The Fall migration continues, and some of the best birds are being seen along the coast. On Saturday in the Tijuana River Valley a friend found a juvenile/female type Summer Tanager. These guys are becoming more common along the coast in Fall and Winter. I’d not seen one in Jacumba since 2006 when I found a nesting pair with chicks at the park-like area next to the remains of the bathhouse in June. A rare breeding record for this bird in the county.
This morning while birding in the same spot as in 2006 I thought I heard the pit-tuk call of the tanager, and after a few minutes I stumbled into this incandescent beauty. Females and juveniles are yellowish. In the Spring the sub-adult males begin to get their full adult color and appear a blotchy yellow and red.
It is common for Summer Tanagers to spend the winter in coastal San Diego. Maybe this guy will hang around until the Spring. This species eats berries and bugs, especially bees. In some parts of the country it is called the “bee bird.”
Also seen today were both of our common sapsuckers, the Red-breasted and a first-of-season Red-naped, a pair of Warbling vireos, about 6 Wilson’s warblers, 4 Yellow warblers and 2 Pacific-slope flycatchers.
A pair of Harris’s hawks were roosting in the trees across from the glider port. I had not seen any of this family since September 21.
A relatively tame White-breasted Nuthatch has been visiting my feeders and caching seeds in the cracks in the bark of my cottonwood tree.