Monthly Archives: August 2014

Magnolia Warbler 8-21-14

 

Magnolia Warbler 8-23-14

Magnolia Warbler 8-23-14 at the swamp

Magnolia Warbler 8-23-14

Magnolia Warbler 8-23-14

Magnolia Warbler at the Swamp 8-21-14

Magnolia Warbler at the Swamp 8-21-14

This morning (8-21-14) I stumbled across a rare and very early Fall migrant –  a Magnolia Warbler.  The previous earliest date for this bird in San Diego is September 5. This is an eastern warbler which is considered a vagrant in Southern California.

Blue Grosbeak female with grasshopper ready to be fed to begging juvenile

Blue Grosbeak female with grasshopper ready to be fed to begging juvenile

Western Tanager female

Western Tanager female-looking.  Could be a male.  Note a slight amount of red around the beak.

Chipping Sparrow 8-16-14

Chipping Sparrow 8-16-14

A fall migrant chipping sparrow showed up at my feeders on 8-16-14. The first migrant sparrow of the Fall.

Other recent sightings follow.

Willow Flycatcher

Willow Flycatcher

This species, and other Empidonax flycatchers are difficult to distinguish.  This might be a more-common Western-wood Pewee, but the color and primary projection look more like a Willow fly.

Blue Grosbeak - female type

Blue Grosbeak – female type

Anna's Hummingbird - adult male

Anna’s Hummingbird – adult male

Early Fall Migration 8-8-14

Willow Flycatcher 8-8-14

Willow Flycatcher 8-8-14

Fall migration is well under way, with all the expected birds showing up when expected.  Above, a willow flycatcher.

Wilson’s warbler, warbling vireo, orange-crowned warbler, lazuli bunting, Nashville warbler, western tanager and black-chinned hummingbird have all shown up. The next few weeks should herald the rest of our western warblers: Townsends, black-throated gray, MacGillvirays, yellow-rumped and hermit. Yellow warblers have been present all summer, likely raised a brood.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  8-8-14

Black-chinned Hummingbird 8-8-14

Some of our summer birds will linger for a while. Scott’s and Bullock’s orioles are getting scarce, and adult males seem to have all left.  Few, if any adult male hooded orioles remain, while female and juvenile birds are still common.  There are still male and female black-headed grosbeaks and blue grosbeaks.

Immature hooded oriole, male 8-8-124

Immature hooded oriole, male 8-8-14

Black Phoebe, 8-8-14

Black Phoebe, 8-8-14

Black Phoebe 8-8-14

Black Phoebe 8-8-14

Budgerigar 8-8-14

Budgerigar 8-8-14

The little parakeet showed up on August 2.  There is a budgie breeder in town, and this is the third apparent escapee I’ve had at my feeder.  The bird seems well integrated into the local flock of house sparrows.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting

Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo

 

Black Vulture – Second County Record

Black Vulture 8-3-14.  This is only the second record for this species in the county.

Black Vulture 8-3-14. This is only the second record for this species in the county.

Sunday afternoon, after the monsoon had blown out of town, I noticed an odd looking vulture  overhead. I grabbed my binoculars and then my camera and got some crappy photos. But they were enough for me to ID a very rare (in San Diego County) black vulture.  This species is a close relative of the common turkey vulture, the red-headed brown bird that is often seen sunning itself on utility poles in the early morning.

 

The main difference between turkey vultures (TVs) and Black vultures (BVs), are that TVs have red heads and a two-toned underwing pattern.  BVs have black heads and lack the two-toned appearance.  Also, the “fingers” at the ends of the wings on BVs are white or silver.

 

Alas, the black vulture flew off to the northwest, unlikely to be seen again.  But who knows?

Watch the sky.

Black Vulture 8-3-14

Black Vulture 8-3-14

Also seen recently……

Pacific-slope Flycatcher 8-4-14

Pacific-slope Flycatcher 8-4-14

An early migrant flycatcher at the swamp.

Lazuli Bunting 8-4-14

Lazuli Bunting 8-4-14

An adult male Lazuli Bunting seen in the “sunflower lot” on the  north side of Seely Ave.  Another early migrant.

Ash-throated Flycatcher 8-4-14

Ash-throated Flycatcher 8-4-14

The ash-throated fly is a common summer resident and breeding species.

Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo

A common fall migrant at the swamp, usually seen in pairs or small flocks.