Date   

Scaly Breasted Munia

John Deacon
 

All:

Remember when you were excited to see a Scaly Breasted Munia?  I've got a flock of 20-30 on my feeders almost continuously over the last few weeks.  Of more interest is a White Throated Sparrow who has been here for about a week.

John Deacon
Orcutt

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John Deacon
Orcutt


Santa Rosa Rd Vineyard Ponds - Hooded Mergansers

Peter Schneekloth
 

Was already out and about so ran out Santa Rosa Road outside of Buellton to check some vineyard ponds. Birds were not there earlier in the week but had a pair of Hooded Merganser, pair of Ring-necked Duck and a female Bufflehead.

A White-throated Sparrow continues in my backyard.

Peter Schneekloth
Buellton


Re: UCSB Summer Tanager, Goleta Beach night-herons, age and molt

Dave Compton
 

To clarify this comment:

"So a bird that has the dull streaky plumage of a juvenile at this time of year is probably not a second-year bird."

I'm referring to the under parts in this sentence.

On Thu, Nov 28, 2019 at 2:47 PM Dave Compton via Groups.Io <davcompton60=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I set out to check Basin K of Goleta Slough, to see if there was any water after the rains, and found no standing water there are all. So, I ended up birding around the Student Health Center at UCSB and at Goleta Beach.

Student Health Center - 1 subadult male SUMMER TANAGER in ash trees on the northwest side of the building, or the side next to Lot 25. This general area was moderately birdy, despite almost none of the exotic trees in the area (bottle brush, coral trees, and three species of eucalyptus) being in bloom. I saw a couple of bottle brush blossoms and about the same of coral trees. No other birds here of interest.

At Goleta Beach, there was a good mix of expected gulls, including singles of Herring and Glaucous-winged juveniles at the west end and a Bonaparte's juv flying around the slough mouth. All three YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS  were in the roost, although the number of Black-crowneds was down to about 10.

Some notes on the age of the Yellow-crowned Night-Herons. I understand the logic behind the thought that these birds are late in their second year. But I believe all are almost certainly hatch-year birds. HY birds of this species undergo their first preformative molt from late summer to about October. This molt includes the crown, mantle, and scapulars, but NOT the wings and tail. So the darker crown and the new feathers on the mantle and scapulars are expected of HY birds at this time of year. As for the appearance of anything that has been identified as plumes, the "breeding plumes" of all North American members of this family except Cattle Egret are not actually an indication of alternate plumage (which night-herons technically don't even have) but are feathers that grow over a period of months during the fall and winter. So they are not feathers that grow in during the spring. 

The second prebasic molt of this species occurs from May to November, and that should include all of the body feathers. So a bird that has the dull streaky plumage of a juvenile at this time of year is probably not a second-year bird. Per Birds of North America, birds that have undergone second pre-basic molt should be brownish on the under parts.

One more note about the BNA account. If you have access to this site, you should check out a couple of photos on the "Appearance" page that are assumed to be still in their first year and that both look older than the Goleta Beach bird, including one from September in Mexico that's considered likely to be in its first year despite having a more adult-looking head than any of the three birds in Goleta. Otherwise, that bird looks a lot like the Goleta birds. So, while I wouldn't swear by anything with this species, I think the evidence points heavily to the three birds being HY birds.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


UCSB Summer Tanager, Goleta Beach night-herons, age and molt

Dave Compton
 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I set out to check Basin K of Goleta Slough, to see if there was any water after the rains, and found no standing water there are all. So, I ended up birding around the Student Health Center at UCSB and at Goleta Beach.

Student Health Center - 1 subadult male SUMMER TANAGER in ash trees on the northwest side of the building, or the side next to Lot 25. This general area was moderately birdy, despite almost none of the exotic trees in the area (bottle brush, coral trees, and three species of eucalyptus) being in bloom. I saw a couple of bottle brush blossoms and about the same of coral trees. No other birds here of interest.

