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Orioles

Florence Sanchez
 

I spent an hour or so in the Goleta Butterfly preserve in Ellwood this morning.   I found it is difficult to access the area as we are used to doing because of downed eucalyptus along the path west of Coronado Drive.  However, by parking on Newport at the access point, the path down to the main creek is clear and it was easy to walk to the west, where the orioles were.  And there were a lot of them!  The blooming eucalyptus are at the intersection of the trail with the one leading down from Santa Barbara Shores drive, but I found most of the orioles before there in the tall eucs and other trees on the south side of the creek.  It was easy to see them as they were very active, and by walking west the sun was at my back.  

I'm not sure how many orioles total I had here, but based on plumage difference, I had at least 5 Bullocks Orioles and 4 Hooded Orioles.  A flock of Cedar Waxwings was working the blooming eucs and other trees.  I had no Western Tanagers, but several Black-headed Grosbeaks were singing: also present were a Yellow Warbler, a pair of Cassin's Kingbirds, 4 species of Woodpecker, and other more common birds.  I did not pick up a Baltimore Oriole the in the time I spent on the main creek, but walking back on the side trail to Newport Drive, I'm pretty sure I heard one deep in the eucs there.

Florence Sanchez