I had seen a Townsend's Solitaire in the neighborhood March 1, so I was surprised to see one today, April 20, about 7:50AM, on Albion St. (near Dupont, near a large Torrey Pine). Later I realized it is likely the same bird (see reason below). The bird is the "drab" version, with a small faintly rusty patch on the side of the wing. It has a white eye ring and small dark bill and is plain light gray on the back and underside (including undertail coverts); it has some light edging on some of the wing feathers. It appears fluffy, almost like a young bird. It ate a few red berries and didn't seem to mind us (Keith and me) being quite close. The only mark I didn't see was white at the outer edges of the tail when it flew around, but when it was perched I could see from the underside that the outer tail feathers were very light at the tips and along the outer half, with dark gray along the upper, inner half. I returned after walking to the end of Silvergate, found the bird in the Torrey Pine, and spent 15 minutes trying to get a good photo with my phone (no luck). But it was singing, very quietly, a lovely melodious song, similar to what the Sibley app calls its "continuous song." I think the bird might be molting as the underside view of the tail seemed to show some very short feathers extending a little past the undertail coverts. Eventually, the bird flew off, low, to the northeast. I decided to stop at the end of Dudley on my way home to check the bottlebrush again. To my astonishment, the Solitaire was perched on the wire at the end of Dudley near the top of the dirt path – exactly where I saw the bird on March 1. So, if this bird was here almost two months, was it likely wintering? (The SD Bird Atlas indicates that wintering in the coastal area would be very unlikely.)
My walk along Silvergate also turned up a Lazuli Bunting and a Golden-crowned Sparrow.
Point Loma (San Diego)
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports