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.
Also seen recently……
An early migrant flycatcher at the swamp.
An adult male Lazuli Bunting seen in the “sunflower lot” on the north side of Seely Ave. Another early migrant.
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.