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Scaly-breasted Munias Ocean Park Lompoc


Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)
 

Hi all!

I had never seen Scaly-breasted Munias in the wild until today. There were
a flock of them near the bathrooms along the railroad tracks in some
bushes. I at first glance thought they were House Finches until I got my
camera on them.

How common are they on the central coast? I have been in Lompoc for two
months now and haven't seen them out there before.

Lisa D Walker-Roseman,
Fort Bragg, CA (visiting Lompoc through November)


--
Lisa D Walker-Roseman,

Fort Bragg, CA (visiting Lompoc through November)


Jeff Lawton
 

We see them a couple times a year here in Santa Barbara. The tree will start shaking with activity and you can see the little tiny birds popping around inside. They show up all at once and leave just as quickly. Very pretty birds. I prefer the common name, nutmeg mannikin. The official name sounds like a sick bird!

Jeff

-----Original Message-----
From: main@sbcobirding.groups.io <main@sbcobirding.groups.io> On Behalf Of Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:31 AM
To: Sbcobirding <sbcobirding@groups.io>
Subject: [sbcobirding] Scaly-breasted Munias Ocean Park Lompoc

Hi all!

I had never seen Scaly-breasted Munias in the wild until today. There were a flock of them near the bathrooms along the railroad tracks in some bushes. I at first glance thought they were House Finches until I got my camera on them.

How common are they on the central coast? I have been in Lompoc for two months now and haven't seen them out there before.

Lisa D Walker-Roseman,
Fort Bragg, CA (visiting Lompoc through November)


--
Lisa D Walker-Roseman,

Fort Bragg, CA (visiting Lompoc through November)


John Callender
 

A great resource for questions like this is Paul Lehman's book, The Birds of Santa Barbara County. The latest edition can be obtained here:

http://sbcobirding.com/lehmanbosbc.html

In the latest edition (June 2020) he describes the increasing occurrence of Scaly-breasted Munia along the county's south coast starting around 2000. (I see or hear them frequently these days when birding near Carpinteria.) Of the north coast, including the area of Ocean Beach Park, he writes:

> Until late 2014, munias were still thought absent from the North Coast, even though appropriate habitat exists and the species was found locally to the north in San Luis Obispo County. Finally, on 26 October 2014, 2 were found in Santa Maria. The high count in the Santa Maria Valley was only up to 4 present at Jim May Park in Santa Maria from 9 September–14+ November 2015 until 27 were seen in Santa Maria 25 November 2019. Farther south, 5 birds were in Vandenberg Village 5 January 2015, and the first record for the Santa Ynez River mouth area came on 31 October 2015 (4).

John Callender
Carpinteria