Sage Thrasher at Refugio

Mark Holmgren

Glenn Kincaid and I birded Refugio Creek Friday morning. Between Hwy 101 and the “first crossing” we looked west to see a bunch of Starlings perched on telephone wires about 80m away.  We pulled out a scope to see another couple of birds perched with them.  Surprised, we saw a Sage Thrasher on the wire.  The bird flipped around a couple times so we could see the chevrons on a pale chest diminishing towards the belly, the short nearly straight bill, and the strong malar line.  We did not see white tips to the outer tail feathers. The ‘string of pearls’ (on the margin of the scapular feathers?) was seen through the scope and in the attached photo.  


The Birds of Santa Barbara County, California (available at the link at the end of every SB Co. Birding email) indicates no August records and no summer records before 7 Sept.  We do not think this bird will be easily found again.


Mark Holmgren

San Marcos Pass