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Possible Plumbeous Vireo at West Canyon Neighborhood Park

Hi, All,

Let me first note that this is a slightly stale report.  I photographed this vireo on 4/15.  I had not seen it on my two prior visits, 3/24 and 4/4.  Incidentally, for a park next to a freeway (sw corner of Adams and I-15), it has some potential.  Some pines, some unhappy tipus, some eucalyptus, a few sycamores, and a brushy area.

The vireo looks grey-backed, grey-sided, and strong-billed for a Cassin's, and the primary and secondary edging don't look very yellow.  I initially reported this on eBird as a dull Cassin's, but feedback from several people came in leaning Plumbeous.  Keeping Paul Lehman's recent missive wrt to caution regarding new reports of this species   .   .   .

"Several of these birds are known wintering stakeouts 
that are still present; and indeed, this species regularly remains into 
mid-April, with the latest known wintering birds during the past 15 
years staying until ca. 21 April (fide GMcC). So, even "new" birds found 
during the first half of April are likely wintering birds that weren't 
discovered previously and may have wintered within just a mile or two, 
but moved with changing feeding conditions. In contrast to these April 
wintering birds, TRUE SPRING MIGRANT PLUMBEOUS VIREOS IN THE COUNTY AND 
PRESUMABLY ANYWHERE IN CALIFORNIA WEST OF THE NORTHERN DESERTS AND AWAY 
FROM LIKELY BREEDING SITES ARE STRICTLY CASUAL, and Guy has ZERO 
documented records of such spring vagrant Plumbeous in his database for 
the past 15 years anywhere in San Diego County. Not even any from Anza 
Borrego. Most of the very few valid records of spring vagrants over the 
years in southern CA are from May, including a photographed bird in 
Imperial County in mid-May some 10 years ago. The problem with a slug of 
spring reports of this species is confusion with DULL Cassin's Vireos, 
which are not unusual. Recent eBird reports in the county of Plumbeous 
include at least one photo'd bird that's a Cassin's, and two tape 
recorded singing birds, of which one sounds good for Plumbeous (but 
which wintered locally) but the other sounds like a Cassin's. The San 
Diego Atlas appears to paint too rosey a picture of the spring status of 
Plumbeous, in our opinion, and it is uncertain which of the "dozen" 
spring records cited during the atlas period were well documented. Some 
of those records were undoubtedly from the first two-thirds of April, 
when wintering birds were likely involved. Anyway, the status of this 
species as a true spring migrant (vagrant) needs to be carefully 
re-assessed, and all such reports should be carefully documented with an 
extensive series of photos and/or tape recorded."

   .   .   .  I've got good photos with differing lighting.  The bird did not vocalize.  Regarding this passage from Paul's missive: "So, even "new" birds found 
during the first half of April are likely wintering birds that weren't 
discovered previously and may have wintered within just a mile or two, 
but moved with changing feeding conditions."

A a look at the past year's reports of this species on eBird shows only sightings four miles away or more.  No eBird reviewer has flagged the observation, but I know they are swamped.  Perhaps if I had called it a Plumbeous   .   .   .   Anyway, checklist with pictures attached.  Looking forward to opinions.

West Canyon Neighborhood Park Checklist

Tuck Russell
Hillcrest

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports