Southern California: Fall 2021

Fall 2021: 1 Aug–30 Nov

Guy McCaskie
guymcc@pacbell.net

Kimball L. Garrett
kgarrett@nhm.org

Recommended citation:

McCaskie, G., and K. L. Garrett. 2022. Fall 2021: Southern California. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-cxY> North American Birds.

The fall 2021 season in Southern California was typically warm and dry, but the region experienced a welcome storm front in October. There were no major Santa Ana wind events, and unlike other recent falls there were no extensive wildfires in the southern part of California. The region witnessed an unprecedented number and variety of passerine migrants, especially wood-warblers, normally associated with the eastern half of North America; on the other hand migrants more typically associated with the west coast appeared to be less numerous than expected, with no major flights of irruptive species evident. Rarity highlights included a Dusky Warbler and a Red-necked Stint, each remaining for a week in Los Angeles Co, along with a Mississippi Kite at the south end of the Salton Sea, the first for that part of the region. Vagrants found in exceptional numbers included 18 Red-footed Boobies, 10 Yellow-green Vireos, three Rufous-backed Robins, 37 Blackburnian Warblers, and 15 Pine Warblers.

Sub-regional Compilers 

David M. Compton (Santa Barbara Co), Tom M. Edell (San Luis Obispo Co), Kimball L. Garrett (Los Angeles Co), Kelli K. Heindel (Kern Co), Chris & Rosie Howard (Inyo Co), Alexander E. Koonce (San Bernardino Co), Guy McCaskie (San Diego Co and Imperial Co), Chet McGaugh (Riverside Co), Larry Sansone (photo editor), Adam J. Searcy (Ventura Co), Justyn T. Stahl (San Clemente Island), Ryan S. Winkleman (Orange Co).

Abbreviations N.E.S.S. (north end of the Salton Sea, Riverside Co); S.E.S.S. (south end of the Salton Sea, Imperial Co).  Museum collections abbreviated in the text are: SDNHM (San Diego Natural History Museum).

Because most rarities in Southern California are seen by multiple observers, only the observer(s) initially finding and/or identifying the bird are included. Documentation for species on the California Bird Records Committee (C.B.R.C.) review list (see www.californiabirds.org) is forwarded to the C.B.R.C. and archived at the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo.

Waterfowl through Grebes

A Brant inland at S.E.S.S. since spring remained through 16 Oct (Guy McCaskie, Jeremiah Stock). A Snow Goose at S.E.S.S. (Unit 1 of the Salton Sea NWR) 29 Sep (Guy McCaskie) establishes the earliest date for a fall migrant at the Salton Sink. Cackling Geese, most if not all likely leucopareia, were more numerous and widespread than in recent years as indicated by over 400 along the coast of San Luis Obispo Co after 28 Sep, including 83 at Hearst Ranch 14 Nov (Tom M. Edell), along with 65 at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 12 Oct (Chris Dean), 85 in flight over Griffith Park in Los Angeles 23 Oct (Andrew Birch) and a record high number of up to 27 at S.E.S.S. (Unit 1) 24 Oct–30 Nov+ (Guy McCaskie).

A female Garganey at N.E.S.S. (SRA) 24 Nov–15 Dec (Cin-Ty Lee) was the same bird present here with Blue-winged Teal through the past two winters. The earliest of the ten wintering Eurasian Wigeon reported were one at Whale Rock Reservoir, San Luis Obispo Co on 23 Sep (Petra and Jack Clayton) and another at Puddingstone Reservoir, Los Angeles Co on 28 Sep (Keith Condon). The Mexican Duck in Huntington Beach, Orange Co last winter was again present 20–30 Nov+ (Derek J. Hameister). Two Harlequin Ducks on the coast of San Luis Obispo Co in November were at the southern limit of this species’ winter range, but an adult male at San Miguel Island 25 Sep–6 Oct (Steve Colwell) was more noteworthy. At least 25 Surf Scoters were reported from well inland after the earliest at N.E.S.S. (North Shore) on 6 Oct (Robert L. McKernan). In addition, two White-winged Scoters were at N.E.S.S. (North Shore) 27 Nov (Dessi Sieburth) with one remaining through 30 Nov (Robert L. McKernan). Along the coast, where White-winged Scoters are now scarce, no more than 20 were reported, and single birds flying south off Point La Jolla, San Diego Co 11 Oct (Gary Nunn) and 1 Nov (Jim Pawlicki) were the southernmost. A Black Scoter at Parker Dam, San Bernardino Co 15 Nov (Francis Toldi) was inland. In addition, only eight Black Scoters were reported along the coast, with one at Coronado, San Diego Co 7 Nov (Nick Barber) the southernmost. The only Long-tailed Ducks reported were two around Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo Co 23 Nov+ (Jeff K. Miller, Matt Cahill), single birds at San Miguel Island 13 Nov (Nick A. Lethaby) and Playa del Rey, Los Angeles Co 1–27 Nov (Richard Barth), and up to two off Newport Beach, Orange Co 22–29 Nov (Alex W. Henry). Two Barrow’s Goldeneyes at Baker, San Bernardino Co 11 Nov (Nurit Katz) and one at N.E.S.S. (State Recreation Area) 12 Nov (Liron Gertman) where inland where rarely found.

