recent birding reports

Florence Sanchez

I am behind on posting so please pardon the lack of timeliness on these reports.  

Last Friday, I birded East Camino Cielo, Starting at La Cumbre Peak a little before 7 a.m.  There was a fair amount of activity by chaparral birds, but the only montane species around were a Steller's Jay and Calling Mountain quail from the slope to the east.  No sign of an Olive-sided flycatcher.  At the communications station down the road, there was little to report.  The place was overrun with campers, even though it's not a designated campground.

I then moved down the road a couple of miles to a spot where I've been watching the after-fire revegetation.  There was a fair amount of Large-flowered Phacelia in bloom, but apart from a couple of Zygadene Lilies, I could not find any other fire-followers.  Chaparral shrubs such as Chamise, Bush Poppy, and Manzanita are resprouting nicely.  Bird activity was almost nil.  A Rufous-crowned Sparrow sang briefly above the road.

I then had time for a brief stop at Kinevan Road, which was popping with lots of bird activity.  Warbling Vireos, Yellow Warblers, 1 Wilson's Warbler and 3 Cassin's Vireos were some of the highlights.  I listened intently for a Hermit Thrush but did not hear one while I was there.  (Glad that Dave heard on Sunday!). There was no sign or sound of Pine Siskins at the house with feeders--it appears they had finally departed.

Saturday, I got permission from the Botanic Garden to do the annual Migration survey even though the Garden is closed.  I am grateful for the assistance of Scot Pipkin (Director of Education) and Research Associate Casey Richert.  I was not able to scout in advance this year, so having observers in different parts of the Garden early in the morning helped with better coverage.  The low ceiling meant we had a foggy start but we did quite well over all.  Preliminary count is 45 species, which is good for that kind of weather.  Warblers were pretty much a bust (only Yellow and Orange-crowned) but we had 4 species of Hummingbirds, 5 of Woodpeckers, several Warbling Vireos, 2 Swainson's Thrushes, and 2 owls heard.

Yesterday, I went to Goleta Slough about 2:30 to see if I could turn up the Greater Scaup.  It did not show up for me, though I see it was seen earlier and later.  However, I got a nice show of Herons and Egrets, including 2 Yellow-crowned Night herons near the Night-heron roosting spot.  One was a bird just starting to slip into adult plumage.  The back was pretty solid brown instead of spotted, and the head was just beginning to get a blond streak.  The other bird was in near adult plumage.