now, I do know of at least one record (1 south of the Rodriguez Seamount on 31 July 2010) that appears to have fallen through the cracks, and I think it's possible some other recent records have as well. But seeing two off Santa Barbara on 7 August should be a considered a surprise.
 
Incidentally, while I think our eBird filters in Santa Barbara County are good, this probably wouldn't be flagged in eBird, which has filters set for each month. Seeing two Parasitic Jaegers off Santa Barbara in late August shouldn't raise any red flags, so the filter is probably set somewhere above two for this species in August (Jamie Chavez could tell us if I'm right about this). So, this is a good example of how we can't just rely on eBird to tell us when a report is unusual.
 
Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

From: wingedmarmot <cormorantfingers@...>
To: sbcobirding@...
Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 5:00 PM
Subject: [sbcobirding] Ledbetter Beach


Spent some time down at the water this afternoon, there was great visibility offshore. I was able to watch at least 2 parasitic jaegers harassing the terns and a large cluster of sooty shearwaters. There was also at least 10 black turnstones hanging around the rocks near the jetty

Casey Ryan
SB



------------------------------------

For everything birding in Santa Barbara County: http://www.sbcobirding.com/ Yahoo! Groups Links



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Ledbetter Beach

C. Ryan
 

Spent some time down at the water this afternoon, there was great visibility offshore. I was able to watch at least 2 parasitic jaegers harassing the terns and a large cluster of sooty shearwaters. There was also at least 10 black turnstones hanging around the rocks near the jetty

Casey Ryan
SB

Coronado Drip 8/7/13

David Levasheff
 

3 Wilson's Warblers-one came within 6 feet if me.
2-3 Orange-crown Warbler.
Copper's Hawk
Downey Woodpecker
Nice looking Western Tanager.

David Levasheff
Via iPhone
Birds have wings for a reason!

Last minute boat trip. Thursday 8th August

Joel Barrett
 

Hi all.

This is a bit of a last minute notice, but I thought maybe someone would be interested. As some of you may know I work for Island Packers and get to spend a lot of time out on the water. We have a trip coming up this Thursday the 8th of August going to Santa Barbara Island. We first cross the channel to Santa Cruz Island to drop off passengers and then move further south to little Santa Barbara Island. The return trip should be a direct route to Ventura Harbor with very few to no passengers on board. This route will take us over some significant underwater topography south of Anacapa Island and through some deep basins on the way home. We will cover waters in both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

This is NOT a trip designed with birding in mind, YET we would have lots of time aboard and could see some great stuff for this time of year. There are some exciting local Pelagic trips dedicated to birders coming up over the next two months but rarities may be lurking out there at any time! If anyone wants to freshen up their on ocean birding skills, this could be an excellent opportunity at a very reasonable price. If you enjoy the trip you can look forward to more offshore opportunities coming soon. Many sea birds require multiple sightings to become comfortable with their field marks, so repeat trips is the way to go (in my humble opinion).

Depart Ventura Harbor: 10 am
Estimated Return: 4:30 pm
Approximate Distance Covered: 130 miles

Adults: $82
Child (12 and Under) $65
Senior (55 and up) $74

Phone Number for Island Packers: 805-642-1393

If you are interested be sure to give the Island Packers office a call tomorrow and explain you would like to just ride the boat out to Santa Barbara Island and back with out a landing at any of the islands.

We have a chance to see a variety of pelagic birds but again this is NOT a dedicated birding trip so we probably wouldn't be able to stop or chase down anything we come across (unless it is totally crazy rare). With that said, I have seen some great stuff while underway and also when we stop with dolphins and whales, which we do on a regular basis.

We Could See:

Sooty Shearwater
Black-Vented Shearwater
Pink-footed Shearwater
Buller's Shearwater (rare)
Flesh Footed Shearwater (very rare)
Manx Shearwater (very rare)
Red-necked Phalarope
Red Phalarope (uncommon)
Pomarine Jaegar
Parasitic Jaegar
Long-tailed Jaegar (I'm hoping)
South Polar Skua (uncommon)
Black Storm Petrel
Ashy Storm Petrel
Leach's Storm Petrel (another hopeful)
Scripps's Murrelet
Cassin's Auklet
Common Murre
Pigeon Guillemot
A variety of terns
and other rarities like the Brown Booby I saw on our last trip out there!

Nothing is guaranteed, and you would be rather self guided although I plan on riding along to see what kind of cool stuff is out there this time of year.

Just throwing this out there for anyone interested. You can email me with questions if you like.

Again here are the details.

Depart Ventura Harbor: 10 am
Estimated Return: 4:30 pm
Approximate Distance Covered: 130 miles

Adults: $82
Child (12 and Under) $65
Senior (55 and up) $74

Phone Number for Island Packers: 805-642-1393

Joel Barrett
Oxnard, Ca

Birding 6-Apr-2013

David Levasheff
 

Jeff Hanson and I had a casual birding day today.
Started at the upper bridge at Kinevan Rd. American Robins was about it.

On to La Cumbre peak. Violet-green Swallows, Juncos, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Bushtits, and a Hermit Warbler.

Rocky Nook Park, Orange-crowned Warblers, Wilson's Warbler, at White-breasted Nuthatch, Canyon Wren (visual pair, calls all over, not sure how many there were or if it was just an audio illusion for a hundred yards or more).

Western IV to Devereux Mouth, good numbers of Black-bellied Plovers, several Whimbrel, small flock of Semi-palmated Plovers, large numbers of Snowy Plovers (100+), Two Royal Tern, 150+ Elegant Tern, 2 Least Tern (1 adult, 1 juv being fed), small flock Western Sandpipers, 2 CA Gull, several Juv Heerman's Gull, and Western Gulls. Also some Black-necked Stilt.

Goleta Beach, normal species, one Spotted Sandpiper, Savannah Sparrow, 2 Western Grebe, and a Pied-bill Grebe

David Levasheff
Via iPhone
Birds have wings for a reason!

UCSB Campus Point/Beach/Lagoon, 2013-08-06

Wim van Dam
 

This morning there were 3 Black Turnstones at UCSB's Campus Point and a high number of 190 Brown Pelicans. The lagoon had 21 more Brown Pelicans. At Campus beach were 31 Black-bellied Plovers.


Wim van Dam (Solvang, CA)
---
SBCO #342: Rusty Blackbird

Re: Rufous vs Allen's

Matt Sadowski
 

Hi Helen,

I haven't seen anyone take a stab at the photos on the group yet although most commented on flickr that they were likely Allen's.

It is clear that all three are different individuals with different tail patterns and wear on the feathers. The first photo is an imm. fem. (green R1, white tips to R2) and is probably best left unidentified since an imm. female Rufous may not even show the diagnostic notch in R2 that adult female and male Rufous show. Both the second and third photos show immature males (orange R1, no green in tail). The second shows ragged tips to the tips of the feathers while the third shows fresh rounded tips to the tail feathers so two different imm. males. Neither of the two looks like it shows any hint of a notch in R2 so likely both imm. male Allen's.

Matt Sadowski
Chula Vista, CA

On 8/3/2013 9:40 PM, my61dublin wrote:
I am again asking for your expertize.
I was excited to see this little beauty in the garden and believed it
was our first ever Rufous. Now dh says that he thinks it is an Allen's.
I got three pics (not sure if it is the same bird each time) and we
would love your input as to which it is.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/76341830@N07/9431357579/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/76341830@N07/9431347011/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/76341830@N07/9431339641/