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Ellwood

Florence Sanchez
 

I birded the Ellwood area today, starting at the end of Santa Barbara Shores Road.  This continues to be a great spot for orioles, both Hooded and Bullocks.  Balck-headed Grosbeaks were singing off and on.  I walked as far east as the downed tree and added Yellow and Wilson's Warblers; then headed back to the starting point.  From there, I followed the road up to Ellwood Mesa and walked a good portion of the trails there.  I was hoping to turn up a Grasshopper Sparrow, but I neither saw nor heard one today.  Orioles fly out of the eucs of the canyon to forage here for some reason--I saw that happen a few times.  There were also a surprising number of male Anna's Hummingbirds in the tops of the scattered Coyote Bush plants. I found three Western Kingbirds together in a dead tree right at the edge of the bluff overlooking the ocean.  Surprise of the morning was flushing a Western Meadowlark from the grass near the trail as I walked west.  I haven't seen or heard one in the south county for a few weeks.  Lovely place to walk this morning, with clear skies and a light breeze.

From there I went to the end of Coronado Drive to check out the puddle below the trail.  Not a lot of activity in the area and nothing was using the pool while I was there.  I got both Bullock's and Hooded Orioles, plus a Nashville Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, and a mystery bird (warbler-type song) singing in a Willow that I just could not get a bead on.  I had White-breasted nuthatches in a Sycamore and heard a Red-breasted Nuthatch calling from somewhere about two houses back from the creek.

My final stop was UCSB, where I checked out a restored area I used to walk when I worked there.  I've had MacGillivray's Warbler there in the past, but not today.  However, I found both Black-throated Gray and Nashville WArblers in the Oaks and heard a Yellow Warbler singing in the Willows to the north.  Not bad considering it was after 11 and warming up fast.

Florence Sanchez