Monthly Archives: June 2018

FRNC-Kentucky Warbler-Sat afternoon 6/9

I arrived at FRNC shortly after 1PM. One set of eyes was not enough as the bird did not call
and as found out later in the afternoon it moved around quite a bit.
After two other birders arrived around 4 PM it was relocated in the Pride of Madeira bush (off the road upslope from the wall), with good brief views.
Despite  a great effort photographs could not be obtained as the bird stayed fairly hidden close to the ground.
After about 430 it flew over the wall into the underbrush where it was not seen. About 20 minutes later it flew back into
the same bush and gave again brief views (no photos) to the now five birders present.
After another 15 minutes it flew back over the wall. Between 530  and 630 there were two very brief views in the area near the sharp wall corner.

Jim Hecht
Hermosa Beach CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: The putative Indigo Bunting at Paso Picacho

I agree with Stan. One-year-old male Indigos are a mix of brown and blue, with contrast between brown, retained juvenile feathers and newer blue ones. While it can be difficult to note retained juvenile primary coverts in photos of immatures of many avian species, it is easier to see this contrast in young male Indigos, as they retain most if not all these feathers (see Beadle and Rising 2006). Looking at Eric Kallen's photos, especially the in-flight pic, I see no brown and abraded retained juvenile feathers among the blue-edged, primary coverts. Thus, this is an adult male, and the white belly makes it a hybrid, an especially interesting one.

Jim Pike

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

The putative Indigo Bunting at Paso Picacho


I have serious reservations about the identification of this individual as a pure Indigo Bunting. We now have several excellent series of photographs showing the extent of white in the lower belly and the blue, white and gray undertail coverts. We can see that the belly patch is not an under-layer of feathers exposed as a new outer layer comes in, but is itself the outer layer.

Indigo Buntings start out as dun-colored birds, and as they molt their dun-colored feathers are replaced by indigo-colored feathers. It’s a patchwork process and they can look quite motley. But they are motley brown and indigo, not white and indigo. Additionally, I don’t know why people are suggesting that the white belly patch on this bird indicates it might be a first-spring individual. First-spring male Indigo Buntings are brown and blue with occasional flecks of white where a feather has been molted but the new feather has not emerged yet. Sometimes in the lower belly, feathers have molted out and we see the white under-layer, but in my experience, it is at most very limited in extent.
So for me, the presence of such extensive a white belly on the Paso Picacho bird is incontrovertible proof of Lazuli Bunting ancestry and puts pure Indigo Bunting hors de combat.
Next, the blue and white undertail coverts do not match the pattern on Indigo Buntings. But this pattern is frequent in Indigo-Lazuli hybrids.
Finally, Eve made some sonograms of the bird singing. To my ears, there is not a single element of that song that is Indigo. The pitch, the timbre and the phrases are spot on for Lazuli.
So, in my opinion, this is a hybrid Indigo-Lazuli bunting. Indeed, if you google images of such hybrids, you’ll find a number of images that match this bird in numerous ways. And so far as I can tell, no images of Indigo Bunting that show such extensive white.
Stan Walens, San Diego
June 9, 2018; 4:30 p.m.

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: A note about finding the Indigo Bunting in Cuyamaca

The road you go down to get to the group camping area is chained-off, not gated.  From the main parking lot go north.  There are two narrow paved roads going north.  Take the westerly –
the first one you get to . Follow the narrow paved road till you get to the chained-off driveway to the left.  This driveway takes you downhill about 1000' to the group camping area.  You will see large shade structure with lots
of tables.  

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

A note about finding the Indigo Bunting in Cuyamaca

Good afternoon,

We spent the morning at Paso Picacho Campground, but in the wrong spot.  A total of 5 of us had been in this wrong spot, watching for the bird and just as we found out where we were supposed to be, 2 other birds show up at this incorrect location.  As you enter the gate, go to the right into the big parking area and just a little way's down, there is a road to the left with a sign that says "Group Campground".  As you go down this road, there is a road to the left with a gate.  You are supposed to go through that gate and all the way down the hill, If you don't go down that road, you will very soon see a restroom that looks like the area that Nancy was describing which is where all 7 of us ended up.  Anyhow, as mentioned above, go through that gate, all the way down the hill and the Indigo was back behind the restrooms.  If you look, you will see a little wooden footbridge and we had great views from this location.  
Mark Stratton
North Park


Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

MASKED BOOBY (probable), La Jolla 9 June

A few minutes ago Nicole Desnoyers saw a probable near-adult MASKED BOOBY at La Jolla ("molting into adult plumage with yellow bill").
More details to follow.
Just the messenger,
Justyn Stahl
San Clemente Island

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

FRNC – Kentucky Warbler, June 09, 2018

There is a male KENTUCKY WARBLER in song at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma this morning June 09, 2018. Heard and seen 7–7:45am, still singing while I type this.

It is outside perimeter wall behind an area called “The Wall” which is on east side just south of admin building. Look for a large downed eucalyptus tree near the sharp corner where wall meets fence. There is a leaking irrigation pipe and pool of water in cemetery nearby too as a marker. It is singing in that area, easy to recognize simple song.

Much patience required to see but easy to hear! Good luck.

Gary Nunn,
Pacific Beach
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

next san elijo monthly bird count monday 11 june

The next San Elijo monthly bird count will be Monday 11 June.  Counts are conducted by volunteers on the second Monday of each month, rain or shine.  Please spread the word or join us if you can (no RSVP required).  Meet at 7:30 am at the north end of Rios Ave in Solana Beach (north from Lomas Santa Fe Dr, west of I-5) to divide into groups to cover different subareas.  A compilation generally follows around noon at the nature center on Manchester Ave (bring your own lunch).

R. Patton
San Diego, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports