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new Orchard Oriole & Pine Siskin masses

8:37 am

Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. a first-year male Orchard Oriole was feeding in the blooming coral trees along the edge of the San Diego Zoo parking lot, specifically in the trees at the end of the parking line with the hornbill sign, along with three of the wintering dull looking Western Tanagers that are still here. Got chased off after a while by a young male Hooded Oriole, at which time the size difference was stunning. Even before then, it was obvious that the Orchard was quite small, as it fed with a Western Tanager. An adult male Orchard was known to winter here and inside the zoo this year, but this is the first report I’m aware of of a young male here this year.

Yesterday, I reported that we tried to count the Pine Siskin masses at the seed feeders in Pine Valley across from the sheriff substation and came up with about 110 birds. But I asked Sally and Patti who were stopping there a little later to also count them and they found additional birds at a second feeder farther back in the yard and they estimated almost 200 siskins. If anybody is stopping there in the next number of days as they come back from Kitchen Creek Road or similar places, it would be worth trying to do as accurate a count as possible, as this is one of the all-time high single-site counts ever in the county.
Paul Lehman, San Diego