A contopus species flycatcher popped up at Maria Ygnacio Creek in Goleta,
Santa Barbara County, today that is either a WESTERN or an EASTERN
WOOD-PEWEE. The bird seems to show some characteristics suggesting both
(nearly all dark lower mandible and grayish color above suggesting Western,
rather pale below and with prominent whitish wingbars suggesting Eastern).
Two observers heard it vocalize twice. At least one of the observers thought
the vocalization suggested Eastern, but it's still inconclusive. Either
species would be pretty amazing this time of year.
Hopefully, it'll stay around long enough for someone to get videotape or an
audio recording. I'll post it if the bird is seen again and especially if
it's ID'd to species.
If you want to look for the bird, exit U.S. 101 in Goleta at Patterson Ave.
and go south (toward the ocean). Keep going past the light at Hollister Ave.
and continue south another three quarters of a mile or so until you come to
a bike path crossing and a bridge over a creek. Park in the wide turnout
just before the creek (if you make it to the leftward bend in the road,
you've gone too far). Walk to the east side of the road via the bike path
and walk over the little wooden bike bridge. Two creeks come together here.
The bird was found in the creek that runs under the bike bridge and
parallels the road, NOT the one that runs under the road. The bird was first
found about 150 yds upstream, where a single sycamore stands among the
willows on the east bank of the creek. Later, it was followed down to the
area around the bike bridge.
Also in the area in the last couple of days have been a a PLUMBEOUS VIREO
and BLACK-THROATED GREEN, Black-and-White, Palm, Black-throated Gray, and
Wilson's Warblers, and two Yellow Warblers. The Black-throated Green was
further north, near where you come to the houses, but was not seen today.
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