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Cuyama Valley report — 12 and 13 May 2020

Mark Holmgren
 

Yesterday on 12 May I e-biked up Pato Canyon on the W side of the Cuyama River. Starting at about 10 AM I found very little of interest in this Pinyon-Juniper Canyon.
On Santa Barbara Cyn Road, 12 May today, I found a female Vermilion Flycatcher about 1/4 mile N of Reyes Ranch. The bird was near 34.82282 -119.55381. It was in the creek channel W of Santa Barbara Cyn Rd. In 20 minutes of waiting I neither saw nor heard a male.

I hiked into a Cyn on the east side of Santa Barbara Canyon Road that was well vegetated with Pinyon, Juniper, oak, and some Manzanita. I found 7 Scott’s Orioles, including 2 pairs seen. One of the pairs was at 34.83083 -119.54506. These coordinates should show the location of the canyon. An 8th Scott’s Oriole was at 34.85440 -119.52605, which is further north along SB Cyn Rd.
Habitat similar to this Cyn exists in others on the east side of Santa Barbara Canyon Road. It might be that Scott’s Orioles are well-established here. The trick is distinguishing their songs from those of Western Meadowlark. I found one confusing situation today.

Tricolored Blackbirds are delivering food to nestlings at the E end of the Caliente Wetland. This is approx 8 miles W of New Cuyama. The small colony consists of about five males and perhaps 12 females nesting in nettles.

Photos and some recordings will go into eBird checklists to be posted once I return to civilization.

Mark Holmgren
San Marcos Pass

Thomas Turner
 

Wren and I were also in Santa Barbara Canyon, Ballinger Canyon, and Deer Park Canyon this week. The highlight for me was seeing Black-Chinned Sparrow in both Ballinger and Deer Park Canyon. I had never seen them in either place. I know there are past records in Ballinger, but none on eBird since 2013. We also had Scott’s Oriole in both places.

Tom Turner

isla Vista

On May 13, 2020, at 9:40 PM, Mark Holmgren <maholmgren33@...> wrote:

Yesterday on 12 May I e-biked up Pato Canyon on the W side of the Cuyama River. Starting at about 10 AM I found very little of interest in this Pinyon-Juniper Canyon.
On Santa Barbara Cyn Road, 12 May today, I found a female Vermilion Flycatcher about 1/4 mile N of Reyes Ranch. The bird was near 34.82282 -119.55381. It was in the creek channel W of Santa Barbara Cyn Rd. In 20 minutes of waiting I neither saw nor heard a male.

I hiked into a Cyn on the east side of Santa Barbara Canyon Road that was well vegetated with Pinyon, Juniper, oak, and some Manzanita. I found 7 Scott’s Orioles, including 2 pairs seen. One of the pairs was at 34.83083 -119.54506. These coordinates should show the location of the canyon. An 8th Scott’s Oriole was at 34.85440 -119.52605, which is further north along SB Cyn Rd.
Habitat similar to this Cyn exists in others on the east side of Santa Barbara Canyon Road. It might be that Scott’s Orioles are well-established here. The trick is distinguishing their songs from those of Western Meadowlark. I found one confusing situation today.

Tricolored Blackbirds are delivering food to nestlings at the E end of the Caliente Wetland. This is approx 8 miles W of New Cuyama. The small colony consists of about five males and perhaps 12 females nesting in nettles.

Photos and some recordings will go into eBird checklists to be posted once I return to civilization.

Mark Holmgren
San Marcos Pass