Archive for May, 2018

I’m thinking some kind of epiphyte? I’ll ask Andrea, the head of…

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

I’m thinking some kind of epiphyte? I’ll ask Andrea, the head of the marsh docent program and local-botanical-knowledge badass, the next time I see her.

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debunkshy: Willow Flycatcher The Arb, WI, 5-31-17 #264This is a…

Sunday, May 20th, 2018


Willow Flycatcher

The Arb, WI, 5-31-17


This is a better view than I had; the one I saw (after my birdy marathon up around East Pinery Road and the Davy Brown Trail, when I stopped to check out the birds along Cachuma Creek) was in the top of a tree, so all I saw was the tail pumping and the whitish undertail coverts. But the pumping tail was enough to make it an empid, and call it was making was enough to make it a WIFL. 😀

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Monday, May 14th, 2018


Black Swift (Cypseloides niger)


I was feeling kind of run down yesterday afternoon; a lot of pollen in the air and my allergies have been kicking in from all the time I’ve been spending in sparrow habitat. Then I got a text from Eric: “Seems like a good swift day. Eight Black over Franklin Trail.”

That was all the incentive I needed. Ninety minutes later, a little out of breath, I met up with Eric on his way back down and we checked out a total (while I was there) of 10 Black Swifts migrating north over the Santa Ynez mountains. Such awesome birds; more than any other (except I guess maybe some long-distance pelagics like albatrosses) they’re creatures wholly of the air, always flying. I’d seen White-throated and Vaux’s Swifts before, but this was my first time ever seeing their larger cousins.

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Black-chinned Sparrow (Spizella atrogularis)Photo by Flickr user…

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Black-chinned Sparrow (Spizella atrogularis)

Photo by Flickr user Tom Benson


Brad Hacker recently reported hearing some of these up on West Camino Cielo near Refugio Pass, so this morning I got up there as the sun was rising and sure enough; I was barely out of my car when I heard the bird’s distinctive song – until now something I’d only heard in recordings.

I wasn’t able to see the bird, but the song is distinctive enough that I’m fine with counting it.

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birdsandbirds: MacGillivray’s Warbler (Quite grumpy looking) H.J…

Friday, May 4th, 2018


MacGillivray’s Warbler

(Quite grumpy looking)

H.J Andrews Experimental Forest, OR


You remember my friend Eric? The same one helped me see my county-year Swainson’s Thrush and Calliope Hummingbird? Today around noon he texted me: “You don’t still need macgillivray’s do you?”

Yeah, actually, I did. People have been reporting them all over. Not a lot of them, just 1s and 2s in the appropriate brushy stream-side habitat. I’ve been looking, sifting through lots of Common Yellowthroats and Wilson’s Warblers, but so far no luck.

Anyway, I headed to the 8th Street bridge where Eric had just seen three of them, and shortly thereafter he refound one of them for me. Thanks Eric!

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