A Horned Grebe on Lake Havasu, San Bernardino Co 25 Sep (Thomas A. Benson) and another on the Salton Sea at Salt Creek, Riverside Co 29 Sep (Robert L. McKernan) were not only well inland, but also exceptionally early fall migrants. Single Red-necked Grebes were at Lake Sabrina, Inyo Co 31 Aug–8 Sep (Lori Gaskin), Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Co 6–11 Nov (Eric Tipton) and Fig Lagoon 27 Nov (Guy McCaskie), with the latter being the fourth in Imperial Co; however, one at San Simeon, San Luis Obispo Co 3–28 Nov (Petra and Jack Clayton) was the only one known on the coast.

Doves through Hummingbirds

Inca Dove numbers appear to be declining in southeastern California, so one well to the north in Lone Pine, Inyo Co 24–28 Oct (Russell D. Kokx) was noteworthy. Up to two White-winged Doves in San Simeon 23–27 Aug (Lowell Young) were the northernmost of more than 75 reported from along the coast, and one in the Tijuana River Valley, San Diego Co 5–17 Nov (Paul E. Lehman) was the latest.

An unusually late Black Swift over Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 24 Oct (Barry Rowlan), two over Wildomar, Riverside Co 28 Aug (Charity Hagen) and one over El Cajon, San Diego Co 5 Oct (Eitan Altman) were the only migrants reported.

Since Black-chinned Hummingbirds have normally departed Southern California by late September, the presence of single birds frequenting feeders in coastal San Diego Co at Rolando Park to 8 Oct (Barbara Wise) and Tierrasanta to 12 Oct (Paul E Lehman) were of note. A Calliope Hummingbird frequenting a feeder in Pine Valley, San Diego Co 17–20 Sep (Chris Rohrer) is one of exceptionally few ever in Southern California in fall. A Broad-tailed Hummingbird, rare anywhere in Southern California away from the limited breeding locations in extreme eastern Inyo and San Bernardino Cos, was at a feeder in Chula Vista, San Diego Co 2 Oct (Andrew Newmark). An adult male Broad-billed Hummingbird in Baker, San Bernardino Co 29 Sep (Logan Kahle) and a female in Laguna Beach, Orange Co 12–18 Oct (Amelia P. Dandy) were noteworthy.

Cranes through Phalaropes

A Sandhill Crane in flight over Bonelli Regional Park, Los Angeles Co 16 Nov (Keith Condon), five in flight near Lancaster, Los Angeles Co 16 Nov (Ted Keyel), and one at Desert Center, Riverside Co 19 Oct–20 Nov (Jarrod Swackhammer) were far from areas of regular occurrence.

 The two American Golden-Plovers reported were one at Arroyo Laguna, San Luis Obispo Co 13–15 Oct (Roger H. Zachary) and the other at the Santa Ynez River estuary, Santa Barbara Co 21–23 Sep (Nick A. Lethaby). At least 32 Pacific Golden-Plovers were found along the coast after the earliest at the Tijuana River mouth, San Diego Co 12 Aug (Matt Sadowski), and included some remaining into the winter; in addition, an adult at Mystic Lake, Riverside Co 21 Aug (Chris Lindsey) and a juvenile there 23 Oct (Tjie) were inland where much rarer. Single Mountain Plovers at Oceano Dunes State Recreation Area, San Luis Obispo Co 18–24 Oct (Nicole Durtschi) and near Port Hueneme, Ventura Co 14–22 Oct (Justin MacMartin) were along the coast where now rare, and 40 near Blackwell’s Corner, Kern Co 23 Nov (Doug Drynan) and up to 14 near Palmdale, Los Angeles Co 7 Nov+ (Mark Scheel) were the only two wintering flocks reported.

Six Ruddy Turnstones at S.E.S.S. between 4 Aug and 21 Sep (Guy McCaskie, Jason Vassallo) were the only ones found inland. Three Black Turnstones at S.E.S.S. (Obsidian Butte) 22 Aug (Guy McCaskie) and at least three more there 12–21 Sep (Guy McCaskie, Jason Vassallo) were inland where rare. A Red Knot at Harper Dry Lake, San Bernardino Co 31 Aug (Sean Rowe) was the only one found inland away from the Salton Sea. Four Ruffs were reported with single juveniles at Ventura County Game Preserve near Port Hueneme 20–26 Sep (Larry Sansone), along the Los Angeles River in South Gate 26–27 Sep (Richard Barth) and Long Beach 19–29 Oct (Richard Barth), and a returning adult in Anaheim, Orange Co 13 Aug–20 Sep (Shirley A. Reynolds). Normally very few Stilt Sandpipers are found away from S.E.S.S., however, 17 were reported this fall, with most during September after two early adults on south San Diego Bay (Saltworks) 12 Aug (Jim Pawlicki) and up to two remaining at the Kern NWR, Kern Co 15–22 Nov (Susan L. Steele) being the latest. A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was well-photographed at Ventura County Game Preserve 23 Sep (Larry Sansone). An adult Red-necked Stint remained in Malibu, Los Angeles Co 22–29 Aug (Chris Tosdevin). The only Sanderlings reported inland away from the Salton Sea were two at Harper Dry Lake, San Bernardino Co 13 Sep (Sean Rowe). A Dunlin in alternate plumage at S.E.S.S. (Obsidian Butte) 4–18 Aug (Guy McCaskie) and another in Huntington Beach 18 Aug (Brian E. Daniels) were unexpected since the first of the fall migrants do not arrive in Southern California until October when in basic plumage. Most of the 170+ Baird’s Sandpipers reported passed through the region during August and September, with the latest being two at N.E.S.S. (North Shore) on 3 Nov (Robert L. McKernan). The Little Stint present on south San Diego Bay (Saltworks) through the past three winters returned 11 Aug–30 Nov+ (Matt Sadowski) for a fourth winter. The only Buff-breasted Sandpiper was one at Port Hueneme, Ventura Co 23 Oct–3 Nov (Marc Better). Pectoral Sandpipers appeared a little scarcer than expected with 140 reported between 1 Aug and 15 Oct; a very late migrant was photographed at S.E.S.S. (Unit 1 of the Salton Sea NWR) 29 Nov (Rebecca Cockrum). Semipalmated Sandpipers were definitely scarcer than normal, with only 19 reported, but including an exceptionally late juvenile on south San Diego Bay (Saltworks) 1–5 Oct (Matt Sadowski). 

Eighty-five Solitary Sandpipers was about average, and included late individuals in Encino, Los Angeles Co 14 Nov–5 Dec (Jon Fisher) and at Hansen Dam, Los Angeles Co 17 Nov–3 Dec (Jon Fisher). A Red Phalarope, rare inland, was at Harper Dry Lake, San Bernardino Co 14 Sep (Sean Rowe) and another was at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 29 Oct (Ted Keyel).

Skuas through Terns

Two South Polar Skuas were seen off Morro Bay 24 Sep (Alvaro Jaramillo), along with single birds south of San Miguel Island 7 Sep (David Pereksta), south of Santa Cruz Island 26 Aug (Gerard van Heijzen), and near Anacapa Island 2 Oct (fide Adam J. Searcy). The only Parasitic Jaeger reported inland was a juvenile at N.E.S.S. 1 Sep (Dessi Sieburth) and the only Long-tailed Jaeger inland was a juvenile at S.E.S.S. (Obsidian Butte) 12 Sep (Guy McCaskie).

