Magnolia Warbler 8-23-14 at the swamp
Magnolia Warbler 8-23-14
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
Western Tanager female-looking. Could be a male. Note a slight amount of red around the beak.
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.
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
Anna’s Hummingbird – adult male
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
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 8-8-14
Black Phoebe, 8-8-14
Black Phoebe 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.
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
Also seen recently……
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 8-4-14
An early migrant flycatcher at the swamp.
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
The ash-throated fly is a common summer resident and breeding species.
A common fall migrant at the swamp, usually seen in pairs or small flocks.