several-day miscellanea; gull issues at Miramar Lake

On 30 Dec, a Masked/Nazca Booby off Cardiff may have been the same bird reported off Torrey Pines earlier the same day and a couple days before that at La Jolla. Maybe. In Solana Beach, the Magnolia Warbler continued but seems to have gotten less reliable in that same part of the park, a Summer Tanager continues, as does a couple Bullock's Orioles and a wayward, coastal White-breasted Nuthatch. In Fairbanks Ranch a Vermilion Flycatcher and 5+ Lawrence's Goldfinches continue, a Black-thr. Gray Warbler was in Del Mar, and there was a flock of 19 Greater White-fronted Geese in the eastern/inland section of the Surf Athletic Fields off Via de la Valle. On 29 Dec, yet another pugetensis White-crowned Sparrow was present locally, this one bordering Montgomery Field. On 28 Dec, the count of 25 Northern Fulmars from La Jolla is symptomatic of the good numbers present off the CA coast this year, and there were 3 Western Tanagers in Villa La Jolla Park.

At Miramar Lake, the long-staying seven Common Goldeneyes (including two drakes) continue on the 30th, as does the interesting mix of white-winged gulls. There is "certainly" one first-cycle "Thayer's" Iceland Gull, up to three first-cycle Glaucous-winged Gulls, and at least one first-cycle Glaucous-winged X Herring Gull. As well as a couple or more first-cycle Herrings. In reviewing eBird submissions of "Thayer's" Gulls from that site over the past 3+ weeks, I've seen photos of the Thayer's, of Glaucous-wingeds, and of the hybrid. (The hybrid looks very much like a Thayer's, plumage wise, but is overall a bit large and definitely larger billed.) Anyway, take care when identifying these birds there, and it currently seems to be a good place to study these confusing taxa! Mid-day and afternoons are best for gull numbers there.

--Paul Lehman