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Refugio Canyon

Nick Lethaby
 

All,

I spent almost 4 hours this AM reaching up to the ridge top. My experience near the ridge top was that the birds, although present, were too dispersed in all the oaks there to be easy to see.

My usual mid-canyon spot seemed to indicate moderate numbers of migrants, that included a cooperative Hammond's and the usual Hermit/Nashville/BT Gray collection. I checked out the sharp bend just above the circle BarB Ranch that Linus had luck at. I found an oak there that was full of warblers and Warbling Vireos. In the upper canyon below Circle BarB, I had a Cassin's Vireo and Lazuli Bunting, as well as more warblers and Warbling Vireos. Ash-throated Flycatchers were conspicuously present for the first time for me this spring.

Surprisingly, I failed to hear or see a single BH Grosbeak or tanager and just heard a single Bullock's Oriole! It has also been interesting to note the complete absence of migrant hummers in Refugio this spring compared to the suburbs with their exotic plantings and feeders.

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Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Mobile: 805 284 6200
Work: 805 562 5106

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Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Rebecca Coulter
 

Nick, Brad, and all,
Really interesting about the scarce Bullock’s Oriole, BH Grosbeak and Western Tanager at higher elevations on Refugio—they were the most numerous migrants early this morning (8ish) at San Jose Creek around the Berkeley bike bridge. Fair numbers of Nashville Warbler, too, and a definite uptick in Ash-throated Flycatcher and Black-throated Gray Warbler. By contrast, no Hermit Warbler at all that I could find, and only one singing Warbling Vireo. Almost no hummingbird activity in the bottlebrushes, perhaps too early in the day even though it was already sunny.

Rebecca Coulter
SB

On Apr 19, 2020, at 2:03 PM, Nick Lethaby <nlethaby@...> wrote:

All,

I spent almost 4 hours this AM reaching up to the ridge top. My experience near the ridge top was that the birds, although present, were too dispersed in all the oaks there to be easy to see.

My usual mid-canyon spot seemed to indicate moderate numbers of migrants, that included a cooperative Hammond's and the usual Hermit/Nashville/BT Gray collection. I checked out the sharp bend just above the circle BarB Ranch that Linus had luck at. I found an oak there that was full of warblers and Warbling Vireos. In the upper canyon below Circle BarB, I had a Cassin's Vireo and Lazuli Bunting, as well as more warblers and Warbling Vireos. Ash-throated Flycatchers were conspicuously present for the first time for me this spring.

Surprisingly, I failed to hear or see a single BH Grosbeak or tanager and just heard a single Bullock's Oriole! It has also been interesting to note the complete absence of migrant hummers in Refugio this spring compared to the suburbs with their exotic plantings and feeders.

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Mobile: 805 284 6200
Work: 805 562 5106

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Nick Lethaby
 

All,

Pretty decent number of migrants mid-canyon this am including a chat along with all the usual suspects. No tanagers and only one Grosbeak.

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Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Nick Lethaby
 

All,

This morning, I got to Refugio before sunrise. After checking the area around the first creek crossing, I headed up to the sharp bend immediately above the Circle BarB ranch where I had had some success in an oak tree on an earlier visit. I was hoping to catch some of the up-slope movement Wes and Brad have reported higher up the canyon. It was immediately apparent that a low stream of migrants was moving up canyon through the sycamores in the creek below. I then noticed many were also moving a little further up the slope. Since I wasn't getting good looks at the birds flying into the close oak, I walked up the road towards a group of small oaks. As I approached I could see a constant stream of birds passing through them. Although most birds passed too quickly to see well, I was still able to identify dozens of birds here as likely a few hundred passed by in the next hour. Walking another 300 yards up the road through open sage and a few scattered oaks proved good for sparrows and Lazuli Buntings. After this I went back down and checked my usual mid canyon spot, meeting Adrian and Pam in the process. There were still reasonable numbers of migrants around there.

Species highlights were 4 Macgilivray's Warblers and 3 Hammond's Flycatchers (both species seen at all three stops), 4 Chipping Sparrows, Swainson's Thrush, and a Yellow-breasted Chat.

Full list can seen at the link below.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S67630656  

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Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Mobile: 805 284 6200
Work: 805 562 5106

--
Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA