Date   

Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach

Mark Holmgren
 

Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach. East end parking lot. White body, bicolored bill, lime legs and feet, black tips to, I think it’s on, the secondaries. Smaller than Snowy Egret next to it. Look under the Belted Kingfisher nest cavity from previous years. The bird is here: 34.41805  -119.82739


Mark Holmgren 
Santa Barbara


Re: Devereux Slough heron nests

Robert van de Hoek
 

Hi Mark:
What kind of trees are being used for nests?  Perhaps Eucalyptus Blue Gum trees?  
Incubation period of eggs for a female Great Blue Heron is approximately 30 days, so sitting on eggs could have started as early as mid-January, if eggs are going to hatch in the next few days.  And then nest construction by a male is approximately another 30 days including courthip time, which pushes initial nesting time back into mid-December, and possibly back into very late November.  This pattern is what see at Ballona in Los Angeles County at Marina del Rey in Pine trees, Palm trees, and Eucalyptus trees.  Male herons carrying sticks could be seen as early as later November 2017.  If these are reused nests, there is early time still needed for guarding nests and restoration of nests.
Robert "Roy" van de Hoek
Ballona Institute
Los Angeles, California


On Thursday, February 15, 2018 6:57 AM, "Mark Holmgren maholmgren33@... [sbcobirding]" wrote:




5 or 6 Great Blue Herons were at Devereux yesterday, 14 February. As far as nesting goes, 2 individuals were sitting as though incubating in flat, platform nests that look capable of holding eggs. 1 heron was standing next to an old, tilted and dilapidated nest structure not capable of holding eggs.
So there is the potential for 3 nests again this year.
A Caspian Tern was present and Western (and Least) Sandpipers are migrating. 
On the Dune Pond there were a Tropical Kingbird and 12 Wilson's Snipe.  It would not have been possible to pick out the snipe with binocs alone.
Mark Holmgren
San Marcos Pass






Devereux Slough heron nests

Mark Holmgren
 

5 or 6 Great Blue Herons were at Devereux yesterday, 14 February. As far as nesting goes, 2 individuals were sitting as though incubating in flat, platform nests that look capable of holding eggs. 1 heron was standing next to an old, tilted and dilapidated nest structure not capable of holding eggs.
So there is the potential for 3 nests again this year.
A Caspian Tern was present and Western (and Least) Sandpipers are migrating. 
On the Dune Pond there were a Tropical Kingbird and 12 Wilson's Snipe.  It would not have been possible to pick out the snipe with binocs alone.
Mark Holmgren
San Marcos Pass


Rusty BB & Garganey

David Kisner
 

Both birds present north of north pond at ~4:00 Wednesday.

David


Re: More on the 31 Jan 2018 Magpie-Jay

Florence Sanchez
 

For the record, I went looking for the Magpie-Jay the day after it was reported, but had no success.  Would be interested in seeing it if it is re-found just because I think it's a cool bird, regardless of status!

Florence Sanchez


On Tuesday, February 13, 2018 10:36 PM, "Mark Holmgren maholmgren33@... [sbcobirding]" wrote:


 
Recall that Aaron Kreisberg spotted a Magpie-Jay along Santa Monica Creek in Carpinteria that we both got brief looks at and I got one digiscoped photo.
 
I’ve passed the photo to two museum curators, Kimball Garrett at the LACM and Phil Unitt at the San Diego Natural History Museum, asking their opinion on what species it is.
 
Before I summarize their opinions it should be known that this is a really difficult group with a complex evolutionary history intertwined with human-assisted movements, captive breeding, and released individuals. No one doubts that the Carpinteria bird had some form of human assistance. Also, the greatest differences between the two forms are in their egg colors and in the plumages of juveniles; among adults plumage variation is variable and confusing. This bird appears to be an adult because it lacks the white tips to the crest.
 
Neither curator had a firm opinion, but Kimball speculates that the apparently clean white lores with white above the eye, and the pale blue-gray back are closer to White-throated M-J. I add that the black cheek patch and the black crescent across the chest also suggest White-throated. Phil adds “if your photo clearly shows a white side of head, that points to the White-throated.” The photo is not good enough to suggest that hybridization is involved here.
 
Though this bird may be an escaped individual, it is worth pursuing to be more certain what it is, to see if it is banded, and to track its activities. 
 
