Early Warbler Migration

Teale Fristoe

Lately I've been spending most of my birding time at the shoreline looking for shorebirds and terns, but today I dragged myself out of bed early enough to visit my local forest/chaparral hotspot, Claremont Canyon. I wasn't expecting much action in this limbo time between breeding and fall migration, so I was pleasantly surprised to have a four warbler hike.

The two biggest surprises were three Black-throated Gray Warblers (a species I've never seen there before) and four Hermit Warblers, all female/juveniles. The other two warblers were the expected Wilson's and only slightly less expected Orange-crowned.

In addition to the warblers, I saw many migrants in areas I'm not used to seeing them, indicating to me that they are either actively migrating or dispersing from nearby breeding locations. These species included one Black-headed Grosbeak, two Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and many Pacific-slope Flycatchers. I also saw one female Selasphorus hummingbird, at this time of year likely a migrating Rufous.

Happy early fall,
Teale Fristoe