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FALL migration begins!

11:32 am

Forget about all those pesky late-spring vagrant migrants the past few days like Eastern Wood-Pewee and Chestnut-sided and Blackburnian Warblers, etc. Today, June 14th, FALL migration kicked off with the return of three alternate-plumaged Willets at J Street. This is fairly regularly the first returning migrant I see most years. Today’s birds tie the earliest arrival date for returning Willets in the county, but they are somewhat regular by the 16th or 18th or so. Also at J Street were over-summering shorebirds (including numbers of basic-plumaged Willets), headlined by 2 Ruddy Turnstones, 16 Red Knots, and 110 Western Sandpipers. Also continuing 4 Bonaparte’s Gulls. Six first-cycle Ring-billed Gulls at dawn at Salt Works pond 22 is actually the most nonbreeders I’ve ever seen in South County in summer.
–Paul Lehman, San Diego