Possible Virginia's Warbler, Fort Rosecrans Natl Cemetery, Wednes Aug 31

Susan Smith

First seen briefly  perched and tail wagging near the top of a small pine pine tree at the northeast loop (east side of cemetery) at about 10 am, but as I tried to get closer, it flew north across the loop road and buried itself in one of the large ficus trees. Jan Nordenberg and I hunted for it, but we were momentarily distracted by a a warbling vireo and lost the warbler.  This bird had bright yellow undertail coverts, dirty white below with just a touch of yellow or buff on the breast,  with a mouse-grey (not olive) back and crown and a prominent white eye ring, evident from a distance.   I say possible, because the perched and in flight views were very brief,  Nashville Warbler is similar, and first year Nashvilles of our western  race can be pretty drab.  But I thought this less likely, since this bird appeared to have a dove or mouse-gray back and wing coverts with no green tinges, the undertail yellow was extremely bright, and the bird was actively bobbing its tail when first seen (actually that movement is what caught my eye).  The group of us continued to look for this bird but could not refind, though Jan also found a Yellow Warbler in that location, which has a similar call, and there were at least three Warbling Vireos in that area, plus the usual birds.   

Susan Smith
Seiurus Biological  Consulting
Del Mar, CA 

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