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some “final” wintering rarity/scarce record-high counts, & misc.

11:18 am

A little miscellanea on Monday morning the 15th include continuing Northern Waterthrush, American Redstart, and migrant Wood Duck in the Dairy Mart/Sod Farm area, and one of my exceedingly few migrant Violet-green Swallows this season, at Sweetwater Reservoir. Clearly there’s been a bit of a push of Vaux’s Swifts the past couple days.
The official winter season is over, but a number of wintering rarities and otherwise scarce species still hang on as of the past couple days (e.g., Lapland Longspur, Orchard Orioles, N. Waterthrushes, Black-and-white, Am. Redstart, Chestnut-sideds, Hepatic and Summer Tanagers). Following are some of the record high (or second-highest) totals of wintering notable species in San Diego County obtained during Dec 2023-Apr 2024. Most of these records are certainly the result of better and better observer coverage, rather than some actual increase in avian populations or that the habitat here locally is improving for them–as both these are likely declining instead.
Western Flycatcher:  14  (old record 10)
Plumbeous Vireo:  25  (old record 18)
Green-tailed Towhee:  40  (old record ??)
Orchard Oriole:  12  (old record 9)
Black-and-white Warbler:  19  (record is 21)
Yellow Warbler:  45  (old record 34)
Black-thr. Gray Warbler:  54  (old record 44)
Hepatic Tanager:  6
Summer Tanager:  65  (record is 71)
Western Tanager:  97  (old record 73)
The record totals for Orchard Oriole and Hepatic Tanager reflect also larger than normal numbers this past winter elsewhere in (southern) California.
–Paul Lehman, San Diego