Eric Culbertson <ebc101@...>
As others have noted it was busy out there today! Here’s most of what I could identify passing during 7 hours spent along Ortega Ridge Road behind Summerland:
372 western kingbird
32 swainson’s hawks
144 vaux’s swift
800+ swallows (identifiable swallows were nearly all cliff but with scattered barn and a northern rw)
22 turkey vulture
1 dc cormorant
+ small numbers of other birds
From Ortega I could see many additional birds passing lower than me out along the coast (more kingbirds I suspect + swallows). Several passing hawks went unidentified. I mostly hung around where Ortega intersects with Greenwell Av but moved north along Ortega and east down Greenwell trying different vantage points.
I spent much of the day, especially mid-day, scanning the mostly cloudy sky over Riviera area and in contrast to your experience only 5 Red Tails and 14 TVs and a Cooper's flew by. The Swainson's you saw Must Have gone over the ridge line towards the back-country. I see hawks thermal over Riviera (roof heat rising?) and then head toward Cachuma. There were also 30 kingbirds in groups of 1 - 4 birds so your kingbirds may have gone over the ridgeline too. Without scope I see 270 degrees up to Franceschi Park ridge line and down to the city (and harbor with scope ... like Lehman, I yard count ocean birds). I see from lower Montecito/Sycamore Canyon sky to San Roque sky. Spring hawks fly towards me from Montecito/Sycamore Canyon area and then fly by or thermal up and over Riviera area. The migration of all birds in general seemed very slow for Riviera area yesterday. The density and height of the clouds likely makes a difference. Lower and thicker cloud cover than yesterday seems better for viewing foothill migrants from here.
Ron Hirst, SB