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Neotropic Cormorants continue at Lake Cuyamaca, plus a few other infrequencies

Hiya, SD Birders,

I took my turn today to see the Neotropic Cormorants found by Jim Pawlicki a few days ago.  In the windy and wavy conditions, they bobbed a bit on the black buoys. These conditions resulted in photos inferior to Terry Hurst's, but sufficient for ID.  Jim noted that they flew off to the northeast when he first saw them.  Sure enough, the Neotropics flew off in that direction not long after I got within photo shooting distance.  Should you go and not find them there, try going around Fletcher Island, as I did, to the causeway on the north side.  A lot of the cormorants seemed to be having good luck fishing just west of this causeway.  I didn't actually find the Neotropics there, but they had returned to the buoys by the time I circumnavigated, so perhaps we crossed paths unknowingly.  I think I some cormorants up by the dam as well.

On the east side of this causeway, I found a flock of eared grebes, roughy half in transitional plumage, and half in alternate.  Hanging out with them was a lone female bufflehead.  Neither are especially remarkable, though eared grebes in this plumage are getting hard to find in our area, and both are infrequent at Lake Cuyamaca according to eBird (if that is in your 5 mile patch, you should go now).

As I returned to my car at the Mine, I came across a Plumbe – er, Cassin's Vireo, just north of the parking lot.  This was actually not a tough call, as the bird was of average color for the species, showing yellow edging to the wing feathers.  It also sported a bit more yellow wash on the underparts, and a greener tinge to the upperparts than one would find on a Plumbeous.

Photos of all species mentioned in the two checklists below:

Lake checklist

Mine checklist

Tuck Russell
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports