James (in Ohio):
Good questions, with several places worth sleuthing to find your elusive, yet common wood-warbler species.
Let's focus on Marin Co.* where I live and conduct regular birding tours (* = I live 20 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge).
First, Hermit Warbler typically nest in conifer trees such as Douglas Fir and Coastal Redwood.
Hence, these habitats are plentiful in Marin Co. (and n. CA), but the best spot I pursue for hearing AND seeing Hermit Warbler: Bolinas-Fairfax Road.
It begins in Fairfax (in central Marin Co.) and winds through beautiful, solitude-filled habitat toward the coast where it ends near Bolinas, CA.
Approximately 2 miles after the golf course on this road (as you ascend it from Fairfax), Douglas Fir habitat becomes thicker, thus attracting Hermit Warbler.
As for Black-throated Gray Warbler, I usually detect this common wood-warbler in dry forested habitat where major expanses of dense Madrone, Coast Live Oak, and CA Bay trees grow, along with other co-dominant species.
A good venue for this species: Cascade Canyon near Fairfax....or, again, Bolinas-Fairfax Road within the same Douglas Fir areas.
Feel free to let me know if you have other questions.
Always glad to help.
My birding tours to the aforementioned areas in 2019 to date yielded several views of these two wood-warbler species, I'm happy to report (and remember.....as they are two of my FAVORITE wood-warbler species).
Regards, Daniel Edelstein
College Instructor (Merritt College)
Certified Wildlife Biologist Asc.
(hosts my resume)
Yes, I saw on in Santa Cruz once....think it was 2016. Jonnie.
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