Date   

Some good duck counts

Nick Lethaby
 

All,

I started this AM at Ocean Beach where I had (for that location) a very high count of 511 Shoveler. Other duck numbers were unexceptional. After aborting my other Lompoc area plans due to poor weather, I checked out Area K and Devereux. Area K had 234 GW Teal, which is one of my highest ever counts in the county. There were 25 Blue-winged and 10 Cinnamon Teal as well. I counted 136 Wigeon here and there were lots of Gadwalls and Shoveler as well. At Devereux, 25 Redheads were the most I have seen this winter.

As noted by Dave C earlier this winter, Bufflehead numbers continue to be very low.

Nick

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Mobile: 805 284 6200
Work: 805 562 5106

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA


Calliope hummingbird

Rob Hofberg
 

Good Morning!!

There is a female or juvenile calliope hummingbird at our collection of feeders this morning. He has been in the same small area for about 1/2 hour. It seems to be flycatching and feeding very actively.

Rob Hofberg


Probable Pine Warbler in Santa Maria

Jamie Chavez
 

Chasers of rarities,

A dog walk around the small Rod Rodenberger Park in Santa Maria produced what I am 99% sure was a PINE WARBLER. There is a stretch of Canary Island pines and some other exotic pines or firs on a berm separating Rodenberger Park from Miramonte North (immediately to the south of Rodenberger) at 34.909056, -120.430348. This is where I happened upon a largish warbler that showed a long tail looking slightly forked, it had a pale yellowish wash across the upper breast, no breast streaking, a slightly brighter yellowish face, broken eye-ring with a darkish line through the eye and a robust bill. I did not notice wing bars but I was concentrating on other things when I just as quickly lost it. For the very brief moment I saw it it was sluggishly feeding deep in some needles and moved in the open for just a second where I blurted out "Pine Warbler" and then it moved off and I could not find it. It is quite breezy up here today so it is difficult to see movement in these trees, but this is "good" Pine Warbler habitat for a wintering bird as there are several Canary Island pines around the ball fields here, although I'm surprised I haven't noticed it before as we walk the dog here almost every weekend (me with binoculars in hand). It is not a  terribly birdy park but this might entice others to look for it. Too many activities to try for it today but I will return w/camera and keep looking when I can.

--
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

--
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


birding in Carpinteria today

Joan Lentz (cox.net address)
 

Hi All:
Today Florence Sanchez and I did a little birding in Carpinteria.  We looked unsuccessfully for the Orchard Oriole at Santa Monica Creek, entering at the end of El Caro.  Then we stopped at Lake Jocelyn, where we failed to find the Solitary Sandpiper — I’ve tried several times with no luck— had some nice Green-winged Teal there.  At Carp. Salt Marsh Nature Park, we heard a Red-breasted Nuthatch calling from a a nearby sycamore tree just outside the park.  The tide had been high, but was falling.  We got nice views of three individual Yellow-crowned Night-Herons on the western bank of Franklin Creek, viewed easily from the iron bridge.  See checklists below.  We ran into Nancy States and Peggy Kearns at Santa Monica Creek.       
https://ebird.org/bcn/checklist/S63741335

Joan Lentz
Santa Barbara


continuing Northern Waterthrush

Larry Ballard
 

It was seen this afternoon at the usual spot near the northeast corner of the water treatment plant, just south of 6th St. along Carpinteria Creek.
Larry Ballard


Devereaux Thursday morning

Robert Lindsay
 

Thursday, 1/23, 8:00-12:00

I led my class around Devereaux Slough today and had a very rewarding time of it. We tallied 69 species all together with a number of highlights. These included (2)Greater White-fronted Geese, (2)Tropical Kingbird, and (2)Canvasback (all from the bridge where NCOS meets the Devereaux Slough) along with Common and Red-throated Loon in the body of the slough. Other birds I was glad to see were Western Meadowlark, Northern Harrier and White-tailed Kite, Black Turnstone, Redhead, and a Dunlin among the shorebirds at the Plover Preserve. A total of 10 species of ducks and geese and 8 species of birds of prey were around. Still, while diversity was pretty impressive, raw numbers were less than might have been the case in years past. Hope that's not a trend.

That's all,
Rob Lindsay


Lake Los Carneros 2020-01-23

Wim van Dam
 
Edited

I'm probably the last birder who still cared about this, but the AMERICAN BITTERN continues at Lake Los Carneros. This morning I saw it twice at the eastern-most arm of the lake. 
 
