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T.K., Wilson’s, Lucy’s molt migration?

12:13 pm

The first Tropical Kingbird of the season finally appeared early this morning flying over the main Dairy Mart pond heading north. This was followed quickly by another seen by the Thomases at Robb Field. Both birds could be returning winterers. Time will tell. Two Wilson’s Phalaropes have been lingering at the Salt Works off the end of 13th Street now for over two weeks, where one bird has wintered several years in a row. Perhaps these too may be setting up shop for the long haul. Other folks report the continuing Lucy’s Warbler today in the tipus at the Nobel library/dog run. This makes EIGHTEEN days that the bird has been known to be there. But this is certainly not the first time that a fall Lucy’s has remained for between 2-3 weeks—much much longer than the typical fall migrant passerine remains–so it does beg the question whether some of these rather ugly, worn Lucy’s are actually performing a molt-migration here to sites along the coast where they then remain to perform a full molt. They do NOT remain to winter at these same sites.
–Paul Lehman, San Diego