We had a very mild winter and now a warm, windy, even hot Spring. The numbers of warblers, vireos and buntings is waning, but a few new birds are lingering. The Swainson’s thrush is a relatively common migrant and unusual breeding species in San Diego County. Large numbers (200+) were noted at Point Loma on one particularly active morning.
Grosbeak numbers have declined, but are still seen in multiples. Western tanagers are still plentiful. Black-chinned hummers are scarce while Costa’s are in my yard most of the day. The last selasphorus hummer was a Rufous on 5-8-14.
Orioles, especially, are still around in good numbers. As quickly as I refill the jelly feeder, all three species of our orioles descend. The Scott’s seem to be on the top of the pecking order. Scott’s, Bullock’s and hooded orioles are local breeding species, and they should be around all Summer. Some of the Scott’s are year-round residents in that they can be found year-round in Jacumba. Whether we’re seeing the same exact bird in January as in August I don’t know. Jacumba is not far north of the Scott’s orioles wintering range, and they also winter in Borrego.
On the 17th I I found a dark-lored white-crowned sparrow in my yard, a very striking bird. We have hoards of the more common white-lored version of the species from late September until the beginnings of May. The later migrants are usually the dark-lored version.