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Big Sycamore Canyon, Ventura County

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  • Don DesJardin
    Sorry, I thought this 09/27/01 message had also been posted to CALBIRDS. The Painted and American Redstart was still present this morning. Also present along
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2001
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      Sorry, I thought this 09/27/01 message had also been posted to
      CALBIRDS. The Painted and American Redstart was still present this
      morning. Also present along with the usual assortment of western
      warblers was a Tennessee Warbler. The Virgina's Warbler and
      Blue-headed Vireo were not seen up until I left the area at 10:30. All
      the birds were in a loose flock working the Sycamore Trees starting at
      the trail leading into the walkin/bicycle camping area. The creek bed
      can also be very active during the mid morning hours.


      Thursday, 09/27/01

      --------------------

      Don DesJardin and I saw 4 vagrants at Sycamore Canyon this morning. He
      got things rolling when he spotted a very active female American
      Redstart in the walnut trees at the north end of the parking lot.
      Around 10 am I got poor initial looks at a warbler that I almost
      passed off as an extremely drab Yellow Warbler that had been hanging
      around the walnut trees all week. However, the very plain undertail,
      lacking any tail spots, made me look again, and Don and I studied the
      bird, initially in bits and pieces, until it worked its way down the
      walnut tree into close, open view in nice light. Its narrow eye ring,
      buffy breast wash, yellow undertail coverts and totally gray flight
      feathers and coverts (well seen, without the slightest hint of green),
      told us we were looking at a rather drab Virginia's Warbler (fall
      female?).


      At about 10:15, we climbed down into the creek bed when I immediately
      ran right into a male Painted Redstart. This lovely bird was busy
      flycatching, totally oblivious to us, sometimes sallying to within 10
      feet of us. The bird was present for 30-45 minutes before
      disappearing. While watching the warbler, a vireo worked its way down
      the edge of the stream passing right by us. It was a Blue-headed
      Vireo, with very bright yellow flanks and wingbars, the sharp
      demarcation between its gray head, and nape/face even more obvious
      than the one that David Pereksta found in the Laguna tams earlier this
      year.


      We climbed out of the creek repeatedly while the redstart was around
      to see if any other birders were present, but didn't see anyone else
      we could share the bird with.


      Good Luck!


      Onik
    • Don DesJardin
      There was a good amount of bird movement this morning. Besides the normal assortment of western warblers, there were 3 American Redstart (1 male, 2 female) and
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 7, 2001
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        There was a good amount of bird movement this morning. Besides the normal
        assortment of western warblers, there were 3 American Redstart (1 male, 2
        female) and a Yellow-throated Vireo. The vireo was working insects in the
        low trees from campsite 50 through 55. The 1st year Summer Tanager, present
        all week, was also seen in the same area.
        San Buenaventura, California, USA
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