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general late spring trends, miscellanea incl. another Rose-breasted Grosbeak

10:14 am

Saturday AM, a failed attempt at Black Swifts at Mount Soledad did produce a fly-by adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak down on the south slope. This brings the May total of RBGRs in the county to an above-average six. With this morning’s Tennessee Warbler addition in residential Point Loma, the May total for that species is now an above-average four. But overall, rarity numbers this month have been below normal, and most have involved low-end rarities, and the number of regular western landbird migrants continues this year’s trend of being somewhere between low and, at best, locally so-so. It also seems as if many shorebirds cleared out early and that the number and variety of likely summering shorebirds is somewhat below average.
Amongst the usual several lingering Ring-necked Ducks and Buffleheads through mid-May, there are still a couple Buffleheads today (25th) at the San Diego River mouth. But lingering waterfowl numbers are pretty ho-hum overall. Still a flock of a dozen worn one-year-old Bonaparte’s Gulls at J Street, and still single worn one-year-old Glaucous-winged Gulls at the Salt Works and La Jolla. The errant California Quail continued in residential Point Loma through at least the 23rd, and a single Vaux’s Swift remained that day at the downtown swift roost. The recently established tern colony on West Ski Island in Mission Bay is very crowded this year, with some nesting Forster’s and Caspians, increasing numbers of Royals, and a few thousand Elegants. This is unfortunately perhaps the only particularly good tern nesting news currently. On the 24th, an Elegant Tern was slightly inland near Dairy Mart, and a count of 9 Brown Pelicans at Sweetwater Reservoir ties the high count there and continues the theme of above-average numbers of inland Brown Pelicans.
–Paul Lehman, San Diego