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SLO/N/L Part 2: Los Padres NF

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! I suppose I should include SBAR in the subject line because the last two days were actually birded in Santa Barbara County, and added a whole mess to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 10, 2006
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      Hi, all!

      I suppose I should include SBAR in the subject line because the last two
      days were actually birded in Santa Barbara County, and added a whole mess to my
      county list in the process! On the way to Buttonwillow I decided to explore
      some of the roads going up into Los Padres NF from the Cuyama Highway (SR
      166). Even cutting over the hill from Lompoc was glorious; what a view!

      The first forest access I came to was Sierra Madre Road and stopped every
      half mile for ten miles, and THAT was spectacular! It's a terrific graded dirt
      road (nice and wide in several spots) starting off in a little pasture with
      a bunch of Red-winged Blackbirds and a couple of curious horses. Then it
      quickly rises into an oak woodland of some kind (wasn't live oak, for sure; some
      deciduous variety) where the normal oak-loving fare showed up. Further up
      into the chaparral I added the towhees and finally started getting some
      sparrows for the trip; Golden-crowned was actually more numerous than the Whiteys,
      and I actually saw quite a few adults! A couple of Rufous-crowned Sparrows
      were a nice addition, along with a curious Fox Sparrow. It was quite breezy
      in spots, and at one stop a Sharp-shinned Hawk kind of floated along the
      ridge! A sharp "pik" alerted me to two female Purple Finches high in the tree.
      Just past the microwave (?) towers there was actually a patch of pine forest,
      and I guess the mountain I was on is actually called Miranda Pine Mountain
      according to the AAA map; it reminded me of Palomar Divide Road in San Diego
      County where you can see the view on both sides of the ridge! Aside from the
      haze, the view down into the Cuyama Valley was absolute splendor!

      Turned around shortly after that (the whole road looks to be about 30 miles
      long), and tried out Cottonwood Canyon Road next. This was a totally
      different feel, as it started out in open rangeland (private property), but the
      quality of birds couldn't be beat: there were several Horned Larks bouncing
      around that sounded a bit different than ours in San Diego (different race
      perhaps?), along with American Pipits. But an incoming Prairie Falcon stole the
      show: he landed on a dead (or dormant) tree across the highway, and his yellow
      legs shone like neon! More open country birds showed up as I climbed,
      including Lark Sparrow, Loggerhead Shrike, and my most favorite California bird, the
      Yellow-billed Magpie! It was a great raptor road, as in addition to the
      Prairie Falcon, a Merlin shot past and got a treeful of House Finches all
      excited, and a Red-tailed Hawk circled low over my head as if to show off his
      mammalian prize! Once close to the creek (which is actually getting into Bates
      Canyon, I guess, according to the national forest sign) added American
      Goldfinch, and on up the dirt road there was more luscious forest at and past the
      primitive campground, but it was getting late and I had to turn back. Kept
      leapfrogging with another Subaru-driving couple who were specifically looking for
      Golden Eagles; didn't see any, but that sure looked like a good place for
      them (I had been keeping my eyes peeled for condors, too, but nada). On the
      way out was the icing on the cake: a lovely Ferruginous Hawk showing off at all

      Headed in to Buttonwillow for the night. I tried updating the website but
      the "high speed internet" connection here at the motel is anything but, and my
      server timed out on me, so maybe tomorrow... Bird List (those in CAPS are
      new for the trip):

      AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      CINNAMON TEAL Anas cyanoptera
      SHARP-SHINNED HAWK Accipiter striatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      FERRUGINOUS HAWK Buteo regalis
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      MERLIN Falco columbarius
      PRAIRIE FALCON Falco mexicanus
      CALIFORNIA QUAIL Callipepla californica
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Rock Pigeon Columba livia
      EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE Streptopelia decaocto
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      NORTHERN FLICKER Colaptes auratus
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      HORNED LARK Eremophila alpestris
      AMERICAN PIPIT Anthus rubescens
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
      PHAINOPEPLA Phainopepla nitens
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      CALIFORNIA THRASHER Toxostoma redivivum
      WESTERN BLUEBIRD Sialia mexicana
      WRENTIT Chamaea fasciata
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      OAK TITMOUSE Baeolophus inornatus
      WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH Sitta carolinensis
      LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE Lanius ludovicianus
      WESTERN SCRUB JAY Aphelocoma californica
      YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIE Pica nuttalli
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      HUTTON’S VIREO Vireo huttoni
      PURPLE FINCH Carpodacus purpureus
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      AMERICAN GOLDFINCH Carduelis tristis
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      SPOTTED TOWHEE Pipilo maculatus
      CALIFORNIA TOWHEE Pipilo crissalis
      RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW Aimophila ruficeps
      LARK SPARROW Chondestes grammacus
      FOX SPARROW Passerella iliaca
      WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW Zonotrichia leucophrys
      GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW Zonotrichia atricapilla
      DARK-EYED JUNCO Junco hyemalis
      RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD Agelaius phoeniceus
      WESTERN MEADOWLARK Sturnella neglecta
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
      BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD Molothrus ater

      58 SPECIES
      So far: 74 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA
      _www.miriameaglemon.com_ (http://www.miriameaglemon.com)

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