The spring here at Deer Canyon, Arroyo Grande has
thus far been very, very slow.
S-L-O-W. Apart from swallows and a mini-blizzard of VAUX'S SWIFTS
on the 26th, the last couple weeks of fog and/or low clouds with
heavy ocean haze/onshore influence have produced very, very few
western migrants here. Did I mention it has been slow?
Early morning flights are typically best between about 6:30 and
8AM, but although yesterday morning's sunshine and clear weather
was encouraging but it was perfectly still in the early morning
hours. This meant that any migrants still in the air were not
hugging the terrain for shelter from headwinds as they moved
I awoke this morning (Wed) to another clear morning accompanied by
a slight NE breeze. Given the conditions and the late April date
these conditions predicted at least a light visible morning
Numbers were certainly not high, and migrants moving northward
over the canyon were only occasional appearances--but at least
there were migrants visible. I suspect that anyone birding
riparian canyons this morning would have had decent migrant
numbers. I was on the terrace by 6:25, birding consistently with
bins and 'scope until 8am.
One pair of (aging) eyes does not cover 180 degrees of view highly
efficiently, but the species and numbers below give a decent
sample of today's morning flight. Only fly-by migrants are
listed, I didn't attempt to ID distant swallows in flocks:
SWIFT 4; WESTERN
KINGBIRD 3; TREE
unidentified swallow 60; BLACK-THROATED
GRAY WARBLER 1;
WARBLER 2; warbler (sp.) 15; WESTERN
SPARROW 4 (lingering);
ORIOLE 2. Unidentified distant passerine 45.
Tomorrow morning's stronger predicted breeze from the NE coupled
with clear conditions looks like it could be a better morning