Santa Barbara Cyn area and New Cuyama

Mark Holmgren

A 2-day trip to the mountains off of Santa Barbara Cyn and in New Cuyama yielded some interesting birds.  The main motivation was to see if Pinyon Jays have found the Pinon Pine habitat in SB County.  I saw no PiJas and very few pines had any cones.


On 10 October on Cuyama Peak at dusk I heard and recorded the calls of Swainson’s Thrush in the chaparral. They were probably preparing for migration that night.  Pics of the habitat and recording are here:


This morning (11 Oct) Tinta Trailhead was very birdy. Here were 3 Cassin’s Finches. See:


Other birding stops in Dry Canyon were not productive.


Richardson Park in New Cuyama had a western Palm Warbler, and a bunch of sparrows.  See:


At the New Cuyama Wastewater Treatment Plant were 12 Least Sandpipers, 1 Dunlin (quite unusual in the Cuyama Valley), and Black-necked Stilt, also unusual. I was surprised to find a Green-winged Teal there, also very unusual in the Valley.  The Baird’s Sandpiper has apparently departed. For details and photos, see:


Mark Holmgren

Santa Barbara