Balboa Park Brewer's Sparrow, Nashville #18, Pink-sided & Gray-headed; Ea. Phoebe; Monk Parakeet news
Sunday morning, 3 Jan, there's a Brewer's Sparrow in the Chipping Sparrow flock (8-10 birds) in the southeast corner of Balboa Park. The flock was on the lawn near 28th & Beech, the former site of the many-year-returning Black-and-white Warbler (RIP!). That flock (including goldfinches, House Finches, and White-crowneds) also contained a "Pink-sided" D-e Junco and a continuing, rare-in-Balboa-Park Lark Sparrow. In the northeast corner of the park, near Jacaranda X Jacaranda, there was a "Gray-headed" D-e Junco in the sparrow/finch flock. And along the north side of the park, there was a Nashville Warbler (#18 in the county since 1 Dec!! and probably a returning bird from last year), Bullock's Oriole, and Western Tanager at Richmond X Cypress; and 1-2 W. Tanagers at Florida X Upas.
Also today, the Eastern Phoebe, first reported by Knut Tjelmeland in late Nov, continued in late morning (but not early morning) along Highland Avenue in City Heights.
Also, in the "FWIW" category, the Monk Parakeets being reported very sporadically in the Tijuana River Valley have been present since at least 2 Sep. Sightings seem split between Dairy Mart and the Sunset ball fields. The very strong likelihood is that they escaped from somewhere coastal in s. CA. A very, very distant second choice is that they wandered west over to the coast from the small resident population known to exist in Calexico, Imperial County (not considered "established"). And then there's the 0.000000001 chance that they flew almost a couple thousand miles from the nearest "established" population (probably central Texas).
--Paul Lehman, San Diego