Date   
Santa Maria Valley

Wes Fritz
 

SB Birders,

 Cruz Phillips and I bounced around the SMV yesterday 10-30-19 and saw a few cool birds.
 
We started at the Los Alamos County Park in Los Alamos and it was kinda birdy, but nothing notable.
  The first bird was an Osprey perched on a Oak Tree on Hwy 135 near Hwy (1) this seemed very odd for this specie at this location.
  Our next stop was at the Tanglewood pond, the only note worthy birds were a very distant Scaup and 6 American Wigeon.
  We then checked out the Black Road formally Flooded Fields. Well, they are no longer grass fields, they have been tilled to bare dirt. But they are irrigating the dirt clods. We then moved over the Santa Maria Sewage Works, here we saw 4 Mew Gulls and you American Herring Gulls.
  We then hit up Jack O’Connell Park, not too sucky this time. We saw 20ish Wilson’s Snipe and a plover that looked a Pacific Golden Plover, but when we tried to get closer, it flew away with a few Black-bellied Plovers, or morphed into a Black-bellied Plover. We then checked the agg fields west of the park and had 4 Lapland Longspurs flying above us and in and out with the Horned Larks. The Black-bellied Plover flock was is pretty impressive, I counted 197 birds one by one. They were distant and I could have easily overlooked the Pacific Golden Plovers. We also had a conservative count of 150 Tricolored Blackbirds.
  Further west at the Blue Barn pastures ( trespassing?- not the angry cattle rancher pastures) we saw one Ferruginous Hawk.
 We then turned our focus on the Pipit flocks. We found lots of small flocks, but the big flock was on W. Betteravia Road, near the train tracks or across from Hayward Lumber. There is a large field on the north side of Betteravia. Cruz counted 19 Red-tailed Hawks many were on the ground. I guess the odd thing about all of these Red-tailed Hawks was they were mostly juveniles. We also had a few large flocks of American Pipits. There was one particular Pipit that was marked fairly well with darker streaking, very white wing bars and bright pink legs. We could not get a photo of this Pipit. So, if anybody is birding this field look
at all the pipits.

Today at the corner of Clark and Hwy 1 in Orcutt there was a kettle of 7 Red-tailed Hawks.

Good birding.

Wes Fritz
805-895-0685
Wes-Fritz@...
Solvang CA.

Magpie

Nick Lethaby
 

All,

 

I had a (presumed) Yellow-billed Magpie from the freeway between El Cap and Refugio this AM. I drove back on the side road to the spot but it was gone. Nothing at Gaviota. The stream mouth has blown out so drinking spots are available all along the creek now rather than just 1-2 spots.

 

Nick Lethaby

USA

 

Email: nlethaby@...

Office: +1 805 562 5106

Mobile: +1 805 284 6200

 


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Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

NCOS, Coronado Seep - Thursday

Robert Lindsay
 

10/31 - 8:30-10:30 am

Started at NCOS. White-crowned Sparrows are abundant, Yellow-rumped Warblers numerous (one Myrtle), and Scaley-breasted Munia populate every patch of reeds. Not much to report. A Black-necked Stilt, 8 Least Sandpiper and several Killdeer were the only shorebirds seen. Every duck was a Mallard. One House Wren. One Cassin's Kingbird. Only species of note was two Sora on the shore of the pond near the entrance. 49 Canada Geese flew in as I was nearing departure.

The Coronado seep is reduced to a small puddle at the mouth of the drain pipe. In 1/2 an hour the only birds that came were a single California Towhee and 2 Red-breasted Nuthatch.

That's all,
Rob Lindsay

North Campus Open Space NCOS

Mark Bright
 

Wednesday morning Oct. 30 the Palm Warbler seen by others on previous days was close to the western most bridge over Phelps Creek. Also present in the tules at this same location under the bridge was a very active Marsh Wren. Later at the first pull-out at Devereux Slough there was a single American Avocet way out foraging in the water.

Mark Bright
Santa Barbara

quiet morning at La Cumbre Peak

Florence Sanchez
 

I hiked the area around La Cumbre Peak this morning and it was pretty dead.  There was nothing going on at the communication Station--I was hard-pressed to even turn up a couple of Scrub Jays.  Nothing feeding on the abundant crop of Madrone berries behind the station. The forest at the peak was also almost devoid of activity.  I walked east on Camino Cielo to a point where the pines start to thin and it was the same story, though I did have a brief encounter with a Hairy Woodpecker (the only woodpecker found today).  Coming back, I finally heard a single Steller's Jay.  NO sign of other mountain birds, including nuthatches.

This happens up there from time to time and hopefully is not a sign of more dead days to come.

Nothing visible on Gibraltar reservoir below.

Florence Sanchez

Mountain Plover on East Beach

Dika Golovatchoff
 

I posted earlier about Snowy Plovers at East Beach.  I just got a response from Mark Holmgren that my photo from the same date and location was a Mountain Plover.  It's a species I've only seen once before so I wan't able to ID it.  Time of Photo 10/29/19 at 10:59 AM.  East Beach just below parking lot at end of Garden st. parking lot.  Only this one photo, sorry and I do not have GPS on it.


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Snowy Plovers at East Beach

Dika Golovatchoff
 

Strolling along the beach just below Chase Palm Park I counted at least 20 Western Snowy Plovers, first foraging along waterline then resting in dry sand.  I don't remember having seen them at this part of the beach before.  Also seen were 4 Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper, the expected Western Gulls, Coots, Mallards, Grackles in the outflow near Stearn's Wharf.  A Western Meadowlark was seen briefly on the grass by sidewalk.  A few photos at: https://flickr.com/photos/digolov

Dika Golovatchoff, Santa Barbara

Recent birds

Nick Lethaby
 

All,

 

On Friday and Sunday AMs I spent about an hour at Gaviota checking the drinking spot on the creek and the campground, hoping for a repeat of last year’s magic. No such luck, with the best birds being 2 Lawrence’s Goldfinch and a Yellow Warbler. Yesterday I looked for Joan’s ruber RB Sapsucker but could only come with 1-2 of the normal variety as well as a couple of RB Nuthatches.

 

Nick Lethaby

Texas Instruments

6750 Navigator Way, Suite 250

Goleta, CA  93117

USA

 

Email: nlethaby@...

Office: +1 805 562 5106

Mobile: +1 805 284 6200

 


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Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Mitchell Road

John Deacon
 

All:

I checked in at Mitchell Road in Orcutt today and found a couple of cool species.  Ferruginous Hawks are back and, as usual, are very tame.  The pic I took for this EBird submittal was from only about 40'.  I was excited to find Yellow Headed Blackbirds by the horse corral.  

Checklist is here:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S61011610

John Deacon
Orcutt

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John Deacon
Orcutt

Re: Mitchell Road

Wim van Dam
 

For those wondering: FEHA = Ferruginous Hawk. 

Wim


On Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 9:39 AM John Deacon via Groups.Io <iseekbirds=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
FEHAs are back at Mitchell Road and as usual are photo friendly. Also two Yellow Headed Blackbirds are in the blackbird mix by the horse corral.   If you are in the North County today, might be worth a look.

John Deacon
Orcutt


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John Deacon
Orcutt




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Wim van Dam (Solvang, CA)
SBCO #385: Neotropic Cormorant

Mitchell Road

John Deacon
 
Edited

FEHAs are back at Mitchell Road and as usual are photo friendly. Also two Yellow Headed Blackbirds are in the blackbird mix by the horse corral. If you are in the North County today, might be worth a look.

John Deacon
Orcutt


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John Deacon
Orcutt

"Ruber" subspecies of Red-breasted Sapsucker at Stow Grove Park this morning

Joan Lentz (cox.net address)
 

Hi All:
Libby Patten and I got out to do some birding at Stow Grove Park, where I got my first really good look at the Northern (“Ruber”) subspecies of the Red-breasted Sapsucker. Typically, we see the Daggetti subspecies of the sapsucker, which appears to breed in our local mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Ruber is more northerly, not breeding south of the Bay Area and ranging into AK.
Anyway, this Ruber subsp. sapsucker was so intensely red on the head and upper breast and then a BRIGHT yellow upper breast and belly, that I was blown away — so different from the typical Daggetti. We didn’t see the yellow spots that are supposed to be visible on the back of the Ruber, whereas the Daggetti has white spots. But just seeing this brilliant contrast between the two subspecies was so interesting.
The two birds were interacting in a small pittosporum tree on the fringe of the inner redwood section towards the
northeast corner of the park; therefore, they were south of the big green lawn area at the north end of the park.
According to BOSBC, Lehman’s book, there are only three records of Ruber sightings in our county prior to this.

Joan Lentz
Santa Barbara

Red Crossbill

Lisa Nelms <Drnelms@...>
 

Hi, I spotted this Red Crossbill today around 1:00pm @ the San Marcos Foothill Preserve.
I believe it’s an adult male. I had never seen one before, but his beautiful color caught my eye as he landed on this treetop.
I apologize for the poor image quality as he was quite far away.
Lisa Nelms. Santa Barbara.

Los Alamos - second hand report of Varied Thrush and another mid county Bald Eagle

Peter Schneekloth
 

I started the morning going over Drum Canyon to Los Alamos County Park. I spent some time going through many juncos and sparrows at the park and near the cemetery with nothing really notable. I ran into a new birder and Los Alamos resident Steve. He that told me he had started seeing Varied Thrush in the park within the last few weeks.

From there I took Cat Canyon, to Palmar to Foxen canyon. This is some of the same area I covered on the 16th of October when I found two Bald Eagles. I found another bird today about 9 miles as the eagle flies from where I saw those initial birds. Today's perched bird did not show any blue tags like the bird with white head on the 16th. I went back and looked at photo's and the bird from the 16th had blue tags top and bottom of wing that should have been visible on todays bird. So I am thinking this is a third Bald Eagle. A look at the distant perched bird here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/55934026@N05/48964203546/in/dateposted-public/

Nothing else of note seen on the route.

Peter Schneekloth
Buellton

Summer Tanager near Coronado Dr.

Ryan Seppala
 

There is a female Summer Tanager high up in the eucs east of Coronado Dr. and slightly southwest of Elwood Beach Dr., right at the bend as you reach the willows. It’s silent and fairly difficult to track. 


Ryan Seppala
UCSB

More on LLC Friday & GSD Tuesday and a ??

David Levasheff
 

10/25 8:30-10:00

Rob Lindsay and I crossed paths, I entering, he leaving yesterday.

Like Mark yesterday at NCOS there was a notable number of White-crowned Sparrows. They were with numerous Yellow-rumped warblers on the west side of Stow House and on the lawn over to the RR museum.

WCSPs were very active in the olive trees on the road from Stow House to the lake. There were also a bunch below the dam on the south west end. As Mark noted at NCOS, they were feeding furiously.

Other birds of note:
3 Golden-crowned Sparrows - east end of dam up by trash can
1 Great-tailed Grackle
6 Ring-necked Ducks in the far north of the lake
1 Cinnamon Teal west lake in reeds
3 Green Heron
2 Blue-winged Teal
2 Sora heard
1 White-tailed Kite in tree SW dam area
1 White-tailed Kite in star pine (same bird?) calling
Pied-billed Grebe (close to 10)
1 Northern Harrier flying low over the lake
1 Cooper's Hawk on far west of property
1 Red-shouldered Hawk south of the Dam
1 Lincoln's Sparrow
1 possible Western Kingbird
and the other usual birds including about 75 Coot.

Tuesday 10/22 Jeff and I stopped at the Goleta Sanitary District and found lots of ducks there. Most were sleeping on the path between the dam and it was damn hot so we did not linger to get exact counts. Present were at least a dozen Blue-winged Teal, almost as many Green-winged Teal, several American Wigeon and Northern Shoveler. There is no mud flat area so no peeps, thought I saw some fly, but could not re-find them. Only one Western Gull and a single Eared Grebe. 2-3 Spotted Sandpiper.

So here is a question. Lehman's book says Ring-billed Gull start arriving in August. Jeff and I have been looking and looking for any sign of one. Have not been successful. Has anyone seen one (or more) this fall?

Cheers and good birding

--

David



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David Levasheff
Santa Barbara

Major Fallout at NCOS

Mark Holmgren
 

UCSB’s North Campus Open Space exposed a major ornithological event this morning (Thursday) as we conducted the monthly survey there.  Yesterday (Wednesday) morning Glenn Kincaid birded NCOS. See https://ebird.org/checklist/S60892831 

 

To describe this fallout event, Glenn Kincaid’s birding effort lasted 75 minutes on Wednesday morning starting at 8:43 am.  

He encountered many of the same animals in similar numbers as we did on our survey of the eastern half of NCOS. Except for White-crowned Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers!  On Wednesday Glenn recorded 24 and 9 of those two species. 

This morning starting at 8:03 am our totals for only the eastern half of NCOS were 169 WcSp and 157 YrWa.  They were everywhere, mostly on the more moist ground vegetation and in the low shrubs.  Toward the end of today’s survey (by 9:30 am) the huge numbers of both species were back to ‘normal’.  Most individuals had lifted and were gone.  No other species showed this fallout effect.

 

Does this event say something about the new restoration at NCOS?  It must have looked attractive to the large number of migrants in the air.  Did it have great food?  That’s less clear, although the birds we watched were feeding furiously before they vacated.

 

Bird NCOS starting here on Whittier Ave, off Storke Rd: https://tinyurl.com/y4qd8e5f


Mark Holmgren

Santa Barbara

Armour Ranch Rd, 2019-10-25

Wim van Dam
 

This afternoon I quickly checked Armour Ranch Rd to see how the winter arrivals are doing in our current 90+ Fahrenheit. All I managed was a murder  of 18 COMMON RAVEN, a PEREGRINE FALCON, 2 AMERICAN KESTREL, a few RED-TAILED HAWK, and close to 30 WESTERN MEADOWLARK. Notable was the complete absence of Sparrows and Bluebirds.  

Wim

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Wim van Dam (Solvang, CA)
SBCO #385: Neotropic Cormorant

Lake Los Carneros Friday morning

Robert Lindsay
 

10/25, 7:30-9:00 am

Lake Los Carneros was mostly quiet today. The best bird on most of the walk was a single Myrtle Warbler among the fairly abundant Yellow-rumps. But I did hear several Virginia Rail calling as I circled the lake. There was one hot spot, the bay to the east of the dam. Here I saw two Greater Yellowlegs, 7 Short-billed Dowtcher (there may have been a Long-billed but I never got a good enough look to be sure), a Green Heron, a pair of Cinnamon Teal, a Sora chasing a Virginia Rail, a Wilson's Snipe, and a White-faced Ibis. The Ibis flew off towards the Goleta Slough while I was there.
Other birds seen around the lake included an Allen's Hummingbird, a California Thrasher, Red-tailed, Red-shouldered and Cooper's Hawk, a California Thrasher, and a particularly well-marked Golden-crowned Sparrow along with a number of other very common species.

That's all,
Rob Lindsay

Harris Sparrow at Las Cruzitas

Cruz Phillips
 

I have an adult Harris Sparrow at the feeding station in front of my house today at 1 pm.

Cruz Phillips
Las Cruzitas Ranch