Here we have a Sage Thrasher. According to Phil Unitt’s Birds of San Diego County (1985) this bird is usually not seen until late February. But I believe that recent years have seen early arrivals. Terry Hunefeld reported them at Clark Dry Lake near Borrego Springs last week. So its safe to say that the arrival dates for this bird have gotten earlier. Sage Thrashers are though to be more closely related to Northern Mockingbirds than our other Thrashers. Both Thrashers and Mockingbirds are members of a family of birds called “mimids”
The same morning, as I was preoccupied with the thrasher, I heard the distinctive song of Scott’s Oriole in the desert juniper scrub . There were two males, a bright adult and a slightly greenish one. These birds could be migrants, or they could be birds that have wintered locally. I’ve seen Scott’s Orioles twice in town this fall and winter.
Hermit Thrushes have been regular at the swamp. These birds are winter residents.