Mark Holmgren
Goleta




[eBird Alert] Santa Barbara County Rare Bird Alert <daily> for Feb 13, 2018

Jamie Chavez
 

*** Species Summary:

- Garganey (2 reports)
- Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (1 report)
- Glaucous Gull (1 report)
- Tropical Kingbird (1 report)
- Yellow-headed Blackbird (1 report)
- Rusty Blackbird (1 report)  

This report contains observations of rare birds in Santa Barbara County.  View this alert at http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN35915
Click Date to sort most recent at the top.  Click Show All Details to read checklist comments and see attached photos
NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated
  
--
Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


More on the 31 Jan 2018 Magpie-Jay

Mark Holmgren
 

Recall that Aaron Kreisberg spotted a Magpie-Jay along Santa Monica Creek in Carpinteria that we both got brief looks at and I got one digiscoped photo.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S42409605

Photo:   https://flic.kr/p/21za4RC

 

I’ve passed the photo to two museum curators, Kimball Garrett at the LACM and Phil Unitt at the San Diego Natural History Museum, asking their opinion on what species it is.

 

Before I summarize their opinions it should be known that this is a really difficult group with a complex evolutionary history intertwined with human-assisted movements, captive breeding, and released individuals. No one doubts that the Carpinteria bird had some form of human assistance. Also, the greatest differences between the two forms are in their egg colors and in the plumages of juveniles; among adults plumage variation is variable and confusing. This bird appears to be an adult because it lacks the white tips to the crest.

 

Neither curator had a firm opinion, but Kimball speculates that the apparently clean white lores with white above the eye, and the pale blue-gray back are closer to White-throated M-J. I add that the black cheek patch and the black crescent across the chest also suggest White-throated. Phil adds “if your photo clearly shows a white side of head, that points to the White-throated.” The photo is not good enough to suggest that hybridization is involved here.

 

Though this bird may be an escaped individual, it is worth pursuing to be more certain what it is, to see if it is banded, and to track its activities. 

 

Mark Holmgren

Goleta



[eBird Alert] Santa Barbara County Rare Bird Alert <daily> for Feb 12, 2018

Jamie Chavez
 

*** Species Summary:

- Garganey (4 reports)
- Black Scoter (1 report)
- Tropical Kingbird (3 reports)
- Dark-eyed Junco (cismontanus) (1 report)
- Rusty Blackbird (3 reports)  

This report contains observations of rare birds in Santa Barbara County.  View this alert at http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN35915
Click Date to sort most recent at the top.  Click Show All Details to read checklist comments and see attached photos
NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated
  
--
Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


Waller Park Oddities

John Deacon
 

All:

Marc Moritsch and I checked Waller Park for the Garganey and Rusty Blackbird on our way to Oso Flaco.  At 0745, blackbirds were mainly roosting in the trees and we were unable to find the Rusty Blackbird.  The Garganey as well as 4 Northern Pintails (3 males and 1 female) were observed.

Marc and I returned to Waller Park to look for the Rusty Blackbird at 12:30.  The blackbirds were much more active and we were able to weed out the Rusty Blackbird within about 15 minutes.  It was closely associated with Brewer's and Red Wings flying into the grass east of the main pond.

John Deacon
iseekbirds@...


Meadowlarks

Ria Marsh
 

Hiked up to the south ridge of Elings Park yesterday where we saw a flock of about 50 Meadowlarks.
Ria Marsh


UCSB Lagoon--continuing Tropical Kingbird

Rebecca Coulter
 

During class along the west end of the lagoon this morning, we had the continuing Tropical Kingbird at the southwestern corner along the beach, hawking insects on the bluffs. Other highlights were Loggerhead Shrike, Peregrine Falcon, and long looks at a Green Heron in the northwest corner. The western arm of the lagoon was almost duck-free, with only a few Mallard, two American Wigeon, and a Gadwall. (Apparently all the ducks were tucked into the eastern edges of the lagoon today.) However, land birding was very enjoyable, especially along the western edges of the lagoon, where the slope has been restored with native vegetation. There are a couple of tiny pockets of wetland there that had lots of birds, bathing and foraging among the reeds.

Rebecca Coulter
Santa Barbara


[eBird Alert] Santa Barbara County Rare Bird Alert <daily> for Feb 11, 2018

Jamie Chavez
 

*** Species Summary:

- Garganey (5 reports)
- Brown Booby (1 report)
- Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (3 reports)
- Broad-billed Hummingbird (1 report)
- Red-naped Sapsucker (1 report)
- Sage Thrasher (1 report)
- Yellow-headed Blackbird (1 report)
- Rusty Blackbird (4 reports)  

This report contains observations of rare birds in Santa Barbara County.  View this alert at http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN35915
Click Date to sort most recent at the top.  Click Show All Details to read checklist comments and see attached photos
NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated
  
--
Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


Interesting owl-like vocalizations, San Miguelito Rd at Vandenberg

John Callender
 

This afternoon I birded at the end of the public-access portion of San Miguelito Road, where it reaches the edge of Vandenberg AFB (https://goo.gl/maps/9jV1zK7ce8r). I returned to my car as it was getting dark, and heard what sounded like a series of widely spaced single hoots from two different individuals, one slightly higher pitched than the other. So far the closest possibility I've been able to find is Long-eared Owl, which I realize would be unusual.

