Sometimes when I’m birdwatching Fifteen months ago the hills…

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Sometimes when I’m birdwatching

Fifteen months ago the hills above Carpinteria burned. Last Sunday I hiked up the Franklin Trail before dawn; this is what it looked like.

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itsolivia:Mountain QuailGouache on 10×14” hot pressOlivia…

Thursday, April 5th, 2018


Mountain Quail
Gouache on 10×14” hot press
Olivia Warnecke / 2012


I’d tried for Mountain Quail twice, driving up to Figueroa Mountain and walking appropriate roads listening. But it was too windy, or I was there too late, or hunters shot out the covey eBirders had reported too widely (!). And Figueroa Mountain is kind of a haul from where I live, so I was only able to get there if I was willing to use a full day for antisocial birding activity.

But now that Spring has sprung and the male Mountain Quails are crowing at the crack of dawn they’re easier to find, and local eBirders have been reporting them pretty reliably from La Cumbre Peak above Santa Barbara. So I set my alarm for 4:30 and hauled myself up to La Cumbre Peak just as it was starting to get light. And… yup. We’ve got quails. (The super-cool sound of them calling, at least. Which is good enough to count them, given how distinctive their voices are.) 😀

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