Orchard, Baltimore, Summer, T.K. and Scissor-tld evening roost


lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

First off, a needed corrigendum:  Yesterday, I posted that my auto-correct changed by dark-lored White-crowned Sparrow to a Dark Lord White-crowned Sparrow, so I named the bird Darth Vader.  But I was severely reprimanded by a friend:  "Dude ... the DARK LORD is Voldemort in Harry Potter! Get your fiction trivia straight!!!!"

On Saturday morning, Dec 8th, I started at Nestor Park at first light and checked the kingbird roost in the southernmost, large sycamore tree in the park. The first Cassin's starting stirring at 6:23AM, and at 6:24 the TROPICAL KINGBIRD appeared. Four minutes later the SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (same bird that spends the day over at the Sunset ballfields area) also came out of hiding. But both birds were visible for less than 30 seconds and then magically disappeared and were not seen again. I would guess that a late-afternoon visit here (4PM+) would provide for more leisurely views. A returning male B-t Gray Warbler also likes these sycamore trees in the early AM. I was soon thereafter was joined by Guy M., and from 6:55-7:15AM we were treated to a fine showing of birds in the northern half of the row of pink-flowered eucalyptus at the north end of the park. Female ORCHARD ORIOLE, certainly the same dullish female that was here last winter. Very dull, washed-out female BALTIMORE ORIOLE (identified by its very plain facial pattern and the brightest color (which isn't saying too much) is on the breast rather than on the lower cheek or malar as in Bullock's; it traveled with a female Bullock's, which often chased the Baltimore). There were a total of 4 BULLOCK'S present--1 adult male, 1 young male, and 2 females. And we had the continuing, returning adult male SUMMER TANAGER. We missed the female Summer Tanager, the Western Tanagers, and the Wilson's Warbler and American Redstart. But then I heard that Trent S. and Eric K. arrived later and did find the redstart, which has gotten harder to find lately, and they also had a MYIARCHUS SP. FLYCATCHER, which is almost certainly the same bird that was seen here on just several occasions last winter but never truly pinned down as to what species it was. Eric got photos today, which we will study later on. Also in the morning, Guy had the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and 2 Vesper Sparrows, as usual, over at the Sunset ballfields. I added only a single lowly Yellow Warbler off Main Street near the I-5.

--Paul Lehman,  San Diego

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