Also present at LLC was a good looking MEW GULL in clean looking breeding plumage and a Coyote that howled every time it heard a siren. 
 
Less amusing was a swimming PIED-BILLED GREBE that was fishing wire wrapped all over it. There is a fair amount of fishing gear floating around the lake. It would be great if somebody with the right connections could arrange some kind of clean up.  
 
Wim
 

--
Wim van Dam (Solvang, CA)
SBCO #386: American Bittern


2 Horned Grebes in Goleta Bay

Mark Holmgren
 

Best viewed with scope from Lot 6 at UCSB (from 34.41001 -119.84212).  In association with about 50 Western Grebes.

Mark Holmgren
Santa Barbara


Re: Solitary sandpiper - Lake Jocelyn

John Callender
 

I was there just before Eric (and must have just missed him). I got some not-great-but-not-terrible photos. See:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S63678637

John Callender
Carpinteria


Re: Solitary sandpiper - Lake Jocelyn

Wim van Dam
 

Given that it is winter, did people double-check that this Tringa is not something even better?

Wim 

On Wed, Jan 22, 2020 at 4:23 PM Eric Culbertson <ebc101@...> wrote:
Continuing this afternoon in Carpinteria. Today in northeastern corner of pond.

Eric Culbertson
Carpinteria




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


Solitary sandpiper - Lake Jocelyn

Eric Culbertson <ebc101@...>
 

Continuing this afternoon in Carpinteria. Today in northeastern corner of pond.

Eric Culbertson
Carpinteria


Sedgwick Reserve (restricted access) - Weekly Survey

Peter Schneekloth
 

Catching up for the last few weeks during which we have had 62, 63 and today 64 species on the weekly survey. Highlights today included 5 Ferruginous Hawks, Merlin, Wilson's Snipe, continuing Sage Thrasher and high numbers of White-throated Swifts. Waterfowl are returning to the pond with Ring-necked Duck arriving this week, Bufflehead having been around for a few weeks now and growing numbers of Mallards. Signs of early breeding activity are picking up with Oak Titmice calling everywhere and some raptors seen engaged in nest building.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S63678427

For the entire Sedgwick Birding Crew,
Peter Schneekloth
Buellton 


almost certain gray-headed junco in Vandenberg Village

Don Tate
 

I tot I taw a gray-headed junco Saturday morning out my bathroom window in S-C Vandenberg Village,  then consulted Sibley and immediately flopped back into bed. Awoke later with less than crystal-clear recollections. Night owls will understand. Blackish eye mask, gray cowl, all-yellow bill, burnt orange back but not wings. I'm 96.87% sure I remember seeing all these features, rather than confounding Sibley's artwork with the bird later. I certainly remember which illustration I matched the bird to. Just tiny niggling doubts, thus the reporting delay. Have been throwing small-grained bird seed out since Sunday, hoping to get a photo next weekend. Villagers may wish to watch their feeders.

Don Tate


Re: Foxen Canyon raptors

Florence Sanchez
 

This is the same stretch where I had good viewing about 3 weeks ago.  It's wide open facing north so it's easy to see a lot of raptors at one time.  That stretch west to Tres Hermanas Vinyard (where the road makes a sharp right and then left agin ) and a little beyond were all excellent when I was there.  Glad to hear that the show continues.

Florence Sanchez



On Sunday, January 19, 2020, 03:22:35 PM PST, Dave Compton <davcompton60@...> wrote:


Following up a month after Peter Schneekloth and then Nick Lethaby reported on the raptor show along Foxen Canyon Rd, I had a very similar experience with raptors in the area. I started by birding Zaca Station Rd, then birded Foxen Canyon from Zaca Station Rd to the area east of Sisquoc. Overall, I had to rely on finding perched birds, as it was overcast all morning and into the early afternoon, when I knocked for the day. 

As Peter mentioned back on December 13, most of the activity on Foxen Canyon Rd was focused in one area a bit west of Alisos Canyon Rd. I had particular success at this location:

34.790248, -120.179528

Here, I found 1 juv Golden Eagle, 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 6 Red-tailed Hawks, and 4 (!) Ferruginous Hawks (including 1 dark morph). 