Eight Guadalupe Murrelets well offshore at the Rodriguez and San Juan Seamounts 8 Sep (David Pereksta) were the only ones reported. Craveri’s Murrelets lingered off Southern California into October, with two off San Diego 16 Oct (Gary Nunn) being the latest. A Tufted Puffin, rare in Southern California waters, was photographed 2–3 miles off Mission Bay, San Diego Co 28 Sep (Peter A. Ginsburg).

At least 25 Sabine’s Gulls were found inland between 25 Aug and 20 Oct. Away from the Salton Sink, where rare, the only Laughing Gulls reported were one at Mystic Lake, Riverside Co 6 Sep (Anthony Metcalf) and another on the coast at San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego Co 8 Sep (Steve Brad). Franklin’s Gulls were far scarcer than expected this fall with only five at N.E.S.S. 22 Sep–30 Nov+ (Robert L. McKernan) and one on the coast at Morro Bay 8 Sep (Jack Clayton). A Heermann’s Gull was well inland on Lake Cuyamaca, San Diego Co 7 Nov (Jim Pawlicki). A Yellow-footed Gull on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu since 10 Sep moved into the California side 18 Sep–16 Nov (Susan Fishburn, Brian Johnson) to establish the second record for San Bernardino Co. The earliest of the eight Lesser Black-backed Gulls this fall was one returning for the fourth winter to Coronado, San Diego Co 28 Sep (Ryan Sanderson). A Glaucous Gull at Huntington Beach 24 Nov (Derek J. Hameister) was the only one known this fall. Arctic Terns are rare on shore, so one at Mission Bay 27 Sep (Justyn T. Stahl) was of note. An Elegant Tern, released from a rehabilitation center in Long Beach, at Mystic Lake, Riverside Co 18 Aug (David Goodward) was the only one found inland.

Tropicbirds through Cormorants

A Red-billed Tropicbird about 32 km off San Diego 16 Oct (Gary Nunn) along with two off Dana Point, Orange Co 3 Oct (Will B. S. Black and Kiandra S. Mitchell) and another there 16 Oct (Mark A. Girardeau), were relatively close to shore, while one south of San Miguel Island 7 Sep (David Pereksta), two at the San Juan Seamount 8 Sep (David Pereksta), and one more at the Tanner Bank 17 Sep (Dan Jehl) were in an area where expected at this time of the year.

Single Pacific Loons, rare inland, were at Quail Lake, Los Angeles Co 31 Oct (David Bell), Lake Palmdale, Los Angeles Co 7 Nov (Kimball L. Garrett), and at Desert Center, Riverside Co 14 Nov (Jarrod Swackhamer).

A Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, rare over Southern California waters, was near the 30-Mile Bank off San Diego 3 Oct (Paul E. Lehman). The latest Townsend’s Storm-Petrel, a post-breeding visitor from off Mexico, was one off San Diego 19 Sep (Paul E. Lehman). Least Storm-Petrels continued to be scarce off San Diego, with only 35 reported there between 8 Aug (Matt Sadowski) and 16 Oct (Gary Nunn).

Small numbers of Cook’s Petrels continued off San Diego, with six there, including one only 30 km from shore, 14 Aug (Paul E. Lehman). A Buller’s Shearwater, rare off the southern half of this region, was only 5 km off Mission Bay 17 Sep (Bruce Young). Short-tailed Shearwaters were decidedly scarce with one 25 km west of Pacific Beach, San Diego Co 27 Nov (Matt Sadowski) being the only one identified. A Flesh-footed Shearwater, rare over Southern California waters, was seen from Point Conception, Santa Barbara Co 24 Oct (Linus Blomqvist), and single birds were photographed off San Diego on 11 Sep (Gary Nunn), 13 Nov (Paul E. Lehman) and 27 Nov (Matt Sadowski). The only Manx Shearwater was one off Pt Vicente, Los Angeles Co 18 Sep–17 Oct (Bernardo Alps, Jon S. Feenstra).

A Wood Stork at the San Diego Wild Animal Park near Escondido 12–18 Oct (Kelly Carlin) was believed to be the same bird that spent the summer through 8 Oct (James E. Pike, Bonnie Johnson) in the Prado Basin, Riverside Co, and that had been wandering around Riverside and San Diego Cos since at least May 2020. 

