good vs. bad migrant/vagrant trees, hybrid Nuttall's X Downy, returning Am. Redstart, Tennessee glut
The month of September in San Diego County and elsewhere in s. CA has shown us what trees are hot, and what's not, in 2020. Best has been lerp-infested eucalyptus, such as at Harry Griffen Park, Lake O'Neil, and elsewhere. It is strongly recommended that folks search out lerpy eucs as soon as possible, while there is still plenty of fall remaining, and if they support western warblers, then they could just as well attract a vagrant of two–so keep checking them, and let us all know where good, publicly-accessible patches are with good numbers of birds. Also good currently are the pepper-like trees commonly planted along street-sides that have zillions of tiny little whitish flowers currently–and which are very attractive to warblers, vireos, and bees. What is NOT hot currently locally are almost all tipu trees, which have not supported much this season at all; although I hear that at least a few patches of tipus up in Santa Barbara County are currently good, so hopefully ours will become so soon…
Today, the 27th, the adult male American Redstart is back for at least its second winter to the La Playa section of Point Loma, along the beginning of the path at the north end of San Antonio Ave. Also a somewhat brief Tennessee Warbler nearby. It has certainly been an excellent month for Tennessees in the county, and throughout coastal California. My first-of-season "Myrtle" Yellow-rumped Warbler. A couple Swainson's Thrushes. The adult Reddish Egret continues at the San Diego River mouth.
Yesterday, the 26th, still one Bank Swallow at the south end of San Diego Bay (along with 2 lingering Rough-wingeds, 100 Trees, and a good count of 200+ Barn Swallows in the general area), where also my first-of-season MIGRANT "Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco. Still 10 Black-chinned Hummers in the TRV. Barbara C. and I had what we believe was a hybrid Nuttall's X Downy Woodpecker at the main and middle Dairy Mart Ponds. Mostly like a Nuttall's but there was a bit more white in the face, there was a small white patch on the upper back (in addition to the cross-barring), the sides seemed to lack the barring or spotting shown by Nuttall's/Ladder-backed, and it gave a descending whinny call very much like a Downy.
Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports