Date: 6/11/18 7:30 pm
From: Florence Sanchez via Groups.Io <sanchezucsb11=<>
Subject: [sbcobirding] Kinevan Road June 11, 2018
This morning I walked the length of Kinevan Road from the junction with Stagecoach Road at the top to San Marcos Pass Road at the bottom, and then back again.  There was lots of bird activity even this late in the spring season.
I paid particular attention to the location where Mark Holmgren reported a Brown Creeper, but was not successful in finding one anywhere along the road today. (Par for the course for me on this road--I never am lucky for them there!). However, in this same area I had a nice family group of three Canyon Wrens (1 adult, two young), exhibiting the same behavior I saw from Rock Wrens on West Camino Cielo Road last Friday.  More on that later.
The most activity was in the vicinity of the first bridge, where in addition to the Wrens, I had 2-3 Yellow Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, 2 Warbling Vireos, a newly fledged House Wren, Black-headed Grosbeaks flycatching, Ash-throated Flycatchers (including one young bird), a Steller's Jay, Purple Finches, a singing Robin, and also common birds of the chaparral.  The activity continued down the road, though not as intensely.  I came across a family group of Juncos; individual Downy, Hairy, and Nuttall's Woodpeckers; more Wrens;  also Hutton's Vireos, Pacific slope Flycatchers, additional warblers, White-breasted Nuthatch, etc.
The best bird of the morning was a Hermit Thrush feeding on the road and roadside ahead of me.  The roadside markers have numbers hand-painted on them; this was about 100' past marker 8.  The bird was pretty actively foraging, at times flying up into a group of 4 cypress-type trees with mostly bare trunks that are growing at roadside and in the creek, and then back down onto the road.  Finally it flew across the road into the oak forest on the north-facing slope and I lost it.  This was on the way down.  On the way back, I looked for the bird again and did not see it; however up the road a bit, I heard a Hermit Thrush begin to sing in the forest above me.  I stopped opposite the point the sound seemed to be coming from (marker #12) and listened for about 5 minutes before continuing back up the road.  I heard the bird continuing to sing behind me for several more minutes.  Mark had reported hearing one on this road a few days prior; I suspect this was the same bird.  Not enough info yet to determine if nesting is taking place, but it was wonderful to hear that beautiful song.
After birding Kinevan, I drove to the location where Mark reported having a Rose-breasted Grosbeak a couple of weeks ago.  It's easy to find, a little  beyond the intersection with Painted Cave Road.  The beehives were much in evidence, but there was not activity in the eucalyptus trees at mid-morning.
I mentioned the wren behavior because I got no response to my earlier question re: Rock Wrens after finding a group exhibiting the same family group activity I saw this morning with Canyon Wrens:  "Do they breed here (Santa Ynez Mountains)?"  BOSB indicates that breeding in the foothills west of Goleta might be taking place but overlooked due to lack of access.  West Camino Cielo is higher than the foothills, but it's in the same area.  I can find no information on whether or not Rock Wrens are "fire followers," but the more open rocky hillsides we have now perhaps are more appealing as nest sites?
Florence Sanchez

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