Saturday south coast birding

Dave Compton

Today, I birded La Mesa Park and the Riviera Park area in Santa Barbara, and the LogMeIn complex off Hollister in western Goleta. The best I could come up with was a BLACKPOLL WARBLER that came to the Riviera Park reflecting pool at about 9:30am. 

I started at La Mesa Park, which is still pretty birdy, but had a poor variety of migrants, almost all of which were in lerpy eucs in the southern part of the park and east along Shoreline Dr., near Washington School. Other than Yellow Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers, and small groups of Vaux's Swifts flying east, there were almost no other migrants.

The variety was greater at Riviera Park, which also had lots of Yellows and Yellow-rumps, but also had the Blackpoll, a couple of Black-throated Grays, Wilson's and Orange-crowneds, and a Nashville spotted by Andrea and Mario. There were also a few Western Tanagers and single Black-headed Grosbeak, a species that has been strangely scarce this fall in the area. Overall, this area is still really birdy. Despite several people walking around the area quite a bit, I didn't hear of anyone seeing the Blackpoll, except for the one time at the reflecting pool/fountain.

At LogMeIn, the number of migrants has dropped in the past week, but there are still decent numbers in the central part of the complex, where there were Yellows, Wilson's, Townsend's, Orange-crowneds, and some others. Twice during my visit, I heard what sounded like a Pacific Wren, which would be an odd bird to get here. Since I heard the vocalizations 20 minutes apart in different parts of the complex, I suspect one was moving around, looking for suitable habitat. But I could never nail the bird down. I last heard the vocalization in the far northwest, in a low hedge that provided dense cover near the ground.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara