Preisker Park Western Tanager Explosion


Jamie Chavez
 

Hi all,

I birded Presker Park in Santa Maria this morning not expecting much because there was a strong Santa Ana wind from the NE and the trees were blowing around quite a bit. When I arrived I was dumbfounded by the shear number of Western Tanagers present. They were everywhere and no doubt driven down into the park at dawn due to the wind. My eBird checklist comments:

Probably the largest single concentration of Western Tanagers I have ever seen. This total (76) has to be an under count and I wouldn't be surprised to learn there were upwards of 200 birds. It became impossible to count them as they were flying in and out of trees apparently after bees. Some flying out of the park continuing north. Western Tanagers were everywhere but mainly in every Red Ironbark tree blooming with pink flowers and other flowering eucalyptus in the park. There was as an undetermined number in the tops of the Blue Gum eucalyptus trees along Preisker Lane which were also in bloom with dense white flowers. Tanagers were also observed in other places around the park in Monterey Pines, Western Sycamore, Brazilian Peppertrees, and in the oaks and alder trees.

There were warblers too but the blustery conditions made it difficult to ID them in the trees. They would simply disappear. Other interesting western migrants included an Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee, Bullock's Orioles, Black-headed Grosbeaks and some Vaux's Swifts.

The list:

Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

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Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)
 

Wow! That's a LOT of Western Tanagers! We saw five this morning in River Park in Lompoc, and I thought that was a lot!



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Lisa D Walker-Roseman,

Fort Bragg, CA (In Lompoc for the duration)


Rebecca Coulter
 

Wow, Jamie, what a thrilling experience. I had a hunch that tanagers might have moved overnight, as this morning at SBMNH I heard a half dozen or so—calling and singing—on the short  walk from the parking lot to my office. We may not have the astonishing numbers the Midwest is experiencing right now on overnight migration, but what we do have is fun to witness. 
Check out Birdcast for more info on real time migration prediction:


Rebecca Coulter 
SB

On Apr 29, 2022, at 4:21 PM, Jamie Chavez via groups.io <almiyi@...> wrote:


Hi all,

I birded Presker Park in Santa Maria this morning not expecting much because there was a strong Santa Ana wind from the NE and the trees were blowing around quite a bit. When I arrived I was dumbfounded by the shear number of Western Tanagers present. They were everywhere and no doubt driven down into the park at dawn due to the wind. My eBird checklist comments:

Probably the largest single concentration of Western Tanagers I have ever seen. This total (76) has to be an under count and I wouldn't be surprised to learn there were upwards of 200 birds. It became impossible to count them as they were flying in and out of trees apparently after bees. Some flying out of the park continuing north. Western Tanagers were everywhere but mainly in every Red Ironbark tree blooming with pink flowers and other flowering eucalyptus in the park. There was as an undetermined number in the tops of the Blue Gum eucalyptus trees along Preisker Lane which were also in bloom with dense white flowers. Tanagers were also observed in other places around the park in Monterey Pines, Western Sycamore, Brazilian Peppertrees, and in the oaks and alder trees.

There were warblers too but the blustery conditions made it difficult to ID them in the trees. They would simply disappear. Other interesting western migrants included an Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee, Bullock's Orioles, Black-headed Grosbeaks and some Vaux's Swifts.

The list:

Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

--
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA