searching for the hot pocket

Steven Gaulin

Inspired by Bradley Hacker's recent postings I went up the 154 early today. The wide pullout on the right (south) side of East Camino Cielo, about a mile east of the 154, was crazy-busy at 6:40 AM. Passerines (and some swifts) were washing through the small saddle there at the rate of 30-40 per minute; it was quite a spectacle in terms of numbers. But with the low light, the strong north wind, and the fact that a very small proportion of the birds settled at all, there was not much ID-ing to be done. WeKi were easy to identify in flight, and they were numerous, but warblers and vireos and ?? were not signing up to be identified. I tried to find a more favorable spot along the Painted Cave Road but failed.
I went back down the mountain and stopped at the San Marcos Foothills Preserve. Before I even stopped the car I heard multiple Lazuli Buntings singing. They were everywhere but surprising hard to see because the yellow mustard is so tall. 
For a comparison, my final stop was at the woodland west of the fee area at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Admittedly, it was 2 hours after my start on East Camino Cielo, but it took me almost 10 minutes to locate any probable migrant there (a nice male Western Tanager).
Are some patterns shaping up? Are there places where lots of migrants are moving through but don't stop, and different places that have many fewer migrants--the ones who are going to "tank-up" in our region for a few days before moving on?

Steven Gaulin
Santa Barbara