At Goleta Beach, there was a good mix of expected gulls, including singles of Herring and Glaucous-winged juveniles at the west end and a Bonaparte's juv flying around the slough mouth. All three YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS  were in the roost, although the number of Black-crowneds was down to about 10.

Some notes on the age of the Yellow-crowned Night-Herons. I understand the logic behind the thought that these birds are late in their second year. But I believe all are almost certainly hatch-year birds. HY birds of this species undergo their first preformative molt from late summer to about October. This molt includes the crown, mantle, and scapulars, but NOT the wings and tail. So the darker crown and the new feathers on the mantle and scapulars are expected of HY birds at this time of year. As for the appearance of anything that has been identified as plumes, the "breeding plumes" of all North American members of this family except Cattle Egret are not actually an indication of alternate plumage (which night-herons technically don't even have) but are feathers that grow over a period of months during the fall and winter. So they are not feathers that grow in during the spring. 

The second prebasic molt of this species occurs from May to November, and that should include all of the body feathers. So a bird that has the dull streaky plumage of a juvenile at this time of year is probably not a second-year bird. Per Birds of North America, birds that have undergone second pre-basic molt should be brownish on the under parts.

One more note about the BNA account. If you have access to this site, you should check out a couple of photos on the "Appearance" page that are assumed to be still in their first year and that both look older than the Goleta Beach bird, including one from September in Mexico that's considered likely to be in its first year despite having a more adult-looking head than any of the three birds in Goleta. Otherwise, that bird looks a lot like the Goleta birds. So, while I wouldn't swear by anything with this species, I think the evidence points heavily to the three birds being HY birds.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


B & W warbler

William Murdoch
 

The tipu trees at the Music Academy were deathly quiet at 1:15 (usually there are at least many YRs chipping).  In the trees on the east side, facing Butterfly Lane, there were a b&w, an o c, and a Townsend warbler.  At 1:45 the tipu trees had apparently the same (female) b&w, an o c, a Townsend and a single YR. 

--
Bill Murdoch


Short-eared Owls

Larry Ballard
 

Two on the burned area of San Marcos Foothills Reserve along with a Norther Harrier. Ash on the ground, snow on the mountains.


Laguna fowl

Hugh Ranson
 

I took a look at Laguna Blanca late this afternoon, sans scope. There are pretty good numbers of waterfowl out there. Ruddy Ducks were most numerous, followed by Bufflehead (20+), with smaller numbers of Blue- and Green-winged Teal, Mallard, American Wigeon, and Ring-necked Duck. Best was a first winter male Common Goldeneye. Also there were a Wilson's Snipe and a Bonaparte's Gull.

Hugh Ranson
Santa Barbara



Re: Redhead status

Wes Fritz
 

Hi all,

To add to Nick’s ducked-up duck deal. There are a few other duck species that are in very low numbers or are completely absent. I should mention first that I can not find any Canvasback Ducks even at location that normally hold a minimum of 30 and some years 60+. Then the Ring-necked Ducks seem to be dropping in numbers over the last couple of years. I have found one pond at the Alisal River Course, Golf Course that has 32, but that leaves us with less than 60 in the north county. Also, American Wigeons seem to be few and far between up this way. The Buffleheads seem OK for numbers but it still seems way low for what was normal. We had a few Northern Pintail pass through a few weeks ago, but again they are hard to refind. The number of Lesser Scaup has dropped like crazy over the last decade and now they are becoming very hard to find. We very low numbers of Green-winged Teal last Saturday at SMRE which normally has/had good numbers of this specie and the other mentioned species. I can say this though, the Ruddy Ducks seem to be doing alright. Other than the Common Goldeneye and the Hooded Mergansers at Mission Hills Sewage works in Lompoc it has been pretty grim.

I have not checked out the southern portion of our county for ducks yet. It will be interesting to see what’s going on down that way. Hopefully some weather will push some ducks south.

Not so ducky up this way, good birding.

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

On Wednesday, November 27, 2019, Nick Lethaby via Groups.Io <nlethaby@...> wrote:

All,

 

Sorry to keep up the doom and gloom on ducks, but I wanted to find out if folks have seen any Redheads on the south coast in the last week or so. Ebird shows that 10-15 birds arrived around Nov 10 spread over Laguna Blanca, UCSB Lagoon, and LLC. Brad Hacker told me he saw no birds at all on the UCSB lagoon a few days ago. I am wondering if we have any Redheads around still. This species has been declining locally the last few years and become increasingly erratic.

 

Nick Lethaby

Goleta

 

Email: nlethaby@...

Office: +1 805 562 5106

Mobile: +1 805 284 6200

 


--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA


Sedgwick Reserve (restricted access) - Weekly Survey, continuing SageThrasher

Peter Schneekloth
 

In spite of the weather a small group of our Wednesday birders worked around the downpours and found 43 species. A decent count despite being limited to the area around the ranch buildings. Best birds were the continuing Sage Thrasher, Loggerhead Shrike and unusual at this season around the Reserve a Townsends Warbler. Full list here:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S61798456

Peter Schneekloth for the Sedgwick birding crew
Buellton


Redhead status

Nick Lethaby <nlethaby@...>
 

All,

 

Sorry to keep up the doom and gloom on ducks, but I wanted to find out if folks have seen any Redheads on the south coast in the last week or so. Ebird shows that 10-15 birds arrived around Nov 10 spread over Laguna Blanca, UCSB Lagoon, and LLC. Brad Hacker told me he saw no birds at all on the UCSB lagoon a few days ago. I am wondering if we have any Redheads around still. This species has been declining locally the last few years and become increasingly erratic.

 

Nick Lethaby

Goleta

 

Email: nlethaby@...

Office: +1 805 562 5106

Mobile: +1 805 284 6200

 


--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA


Deveruex water levels

Nick Lethaby <nlethaby@...>
 

All,

 

We had an inch of rain in Goleta last night and Devereux has filled up considerably to very bird-friendly level. Already there were quite a few ducks using it this morning, mostly mallards.

 

Shoveler may be the latest duck species that is in rapid local decline. Not sure there are more  than 10 around Goleta currently. It will be interesting to see if they bounce back after the rain.

 

Nick Lethaby

Goleta, CA  93117

USA

 

Email: nlethaby@...

Office: +1 805 562 5106

Mobile: +1 805 284 6200

 


--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA


Cachuma Boat Cruise

Mark Holmgren
 

Lisa Nelms, Elaine Tan, and I boated on Cachuma on Monday, 25 Nov. Highlights were 1 Snow Goose, 5 Greater White-fronted Geese, 2 Peregrines, 1 Lewis Woodpecker, and end-of-breeding breeding evidence for both Clark’s and Western Grebes.  The other story is those species and numbers of individuals missing relative to previous years.  See checklist https://ebird.org/checklist/S61780948

In our fairly extensive survey of the lake we saw only 2 American White Pelicans, 22 Canada Gooses, 2 Eared Grebes, no loons, no eagles, and very few ducks.


Mark Holmgren

Santa Barbara


Warbling Vireo returns

Hugh Ranson
 

This morning I came across a Warbling Vireo in Bohnett Park on Santa Barbara's Westside. Presumably this is the returning bird, now back for its SEVENTH winter. I missed the bird last winter despite considerable searching, but then again there were very few birds in the park last year.

Earlier I saw a spiffy-looking Fox Sparrow at Orpet Park on the lower Riviera. My best guess is that it's an intergrade between Red and Slate-colored. Interestingly, it was singing quite persistently. There were a couple of typical Sooty Fox Sparrows in the park. 

I also looked at Lauro Reservoir and Rocky Nook Park without seeing anything of note.

Photos of sparrow and vireo here:


Hugh Ranson
Santa Barbara



NCOS Pied-billed Grebes

Adrian O'Loghlen
 

I've been wondering what the Pied-billed Grebes at the Whittier Pond (east end of NCOS) have been eating and this am I was lucky enough to see at least one item that's on their 'menu'!



Adrian O'Loghlen
Goleta


Carpinteria birds

Eric Culbertson <ebc101@...>
 

Hi all,

Early this morning the northern waterthrush continued in Carpinteria Creek at Sixth Street. Later in the morning I walked some residential streets off Carpinteria Avenue in downtown Carpinteria with the best bird being a nashville warbler along Sawyer Avenue. The tipu trees at Cactus Lane next to Smart & Final are holding lots of birds but nothing noteworthy this morning. East of downtown Carpinteria within the business park centered around Mark Avenue I had another nashville warbler in a small stand of tipu trees near Cindy Lane.

Eric Culbertson
Carpinteria


recent birds or lack of them!?

Joan Lentz (cox.net address)
 

Hi All:
Got out this morning with Libby on this gorgeous day, birded the Music Academy thoroughly, including the tipu trees there: nothing to report. (seriously)
As of yesterday, the Yellow Warbler found by Dave Compton was still present at the willow thicket to the east of the parking lot at the Bird Refuge.
On Friday, I had good luck at the Santa Monica Creek Orchard Oriole in Carpinteria, as the bird showed itself at 9 a.m. in the Cape Honeysuckle hedge. After that I went to Franklin Creek Park, which was pretty dead, but both Franklin & Sta. Monica Creek have water, so birds are attracted. I also walked over the bridge and found myself in the Mormon Church Parking lot (across from the north end of Franklin Crk) where an empty vegetable garden patch has a pomegranate and a fig tree that lures birds.
A few of the Eucalyptus are blooming in Montecito, but it’t too early to tell how the show will go.
Paul Lehman writes of a general lack of birds in San Diego, except in certain areas, and he says Brad Schram reports the same in SLO county.
Perhaps the forecast rain will shake things up a bit?
Good birding and Happy Thanksgiving! I, especially, have a lot to be thankful for this year!

Joan Lentz


NCOS and Devereux

Nick Lethaby
 

All,

I walked around Devereux via NCOS. The TK was by the Dune Pond. There were 3 Pintails and a Sora on the pond by the entrance to NCOS. I had snipe at both these locations.

There were 6 Dunlin on the beach.

Nick

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA


Re: Sat birds

Bradley Hacker
 

A few moderate-quality pix here


On Sat, Nov 23, 2019 at 5:55 PM Nick Lethaby via Groups.Io <nlethaby=ti.com@groups.io> wrote:
Wes, Brad, and I checked the SMRE. Pretty much the same species as I reported last weekend but pelican and gulls numbers were down.

At Miguelito x Sudden, we had very nice looks at Golden Eagle and Prairie Falcon.

Nick

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA



--
 ________________________________________________________

Bradley R. Hacker             Professor of Geology
Dept of Earth Science and Earth Research Institute
University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106-9630


--
Good birding, 

Bradley Hacker
Goleta CA
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradley_hacker/albums


Sat birds

Nick Lethaby <nlethaby@...>
 

Wes, Brad, and I checked the SMRE. Pretty much the same species as I reported last weekend but pelican and gulls numbers were down.

At Miguelito x Sudden, we had very nice looks at Golden Eagle and Prairie Falcon.

Nick

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA


Davey Brown Trail/Fir Canyon - Varied Thrush and Pacific Wren

Peter Schneekloth
 

Went out to do a bit of scouting for Cachuma CBC and was able to find two targets, Pacific Wren and Varied Thrush, along Davey Brown Trail. The wren was right at the old cabin site, the thrush about 130 paces S. Otherwise it was relatively quite along the trail except for large flocks of Band-tailed Pigeons, Stellar's Jays and lots of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. At the top of the trail there is usually a concentration of birds including Fox Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch and other common expected birds. Full list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S61678284

Peter Schneekloth
Buellton