I made a recording with my iPhone in hopes someone with more experience might weigh in; you can hear it (such as it is) at the following eBird list:


You'll have to ignore a lot of things in the recording: Great Horned Owls, Wrentits, crickets, cows... The interesting parts are the widely spaced single hoots, which are barely audible. The higher-pitched ones are easier to pick out, but a few of the lower-pitched ones are detectible if you work at it.

I'm curious what people think. Thanks!

John Callender


Birding Sta Maria/Guadalupe area

Mark Holmgren
 

Joan Lentz and I birded Waller Park, Jack O'Connell Park, and some ag and ranch lands NW of O'Connell Park. 
The Rusty Blackbird at Waller Park spent most of our time in trees, but came down occasionally when birders dropped bird seed.  Joan saw the Garganey and that was about all we did there.  We failed to see the Pacific Golden-Plovers at O'Connell Park, but we did see 14 Wilson's Snipe, a Peregrine, and a Tree Swallow.  Flooded cow pastures to the NW of O'Connell Park are not accessible to the public. We peeked in and saw 4 Yellow-headed Blackbirds, a Snow Goose, 4 Ross' Geese, 55 Greater White-fronted Geese, 35 Least Sandpipers, and 20 Western Sandpipers.

Mark Holmgren
Sta. Barbara


Sunday Lompoc birding

Dave Compton
 

I birded the Lompoc area this morning, unimaginatively choosing Miguelito Park, Surf Beach for a seawatch, and the Santa Ynez River estuary. Highlights:

Miguelito Park: 5 Varied Thrushes on the lawn until about 9am, between the south bridge and the middle of the park.
White-throated Sparrow with a small Golden-crowned flock along the west edge of the middle of the park.
Red-naped Sapsucker adult male along the creek a little south of the center of the park.
Slate-colored Junco with Oregons near south end.

Surf
Male and female White-winged Scoters offshore. Not a great variety of birds on the ocean, or anything remotely pelagic.

Ocean Park
Nothing too unusual. The 18 or so Pintails would be considered exciting on the south coast. Plenty of water in the Estuary, but not a ton of birds. Ruddy Duck was the most common species. No gulls on the beach, only a handful of Californias flying over, and 100 or so so gull sp. on the upper Estuary.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


Rusty Blackbird in Waller Park

Mark Holmgren
 

It’s here, sometimes in trees, sometimes coming down to seed being tossed by 5 others birders. On the N sides of the 2 ponds as usual. 34.90253 -120.43749

Mark Holmgren
SB


[eBird Alert] Santa Barbara County Rare Bird Alert <daily> for Feb 10, 2018

Jamie Chavez
 

*** Species Summary:

- Garganey (7 reports)
- Common Ground-Dove (1 report)
- Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) (1 report)
- Yellow Warbler (1 report)
- Rusty Blackbird (5 reports)

This report contains observations of rare birds in Santa Barbara County.  View this alert at http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN35915
Click Date to sort most recent at the top.  Click Show All Details to read checklist comments and see attached photos
NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated
   
--
Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


2018-02-10 Rusty Blackbird

David Levasheff
 

Arrived a little after one. Kids everywhere, Blackbirds nowhere to be seen. Did the rounds and came back to the ponds, located the Gargany as some Blackbirds were flushed from the reedy area in the stream between the two ponds. They flew to the bare tree on the pond island. Nothing Rusty. Walked around the lower pond to get to the other side, and saw a large flock of Blackbirds rise up from where someone had started feeding the ducks. They mostly went up into the pines to the west of the upper pond. In a few minutes as more feeding took place the birds began to return to forage. The Rusty Blackbird was with them. It stayed until a child went running by.

Photos on my flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/levaweb/



very minor Devereux stuff

Dave Compton
 

At Devereux Slough this afternoon, 19 Greater White-fronted Geese flew over, after taking off from the North Campus Open Space at about 1pm. No Eurasian Wigeons to be seen on the slough. Two male scaup were probably Greater, but they never stopped diving the whole time I watched them. I also looked for the Eurasion wigeons at Sandpiper Golf Course, but they weren't there, either. No geese were at Storke Field at UCSB. 

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


North County Birding

Julie Scotland
 

Today we birded Miguelito Park, Ocean Beach, and Waller Park.

Highlights include:

Miguelito Park: 3 VARIED THRUSH, 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH

Waller Park: 1 RUSTY BLACKBIRD, 1 GARGANEY, 1 WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 1 MERLIN.

Rusty Blackbird was seen at approx 3:20pm up close by the Garganey Pond along the waters edge. The White-throated Sparrow was just outside the Rangers house/trailer.

Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend,
Julie Scotland
Santa Barbara