Overall, from the intersection with Zaca Station Rd north and northwest to where Foxen Canyon Rd takes a hard left where it comes to the Sisquoc Valley, I had very similar numbers to what Nick reported on December 15:

Golden Eagle - 4 (2 adults, 1 juv, 1 ad/subadult)
Bald Eagle - 1 (subadult)
Red-tailed Hawk - 34
Ferruginous Hawk - 6
American Kestrel - 18
Prairie Falcon - 1

Prior to this, on Zaca Station Rd from 101 to Foxen Canyon Rd, I had:

Golden Eagle - 1 (probably an adult)
Red-tailed Hawk - 6
Ferruginous Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


Foxen Canyon raptors

Dave Compton
 

Following up a month after Peter Schneekloth and then Nick Lethaby reported on the raptor show along Foxen Canyon Rd, I had a very similar experience with raptors in the area. I started by birding Zaca Station Rd, then birded Foxen Canyon from Zaca Station Rd to the area east of Sisquoc. Overall, I had to rely on finding perched birds, as it was overcast all morning and into the early afternoon, when I knocked for the day. 

As Peter mentioned back on December 13, most of the activity on Foxen Canyon Rd was focused in one area a bit west of Alisos Canyon Rd. I had particular success at this location:

34.790248, -120.179528

Here, I found 1 juv Golden Eagle, 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 6 Red-tailed Hawks, and 4 (!) Ferruginous Hawks (including 1 dark morph). 

Overall, from the intersection with Zaca Station Rd north and northwest to where Foxen Canyon Rd takes a hard left where it comes to the Sisquoc Valley, I had very similar numbers to what Nick reported on December 15:

Golden Eagle - 4 (2 adults, 1 juv, 1 ad/subadult)
Bald Eagle - 1 (subadult)
Red-tailed Hawk - 34
Ferruginous Hawk - 6
American Kestrel - 18
Prairie Falcon - 1

Prior to this, on Zaca Station Rd from 101 to Foxen Canyon Rd, I had:

Golden Eagle - 1 (probably an adult)
Red-tailed Hawk - 6
Ferruginous Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


TK, Costa's, and other Goleta area birding

Dave Compton
 

I birded a few spots around Goleta/Isla Vista today. The best birds were a Tropical Kingbird in a location where not previously reported this year, on the berm between Basin K and Basin L/M of Goleta Slough, as seen from the bluffs at UCSB; and a Costa's Hummingbird on Pardall at the eastern edge of Isla Vista. The hummingbird was calling and chasing an Anna's in front of the building on the north side of the street at the far eastern end of Pardall (5904, I think). 

Otherwise, not a ton of interest. I missed the Sueno Rd Orchard Oriole in Isla Vista, and I found none of the rarities that had been reported around the UCSB Student Health Building (Summer Tanager, TK, Nashville Warbler). I met Dave Robertson at Devereux, which had a decent numbers of ducks, including a flock of 39 Lesser Scaup, 4 Redheads, and 7 Northern Pintail. Dave pulled out a female Hooded Merganser near the half bridge. Basin K at Goleta Slough had lots of ducks, with still about 100 Green-wing Teal present, a couple of more pintails, a half dozen Blue-winged Teal, and more than a dozen Cinnamon Teal. 

Interesting that I saw as many or more of several species of ducks at two locations than we had in all of Goleta for the CBC: Cinnamon Teal, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, and Lesser Scaup. 

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


Retraction - Carp Salt Marsh Friday 1/10

David Levasheff
 

This must be the week for mistaken IDs

On the Sandpoint trip last week the ID of the Prairie Falcon was in error. Visible dark axillaries & under wing coverts had been reported in the brief encounter with the bird and used as the basis of the ID along with brief views perched from the back. Upon analyzing backlit photos of the perched bird yesterday, it was obvious that it was a Merlin.

David

On 01/11/2020 3:21 PM, David Levasheff wrote:
Yesterday was the once yearly SBAS outing to Sandpoint road, a private gated community.

It was raptor day there... 3 Osprey, 2 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Northern Harrier, One White-tailed Kite, and Big Suprise ONE Prairie Falcon!

Mallard, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Gadwall and Red-breasted Merganser rounded out the Water Fowl.

1 Wimbrel, several Long-billed Curlew, a few Marbled Godwit, scads of Willets and several Black-bellied Plover. We were trying to ID some peeps when the Prairie Falcon flushed them and they were gone.

Lots of Savannah Sparrows working the pickle weed. King tide left us nothing to scan for on the ocean side.

Other usual suspects round out the total to 37 species for the 3 hour walk.
--
David Levasheff
Santa Barbara


Re: Retraction

Nick Lethaby
 

There may be three birds involved here. There is a bird with classic Thayer's plumage. There is a bird that I feel is definitely a hybrid based on good photos and seeing it well in the field. Joan's photo may be that hybrid but may well not be. It shows some scapular molt, but probably not as extensive as on the hybrid.

Also nothing is definite here. Based on when I used to look a lot at large gulls in the Bay Area, I believe that many GWxHerring can look identical to Thayers in 1W plumage. You then get into the whole structure issue. But how do you know if a 'giant Thayer's' is an extremely large Thayer's or a GWxHerring hybrid. Also some female Herring and GW gulls can get quite small as well. So I would contend that it is very difficult to be sure on individual gulls. When you are in a location that has more Thayer's, there will be plenty of females around that are obvious on structure and it's safe to assume that the majority of the more ambiguous are Thayer's too. I don't think we can do that down here most of the time as Thayer's are very uncommon.

On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 10:48 PM Conor Scotland <scotland.conor@...> wrote:
Would love to hear what reasoning is behind the hybrid theory. I think the gull looks like a pretty classic Thayer's gull, though hard to be certain without seeing the primary tips better. In my experience, GWGU x HERG hybrids usually have larger bills and somewhat disproportionate-looking heads. This bird's head has the delicate look of Thayer's. Would also expect some more scapular molt to have happened by now if it was the hybrid, but I think we're seeing 1st cycle scapulars still on this bird, which I believe is also good for Thayer's. I could be quite wrong, and GWGUxHER can often look extremely similar to Thayer's, but am just curious why it's a hybrid.

Thanks,
Conor

On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 9:02 PM Joan Lentz (cox.net address) <joanlentz@...> wrote:
Hi Folks:  Guess what?  There are at least 3 individual gulls near the dam area at Lake Los Carneros that might be candidates for Thayer’s Gull, & my list posted yesterday said that I had a Thayer’s/Iceland Gull.  Upon consultation with various people, it appears that my candidate is better for a hybrid (sigh) Glaucous-winged x Herring Gull.  If you can find Hugh Ranson’s portrait of the Thayer’s Gull, as well as Santiago Lupi’s, those are truly Thayer’s/Iceland Gull, which was seen on the CBC.
        Back to the drawing board…..as they say…..

        Joan Lentz




--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Mobile: 805 284 6200
Work: 805 562 5106

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA


Re: Retraction

Conor Scotland
 

Would love to hear what reasoning is behind the hybrid theory. I think the gull looks like a pretty classic Thayer's gull, though hard to be certain without seeing the primary tips better. In my experience, GWGU x HERG hybrids usually have larger bills and somewhat disproportionate-looking heads. This bird's head has the delicate look of Thayer's. Would also expect some more scapular molt to have happened by now if it was the hybrid, but I think we're seeing 1st cycle scapulars still on this bird, which I believe is also good for Thayer's. I could be quite wrong, and GWGUxHER can often look extremely similar to Thayer's, but am just curious why it's a hybrid.

Thanks,
Conor

On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 9:02 PM Joan Lentz (cox.net address) <joanlentz@...> wrote:
Hi Folks:  Guess what?  There are at least 3 individual gulls near the dam area at Lake Los Carneros that might be candidates for Thayer’s Gull, & my list posted yesterday said that I had a Thayer’s/Iceland Gull.  Upon consultation with various people, it appears that my candidate is better for a hybrid (sigh) Glaucous-winged x Herring Gull.  If you can find Hugh Ranson’s portrait of the Thayer’s Gull, as well as Santiago Lupi’s, those are truly Thayer’s/Iceland Gull, which was seen on the CBC.
        Back to the drawing board…..as they say…..

        Joan Lentz



Retraction

Joan Lentz (cox.net address)
 

Hi Folks: Guess what? There are at least 3 individual gulls near the dam area at Lake Los Carneros that might be candidates for Thayer’s Gull, & my list posted yesterday said that I had a Thayer’s/Iceland Gull. Upon consultation with various people, it appears that my candidate is better for a hybrid (sigh) Glaucous-winged x Herring Gull. If you can find Hugh Ranson’s portrait of the Thayer’s Gull, as well as Santiago Lupi’s, those are truly Thayer’s/Iceland Gull, which was seen on the CBC.
Back to the drawing board…..as they say…..

Joan Lentz