Date: 9/25/20 4:26 pm From: Florence Sanchez via groups.io <sanchezucsb11...> Subject: [sbcobirding] Regugio and bella Vista Open Space
I went to Bella Vista first to try to find the Warblers seen yesterday, but the fog had rolled in. As a result, light and visibility was poor and activity was minimal. I left without seeing either American Redstart or Black-and-White Warbler.
My next stop was Refugio where the fog was just rolling in. Soon light and contrast was poor here. Following Nick Lethaby and John Callender, I eventually got mediocre looks at both Lucy's and Tennessee Warblers, along with several more common species (see Johns eBird list). I checked the creek upstream from the park and apart from some common birds bathing at a point north of the freeway onramp, there wasn't much happening there.
Just on a whim, I walked a little way up the old Aniso bike-hike trail, which no longer connects with El Capitan SP because part of the trail collapsed along with a piece of the bluff. By the old interpretive sign, I spotted a small footpath that led to the edge of the bluff. There on the beach was a huge raptor that I knew had to be a Bald Eagle. Through binoculars, I could see that it was a near adult with some brownish streaks on the nearly white head. After a few minutes, it took off toward El Capitan and I could see the back still had some mottling from white feathers. I did not spot a wing tag.
By then there was better light and I eventually got better looks at both Tennessee and Lucy's Warblers before heading back to Bella Vista, now sunny. Several birders had been looking for the American Redstart without success, but we did turn up the Black and White Warbler in the trees along the little watercourse.