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Update on Solana Highlands

8:06 pm


In case more birders plan to try for the Vireos at Solana Highlands
tomorrow, thought I’d share more details from the 3.5 or so hours I
spent there today. I didn’t arrive until around 11:20 a.m.. Thanks to
Alison for taking me to the Blue-headed Vireo location. From around
11:30 until I think close to 1:30 p.m. the Blue-headed made many
appearances in the northeast corner area of the school. And I know it
was there earlier too. Easiest to see in the sad looking Tipus that were
just outside the school fencing: 32.95629,-117.23884. It also moved into
the Tipus inside the school fencing along the north edge, and into the
pines above the school that are on either side of the sidewalk that runs
above the school. As far as I know it stayed closer to the east side of
the school and sidewalk area. Today the gates leading into the school
field were open.

The Tipu that is closest to the small set of bleachers (this tree has
very little foliage on it anymore) seems to have an ant nest in it. At
least I think its ants. The Blue-headed Vireo found the ants and was
feasting on them, behaving more like a Nuthatch than a Vireo. It hung
off a short broken off branch that is hanging vertically down from a
horizontal branch relatively low on the tree, picking off the ants. At
one point it had eaten so much it flew up onto an open horizontal branch
and sat there in a food coma for about 5 minutes.

There was also a continuing Hammond’s Flycatcher (assuming my ID/photos
get confirmed) in those same Tipus. It stayed up high, so have to watch
for it moving up there.

I’m not sure what time the activity in the back corner died off and the
few of us that were still there decided to check the front of the school
not expecting to find much, and go home. Turned out many of the birds
had moved to the nice cool, shady pines in front of the school and were
still active. It had gotten hot behind the school. We heard the
Plumbeous Vireo singing and found it high in the pines. Heard one, and
then two, and then saw three Red-breasted Nuthatches. They were quite
entertaining, tooting away and chasing each other around, sometimes
coming quite low. The Hutton’s Vireo, Butter Butts and a few
Orange-crowned’s had also moved to this area, and there was at least one
Townsend’s Warbler. We may also have had the Cassin’s Vireo, but never
got a good enough look to be sure. At one point we had two Solitary type
Vireos high in the pines. They were chasing each other, so hard to get
on. We know for sure one was the Plumbeous. Guessing the other was the
Cassin’s. Don’t think it was the Blue-headed.

List with photos:

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs