One More to Go

One of my stated 2016 goals from a birding perspective was to get the Elyria Canyon Park bird list to at least 100 species. As of this morning, the bird list for the park stands at 99. Because of adverse weather conditions in the San Bernardino Mountains this morning, I had to cancel a planned survey there and, instead, spent my morning walking in the park. I heard a Yellow-breasted Chat singing from somewhere pretty early on. As I got closer to it, I pulled my phone out and shot a video to get documentation of the singing. The bird continued carrying on until I was close enough to get good photos. One of the better ones is the featured image for this post.


Yellow-breasted Chat is a California Bird Species of Special Concern, Priority 31. While this species is primarily associated with brushy riparian habitats, and there is no riparian habitat in Elyria Canyon, I had always thought this species could occur here because the structure of the habitat in the area where it occurred in the park (centered around the red barn) is similar to typical chat habitat. Therefore, I expected it would occur at some point in migration, as it did today. Like most such occurrences, it was just a matter of someone that would recognize the species being present when it showed up.

Also of note this morning was a flock of at least 60 Cedar Waxwings foraging on the remnant toyon berries on the southern edge of the park. They weren’t super cooperative, but I got a few decent photographs.



  1.  Shuford, W. D., and Gardali, T., editors. 2008. California Bird Species of Special Concern: A ranked assessment of species, subspecies, and distinct populations of birds of immediate conservation concern in California. Studies of Western Birds 1. Western Field Ornithologists, Camarillo, California, and California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento.


Published by marcuscengland

I am a wildlife biologist, artist, photographer, writer, and sometimes trail ultrarunner based in southern California.

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