Date: 8/8/17 11:08 am
From: Florence Sanchez <sanchezucsb11...> [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply...>
Subject: [sbcobirding] La Cumbre Peak Aug. 7
I hiked Las Cumbre Peak from the Peak to the communications station and back Monday morning.  It was warm (74 degrees at 8:30) but the temperature was not oppressive.  What were awful were the flies!  Worst I'ver encountered so far this summer.  Bird activity was low, but I did have a few things of interest: -- A Roadrunner at the Peak parking area when I arrived.  It continued walking down the road for 100 yards or so before meandering into the brush.  I've never had one at this location before.
 -- A continuing Steller's Jay in the pines
 -- A family of House Wrens:  two adults, 3 juveniles
 -- A juvenile Red-Shafted Flicker, similar to those Joan and I spotted on Reyes Peak last week
Canyon Wren, Wrentit, Bushtits, California Scrub Jay, California Thrasher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and fly-over Black Phoebe were also seen at the peak.
The communications station was even quieter than the Peak, with 1 Junco and the usual Towhees, Wrentit, and Scrub Jay.
Most flowers are done. A few patches of California Fuchsia are still blooming.  The introduced invasive Star Thistle was also in bloom all along the road edges.  Chamise flowers have turned to deep russet, and the buckwheats are in various stages of turning brown.  I also found a purple-flowered plant in full bloom that I think might be a species of Monardella, but I'm not sure which one if that is the case.
The scar of the Whittier fire to the west was very much in view.  A lot of habitat burned in that fire, so I'll be curious how this affects bird activity in the unburned areas over the next few months.
Florence Sanchez

 
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