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early migrants & post-breeding dispersers; White-eyed Vireo

10:27 am

A number of landbird migrants are already on the move typically during the first three weeks of July. Certainly Rufous/Allen’s Hummingbirds, Yellow Warblers, Western Tanagers, and Black-headed Grosbeaks are several good examples. This month, for example, a Rufous/Allen’s was offshore during the 15 Jul pelagic trip near the Nine-Mile Bank; a couple fresh-plumaged Yellow Warblers were in residential yards, where they certainly don’t breed, beginning on 10 July (B. Wise, M. Stratton); and a Black-headed Grosbeak was at Jacumba, where they don’t nest, on 18 July (B. Tweit). Also at this time of year, more locally post-breeding dispersers (especially juveniles) sometimes turn up in surprising areas away from regular nesting sites and habitat. This month, the champion of that phenomenon was the “Belding’s” Savannah Sparrow photographed by Gary Nunn at the La Jolla Cove seawatch site on 15 July, perhaps the first county record ever of this taxon appreciably removed from normal breeding sites and habitat.
In other news, on 19 July the Chollas Creek White-eyed Vireo continues to sing at first light, some time between 5:30-5:45 AM, and two immature Ring-billed Gulls continue at the J Street mudflats.
Paul Lehman, San Diego