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A windy but fabulous day of birding in Santa Cruz County, with some of our most wanted species.
Ruby Rd, Calabasas Campground Overlook:
A quick stop at the roadside produced a singing BOTTERI’S SPARROW.
Another quick roadside stop gave us RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW.
Peña Blanca Canyon:
We only found 36 species in four hours in the canyon, but it was quality over quantity. The highlight was great views of a pair of ELEGANT TROGONS.
Also in the canyon, GRAY HAWK, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, DUSKY-CAPPED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, HUTTON’S and WARBLING VIREOS, LUCY’S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY and WILSON’S WARBLERS, HEPATIC and SUMMER TANAGERS, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, LAZULI BUNTING, and SCOTT’S ORIOLE.
This is a great canyon to watch butterflies, and today was no exception.
Peña Blanca Lake:
We’d hoped to see Common Black Hawk in a brief look over the lake, but instead, we found GRAY and ZONE-TAILED HAWKS, ROCK and CANYON WRENS, LUCY’S, YELLOW, ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED and WILSON’S WARBLERS, and LAZULI BUNTING.
I also found a new butterfly, a rather nice SQUARE-SPOTTED BLUE.
Ruby Rd, Yank’s Canyon Overlook:
Another stop at the side of Ruby Rd provided us with nice views of a bright ‘AZURE’ EASTERN BLUEBIRD.
Confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon:
Again, it was surprisingly easy to find presumably the same FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW just north of the road junction. I wonder if this bird is thinking of nesting earlier than usual.
A pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS was in the usual spot among the hackberry trees.
Also in the gulch, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, RUFOUS-WINGED, BLACK-THROATED and RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS, and SUMMER TANAGER, as well as a pair of ANTELOPE JACKRABBITS nearby.
It was late afternoon by the time we arrived. We couldn’t detect a Thick-billed Kingbird but they may be back at this regular site. We did encounter NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, LUCY’S, YELLOW, and ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SUMMER TANAGER, and HOODED ORIOLE.