Date   

Nojoqui - Cassiar continues, Gaviota quiet

Peter Schneekloth
 

I walked around Gaviota campground this morning, only expected birds were seen.  A single Ring-necked Duck in the creek, a few Western Gulls on the pier, common sparrows and finches in the campground. I stopped at Nojoqui park on the way home and the Cassiar Junco continues.


Peter Schneekloth

Buellton


Waller Park - Garganey AWOL

Jamie Chavez
 

A few birders have been looking through the ducks in the front pond without finding the GARGANEY. I also checked the back or westernmost pond also. As of 10:15 the RUSTY BLACKBIRD was also a no-show but may still be in the area. Blackbirds are coming and going so someone may report it later. A couple of Varied Thrushes were on the lawn by the empty caretaker's house. Everything else I looked at was to be expected this morning.


--
Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


[eBird Alert] Santa Barbara County Rare Bird Alert <daily> for Feb 16, 2018

Jamie Chavez
 

*** Species Summary:

- Garganey (2 reports)
- Little Blue Heron (7 reports)
- Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (1 report)
- Broad-billed Hummingbird (1 report)
- Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) (1 report)
- Tropical Kingbird (1 report)
- Rusty Blackbird (2 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


Little Blue Heron photos

Mark Holmgren
 

Here are 2 photos of the immature LbHe seen this afternoon at Goleta Beach.
https://flic.kr/p/23k2U9C

https://flic.kr/p/EKPKmv

My eBird checklist is here. 
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S42859907

Mark Holmgren
Goleta


Re: Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach

David Levasheff
 

Photos of the LBHE are in an album on my flickr page, link below. 


On Feb 16, 2018, at 13:23, Mark Holmgren maholmgren33@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:

 

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


East Pinery Road Feb 16

Florence Sanchez
 

I walked East Pinery Road this morning, hoping to re-find the Red-naped Sapsucker that Peter Schneekloth found a couple of weeks ago.  I was not able to find it this morning after a thorough search of the area where it was last seen.  However, I had my best bird of the day just about 100 yards from the start of the road.  It was a Townsend's Solitaire, going back and forth between two Gold Cup Oaks on opposite sides of the road.  It was one of the better views I've had of this species and I watched it for several minutes.

Otherwise, it was the usual assortment of chaparral, Oak Woodland, an montane birds that one finds here:  Both Steller's and California Scrub Jays, Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted and White Breasted Nuthatches, etc.  I had several Fox Sparrows, most of htem too elusive to try to assign a subspecies, but two of them were Slaty for sure and one appeared to be Sooty.  One of the Slaty types sat out in clear view for several minutes, and it did NOT appear to be Thick-billed.  The bill was mostly yellow, pointed and not massive; the breast spots were brown, rather thick and profuse, not black.

The Woodpeckers I found this morning included Acorn, Nuttall's, Hairy, and Northern Flicker.  One MOuntain Quail sounded off as I got out of my car in the parking area, but I did not find any on the trail.  Beautiful brisk morning for a hike up there.

Florence Sanchez


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