Date   
Northern Harrier at LLC

Mary Thompson
 

Our party of 4 had excellent looks at a juvenile Northern Harrier at Lake Los Carneros yesterday around 10am. 

FW: Alder Flycatcher

Nick Lethaby
 

All,

 

The CBRC has officially accepted the Alder Flycatcher record from LLC. Thanks to Kristie Nelson for making this very difficult identification and getting the word out.

 

Nick

 

From: Thomas Benson [mailto:TBenson@...]
Sent: Monday, December 2, 2019 12:32 PM
To: Kristie Nelson (storm_petrel@...)
Cc: Dave Compton - NAB (davcompton60@...); Lethaby, Nick; wim.van.dam@...
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Alder Flycatcher

 

Hi all,

 

I know that some of you had asked about this record in the past, so I thought I’d let you know that the CBRC has (finally) accepted the Alder Flycatcher from Santa Barbara County in fall 2018.

 

Tom

 

Thomas A. Benson

Secretary, California Bird Records Committee

 


--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

The Future of the Santa Barbara Breeding Bird Study

Mark Holmgren
 

Google will shut down its Fusion Tables in 2 days.  This marks the loss of the nifty display and filter tool that we’ve enjoyed since 2016. Grab what you need from it now.  Go to https://goo.gl/AJQxKj

 

What will replace Google Fusion Table for the Breeding Bird Study data?  Nothing right now. We’ve looked at 4 other programs that display breeding records geographically, but as yet none fit our criteria—easy to use and easy to manage.  

 

What happens to the BBS?  We will wait till another tool comes along that is as user-friendly as GFT.  Meanwhile, in 2020 we will continue to gather and accept records, including photo support of breeding evidence, to the database.  The online data entry form at the Audubon website will continue to serve as the primary means of submitting new breeding records.  We encourage one more year of intense data gathering.  Our goal is still to make these data publicly available and to advocate for the use of this database because of its unique relevance to Santa Barbara County.  


Adrian and I welcome questions and specific requests for information from you and from other users of the BBS data.  


Mark Holmgren and Adrian O'Loghlen


The BBS is a project supported by UCSB's Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration and

The Santa Barbara Audubon Society

Bullock's Oriole at Hidden Valley Park

Gage Ricard
 

Highlights at Hidden Valley Park this morning were an adult male Bullock's Oriole and female Western Tanager in a cotoneaster bush.

Gage Ricard
Santa Barbara

SM Foothill property 12/1/19

Jim Hodgson
 

Hi all,
At about 11:30 this morning one of the Short-earred Owls was scared up by a fire crew that was walking the property. It circled for a while and was last seen headed towards the north end of the west plateau.

Jim Hodgson
SB

CBC 5 Circle SB County Map, 2019/2020

Wim van Dam
 

By popular demand, here is this season's Christmas Bird Count map for Santa Barbara County: 


This map shows, to the best of my knowledge, the circles and dates of the CBCs of Cachuma, Carpinteria, La Purisima, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria-Guadalupe. Compilers might want to check that they agree with the positioning of the circles.

Wim
 

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

Ring Necked Ducks at Santa Maria Mesa Road Ponds

John Deacon
 

All:

To add to my huge numbers of Greater Yellowlegs at the soccer field on College in Santa Maria, I had 126 Ring Necked Ducks at the Santa Maria Mesa Road Ponds this morning.  There were 96 on the southernmost pond alone.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S61879492

John Deacon
Orcutt

--
John Deacon
Orcutt

SM Foothills this morning

Rebecca Coulter
 

Two Short-eared Owls continue on San Marcos Foothills Preserve this morning, along with Northern Harrier and White-tailed Kite. The burned grasses have revealed a landscape completely riddled with rodent holes; we saw gophers pop up here and there, now unprotected by any kind of cover. It will be interesting to see if the relatively easy hunting conditions continue to attract raptors. Loggerhead Shrike also present along the fence line at Hwy 154.

Rebecca Coulter
SB

New Flooded Field

John Deacon
 

All

If you are in Santa Maria, it may be worth a stop at the soccer field at Southside Parkway and College. I just counted 70 Greater Yellowlegs, 8 dowitchers and over 60 Mallards. A few other species are present too. It takes awhile for this spot to dry out so it should be good for some time.

John Deacon
Orcutt


--
John Deacon
Orcutt

Fox Sparrow

David Levasheff
 

Been waiting for my Fox Spartow to return, almost gave up on him… got home from 3 days in LA and there he was, he seemed pretty aggressive and hungry.

David


--
David Levasheff
Santa Barbara

Eurasian Wigeon, Greater Scaup

Dave Compton
 

Today, Friday, November 29, I birded from Campus Point, at the UCSB Lagoon, Devereux, and a bit at Lake Los Carneros.

Campus Pt: Seeing the winds were from the southwest when I left the house, I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time here. But it was pretty slow. The wind was blowing directly from the west when I got here, and about all I could find were gulls, pelicans, cormorants, several Western Grebes, and one each of Surf Scoter and Red-throated and Pacific Loon. 

Campus Lagoon. Nothing unusual and not that many ducks. Nick, there WERE several Redheads here.

Devereux: The male EURASIAN WIGEON was here hanging out with Americans, of which there were about 40. So maybe all the wigeons from Goleta sewage moved over. There were decent duck numbers overall, including Mallards, Gadwalls, Ruddies, Green-winged Teal, shovelers, and Cinnamon Teal. 

LLC: A female GREATER SCAUP that has been entered into eBird was here. A male scaup that, from photos, looked more like a Lesser, was not around. The female was a hard ID. Fortunately, she flew and gave good looks at the extensive white on her primaries.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

Re: Short-eared Owls

Mark Bright
 

Found both of the Short-eared Owls that Larry found on the western part of the Preserve yesterday. Watched them for about 10 minutes flying and circling around the entrance area, landing on some of the boulders and the ground at times. Sometimes flying as high as a hundred feet off the ground but generally low. They had flushed a White-tailed Kite from the top of a pepper tree. Northern Harrier also patrol the area often. A Merlin, American Kestrel and a Loggerhead Shrike also seen.

Mark Bright
Santa Barbara

NCOS Prairie Flacon

Nick Lethaby
 

I saw a Prairie Falcon at NCOS this morning. Water levels are still rising as Devereux Creek is still flowing. Very wet along the Ellwood Trails.

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Horned Grebe on Lake Cachuma

Mark Holmgren
 

In between heavy rains that left nearly an inch of slush on San Marcos Pass summit, I scoped the bay at the mouth of DeVaul Canyon.  I saw a Horned Grebe, the first I've seen on the lake in nearly 2 decades. See strained photos at https://ebird.org/checklist/S61829429.
Also an immature Bald Eagle flew from Santa Barbara Ranch across the bay heading west. I heard and saw a begging fledgling Western Grebe following its provider. 

Mark Holmgren
San Marcos Pass

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

--
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.