The only frigatebird reported was a presumed Magnificent Frigatebird off Batiquitos Lagoon, San Diego Co 18 Aug (Gavin Aquila). The status of boobies along the coast of California has changed dramatically during the past 20 years. Through 2002 11 Masked Boobies, no Nazca Boobies, three Blue-footed Boobies and 14 Red-footed Boobies were known to have occurred along the coast, and all records of Brown Boobies involved single birds. However, this fall four Masked, six Nazca, five Masked/Nazca, three Blue-footed and 18 Red-footed Boobies were reported along the Southern California coast, and close to 150 Brown Boobies were at Santa Barbara Island on 7 Sep and 2 Oct (David Pereksta) along with many more elsewhere.

Neotropic Cormorants continue to expand their range outward from the Colorado River and the Salton Sink, with one in the Tijuana River Valley 2 Sep (Dan Jehl), six in coastal Orange Co 11 Jul–18 Sep (Shirley A. Reynolds, Doug M. Lithgow, Linda L. Thomas), one at Ormond Beach, Ventura Co 26 Jul–12 Dec (fide Adam J. Searcy) and one in Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 14 Aug–13 Sep (Wendy Beers) along the coast, and two in Jurupa Valley near Riverside 14–25 Sep (Karen Carter) and one at Desert Center, Riverside Co 19 Sep (Dave Goodward) to the north.

Herons through Woodpeckers

Single Little Blue Herons at Sweetwater Reservoir 2 Aug (Joe Alsada) and at Dos Picos County Park near Ramona were away from the immediate coast in San Diego Co where resident; single birds in Huntington Beach 5 Oct–24 Nov (Jan Gaffney), Long Beach, Los Angeles Co 18 Sep–10 Nov (Layton Pace) and Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 3 Aug–5 Sep (Pam Viale) were north of the species’ regular range in California. Six Tricolored Herons, rare in California, were reported, with one inland on the Lower Otay Reservoir, San Diego Co 31 Aug–15 Sep (Barbara Carlson), along with single birds on the coast at the Tijuana River mouth 4–18 Sep (Ted Keyel), San Elijo Lagoon 13 Sep (Steve Perry), Newport Beach, Orange Co 23 Sep–21 Nov (Scott Marnoy), Huntington Beach/Seal Beach 6–8 Nov (Carolyn Vance) and at Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Ventura Co 8–16 Nov (Martin Ruane). Single Reddish Egrets were inland near Westmorland, Imperial Co 11 Aug (Will Sweet), at N.E.S.S. (Ave 84) 1 Sep (Dessi Sieburth) and N.E.S.S. (North Shore) 6 Oct–30 Nov+ (Robert L. McKernan); three in coastal southern San Luis Obispo Co in August were the northernmost.

Despite the number of Roseate Spoonbills found in Arizona, two near Fillmore, Ventura Co 15–30 Sep (Laura Pavliscak) and another at S.E.S.S. (Refuge HQ) 23 Sep (Andy Garcia) were the only three known in California.

The only Black Vulture was one in Lone Pine 13 Oct–24 Nov (Russell D. Kokx). A Sharp-shinned Hawk at N.E.S.S. (North Shore) 15 Sep (Robert L. McKernan) was an early fall migrant. A Northern Goshawk, rare in Southern California, was at Onyx Summit in the San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino Co 30 Oct (Elaine Tipton) and another was away from the mountains at Joshua Tree, San Bernardino Co 2 Nov (fide Mathew A. Grube). A hatch-year Mississippi Kite photographed at S.E.S.S. (Refuge HQ) 21 Sep (Jason Vassallo) was the first at the Salton Sink and in Imperial Co.

Single Harris’s Hawks at Thousand Palms Oasis, Riverside Co 24 Aug (Ken Mix), the Jamul Ecological Reserve, San Diego Co 10 Sep (John Martin), Borrego Springs, San Diego Co 15 Sep (Nancy Christensen), near Boulevard, San Diego Co 17 Sep (Carl Adams), and near El Centro, Imperial Co 17 Sep (Kenneth Z. Kurland) were the first of a northward movement of this raptor that bought up to 10 into Shelter Valley, San Diego Co in mid-November+ (Hannah Hernandez); eight to Jacumba, San Diego Co 21 Sep-30 Nov+ (Paul E. Lehman); six to Ramona, San Diego Co 27 Nov (Marla Fryman); and three to Perris, Riverside Co 19–21 Nov (Cheryl Lopez), along with two to San Ysidro, San Diego in November (Andrea Ashbaugh), and single birds to San Diego 2 Oct (Kerry Ross), Agoura, Los Angeles Co 18–19 Nov (Carl Jackson), Arlington Heights in Riverside 26 Oct (Michele Felix-Derbarmdiker), and Joshua Tree 28 Sep (Mathew A. Grube). 

Twenty-five migrant Broad-winged Hawks were noted along the coast between 27 Sep and 31 Oct, along with single birds well inland at F.C.R. 3 Oct (Susan L. Steele), California City, Kern Co 3 Oct (Ethan Monk), Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino Co 24 Sep (Christopher Lindsey), and Desert Center, Riverside Co 16 Sep (Chris Dean). A Zone-tailed Hawk in Goleta, Santa Barbara Co was the northernmost of the 18 reported in the coastal lowlands and mountains, where now expected in small numbers in fall and winter; single birds at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve, Riverside Co 21 Sep (Jason St Pierre) and 13 Oct (Jason St Pierre), and over nearby Blythe, Riverside Co 13 Oct (Jason St Pierre) were along the Lower Colorado River. The only Rough-legged Hawks reported were single birds on the coast in Oceano, San Luis Obispo Co 11 Nov (Nicole Durtschi) and at Seal Beach, Orange Co 25 Nov (Kim E. Moore).

Lewis’s Woodpeckers were noticeably more numerous in the coastal counties than expected, with high counts of 13 at Lake Cachuma, Santa Barbara Co on 25 Nov (Mark A. Holmgren) and an impressive 53 at Jackson Lake in the San Gabriel Mts., Los Angeles Co on 9 Oct (James Maley), and one reaching Anacapa Island 7 Sep (Jim Howard). An Acorn Woodpecker on San Clemente Island 17 Sep (Justyn T. Stahl) had flown across at least 60 miles of open ocean. At least seven Williamson’s Sapsuckers were found in the lowlands including the third ever in San Luis Obispo Co at Montana de Oro State Park 15–20 Oct (Kathleen I. Kent). Single Hairy Woodpeckers in the Antelope Valley (Rancho Sierra Golf Course) 15 Aug-20 Nov (David Bell) and Malibu Lagoon 28 Nov (Femi Faminu), both Los Angeles Co, were far from any area where expected.

Tyrant Flycatchers through Vireos

A Great Crested Flycatcher in Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 9–21 Nov (Mark A. Holmgren) was the latest ever to linger in the region (though eclipsed by a December 2021 bird to be detailed later). A Brown-crested Flycatcher at Mission Viejo, Orange Co 18 Nov+ (Tom F. Fangrow) had returned for its third winter; a migrant was at the Wolff Rd tamarisks in Oxnard, Ventura Co 4 Oct (Sage Bylin). The regular fall movement of Tropical Kingbirds into the coastal portions of the region was much in evidence this year, with some 49 reports after 11 Sep (and some birds remaining to winter); far fewer are found in the interior, so single birds at Furnace Creek Ranch, Inyo Co 27–30 Sep (Eric Heisey) and N.E.S.S. 22 Sep (Robert McKernan) were of note. A Cassin’s Kingbird at Niland, Imperial Co 18 Aug (Guy McCaskie) was in the southeast part of the region where scarce. The only Thick-billed Kingbird was in the Tijuana River Valley, San Diego Co 23 Nov–13 Dec (Jim Pawlicki). The nine Eastern Kingbirds were all noted 1–26 Sep, with five along the coast, one on San Clemente Island, and three on the Inyo Co desert. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were along the lower Los Angeles R. in Long Beach, Los Angeles Co 24–29 Oct (John Ivanov, Richard Barth) and at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 12 Nov (Jane Stavert, Amy Worell). 

Returning for its fifth winter was a Greater Pewee in San Diego’s Balboa Park 4 Oct+ (Michelle Haglund). Several Western Wood-Pewees were recorded into late October, and later birds were at Presidio Park, San Diego 27 Oct–1 Nov (Nathan French) and Huntington Beach, Orange Co 6 Nov (David Ornelas). Very rarely identified in California, an Eastern Wood-Pewee was observed and audio-recorded at Furnace Creek, Inyo Co 30 Sep–2 Oct (Eric Heisey), establishing the second record for Inyo Co. Late Willow Flycatchers were at the Rancho Sierra Golf Course east of Lancaster, Los Angeles Co 17 Oct (Kimball L. Garrett) and Point Loma, San Diego Co 27 Oct (Jim Pawlicki). Least Flycatchers, rare but annual in fall, were at Moreno Valley, Riverside Co 26 Sep (David Rankin), Huntington Beach 26–30 Sep (Christine Jacobs, Jan Wilson, Thomas E. Wurster), Point Loma 27 Sep (Gary Nunn), and Del Mar, San Diego Co 30 Sep (Sean Buchanan). Pacific-slope Flycatchers staged a late migration push through San Diego Co, with 42 birds recorded 7–9 Oct (Paul E. Lehman); very late for San Luis Obispo Co. was one at the Monarch Butterfly Preserve near Oceano 11 Nov (Daniel S. Cooper), and a few remained into winter elsewhere on the coastal slope of the region. Six Eastern Phoebes were on the coastal slope of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Cos 2 Nov+, and one was on the desert at Agua Caliente County Park, San Diego Co 20 Oct (Jim Pawlicki). Nine Vermilion Flycatchers in Santa Barbara Co was a high total, and at least 50 in Orange Co this fall was the highest seasonal count ever there; one was at Wilson Cove on San Clemente Island 11 Sep (Sue T. Meiman), and five of the eight records for that island have been in the last four years, reflecting this species’ increase in coastal s. California.

A pusillus Bell’s Vireo at Jackson L. in the eastern San Gabriel Mts., Los Angeles Co 22 Sep (John Yerger) was a rare high elevation migrant. A Gray Vireo at the Little Chuckwalla Mts. Wilderness, Riverside Co 4 Sep (Brian Sandstrom) was probably a migrant. A Hutton’s Vireo at Agua Caliente County Park, San Diego Co 1 Nov (Nancy Christensen) was a wanderer to a desert locality. The only Yellow-throated Vireo found during the period was at Montana de Oro S. P., San Luis Obispo Co 24 Sep (Mike D. Stiles); similarly, just one Blue-headed Vireo was found at La Jolla, San Diego Co 12–13 Sep (John Dumlao). Late Plumbeous Vireos on the deserts were at California City, Kern Co 24 Nov (Gary H. Rosenberg) and El Centro, Imperial Co 8–10 Nov (Logan Kahle). Late migrant Warbling Vireos included birds at Atascadero, San Luis Obispo Co 5–8 Nov (Kevin J. Zimmer) and Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernardino Co 6 Nov (David A. Goodward).  Two Red-eyed Vireos, at Los Osos, San Luis Obispo Co 10–22 Aug (Naresh Satyan) and Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 18–21 Sep (Andrew Masaitis), were eclipsed by an amazing 10 Yellow-green Vireos; these included four in San Luis Obispo Co, at Cayucos 28 Sep–2 Oct (Tom M. Edell), Montana de Oro S. P. 29 Sep (Mark Mushkat), Morro Bay 1 Oct (Kaaren Perry), and Pismo State Beach Oceano Campground 1 Oct (Herb D. Elliott), along with birds at Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 21–23 Sep (John B. Callender), Bob Kildee Community Park in Camarillo, Ventura Co 20 Sep–2 Oct (Sage Bylin), Ventura 26 Sep (Robert McMorran), Laguna Niguel, Orange Co 25 Sep (Robert B. McNab), Huntington Beach, Orange Co 29 Sep (Brian E. Daniels), and Point Loma, San Diego Co 4–8 Sep (Jim Pawlicki).

Phylloscopid Warblers through Pipits

A Dusky Warbler, enjoyed by dozens of observers at the Sepulveda Basin in Encino 9–16 Oct (Jon L. Fisher, Sarah Ngo), was the third for Los Angeles Co and only the ninth to be recorded in the region. The rapid expansion of Swinhoe’s White-eyes through the southern coastal urban areas continues, and the species’ dispersal abilities were evidenced by the brief appearance of a flock of 12 at Wilson Cove on San Clemente Island 15 Nov (Justyn T. Stahl, Nicole J. Desnoyers), the first record for this Island. Casual in the region, a Winter Wren was at Big Sycamore Canyon, Ventura Co 15–23 Nov (Brian E. Daniels, Derek Hameister).

Early Cedar Waxwings were at Los Osos, San Luis Obispo Co 27 Aug (Alex Rinkert) and near Los Olivos, Santa Barbara Co (Laura Baldwin) on the same date. Red-breasted Nuthatches were far scarcer in the lowlands than in the previous fall, but a lowland incursion of White-breasted Nuthatches in the southern coastal counties that began in the summer continued through the fall period. Pygmy Nuthatches away from their expected pine forest habitat were at North Atascadero, San Luis Obispo Co 9 Aug (David E. Willard, Sean Lyon); Pismo State Beach Oceano Campground 30 Sep–15 Oct SLO (Jerri L. Edwards); Montana de Oro S P 16–22 Oct (Liam and Kilian Hampl); Buena Park, Orange Co 2 Sep (Steve V. Neely); Tierrasanta, San Diego Co 24 Aug (Peter Thomas); Phelan, San Bernardino Co 1–3 Aug (Brett Van Ostenbridge); Yucca Valley Golf Course, San Bernardino Co 21 Nov (two birds; Eddie Monson); and McVicker Park in Lake Elsinore, Riverside Co 9–30 Oct (Greg Cross). A Cactus Wren at the Kendall Frost Reserve in Mission Bay 6 Sep (Jim Roberts) was well outside the species’ limited coastal San Diego Co habitat.

Gray Catbirds at Gaviota, Santa Barbara Co 13 Sep (Steven P. Courtney) and Calabasas, Los Angeles Co 28 Oct (Russell Campbell) were augmented by one at Lone Pine, Inyo Co 11 Aug (Russell Kokx) that might have have summered locally and five additional birds on the deserts 4 Oct–24 Nov. Brown Thrashers were at the Furnace Creek Inn, Inyo Co 2–4 Oct (Brendan Galvin) and nearby Furnace Creek Ranch 30 Oct–3 Nov (Daniel Loss). A California x Crissal Thrasher at Borrego Springs 26 Sep (Robert Theriault) was at the last known site of Crissal in San Diego Co, perhaps signaling the end of the line for that population. A Sage Thrasher at the Santa Ynez R. Estuary 26 Sep (John B. Callender) was on the northern Santa Barbara Co coast where casual; one at Point Loma 1 Sep (Paul E. Lehman) was early.

A count of 760 Mountain Bluebirds along Cholame Rd., San Luis Obispo Co 19 Nov (Brian Sullivan, Paul Fenwick) was exceptionally high; one at Calipatria, Imperial Co 23 Oct (Robert Packard) was the earliest ever in fall for the Salton Sink. Wandering Townsend’s Solitaires in the lowlands included seven birds on the coastal slope (including San Clemente I.) 28 Sep–28 Nov and another three on the deserts 17 Oct–13 Nov. Well-photographed “Olive-backed” Swainson’s Thrushes were in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo Co 27–30 Sep (Kevin J. Zimmer) and in southeastern El Centro, Imperial Co 20–23 Sep and 9–13 Oct (Kenneth Z. Kurland); these are casual, though likely overlooked, migrants through the region. A Rufous-backed Robin in the Sunset Cliffs area of Point Loma 17 Nov (Sequoia and Lee Zook) was the second for San Diego Co and only the region’s second coastal record; two others were at Desert Center, Riverside Co 19–29 Nov (Bradley Waggoner). Only a minor movement of Varied Thrushes into the Region occurred, with the earliest report from Ranger Peak in the w. San Rafael Mts., Santa Barbara Co 19 Oct (Jamie M. Chavez). 

Naturalized Scaly-breasted Munias continue to make inroads into the deserts, with six at Vallecito, San Diego Co 8–10 Sep and another five there 3–4 Oct (Britta Lee Shain), five at Furnace Creek Ranch, Inyo Co 29–31 Oct (Carolyn Sanders), one at Crystalaire near Llano, Los Angeles Co 3–7 Nov (Ruth Gravance), and one at Piute Ponds 15 Nov (Kathy Duret). A below-average showing of Red-throated Pipits included five birds in coastal San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and San Diego Cos 20 Sep–10 Nov. An American Pipit of the subspecies japonicus returned for its second winter at the Ferraro Soccer Fields in Griffith Park, Los Angeles Co 4 Nov+ (Andrew Birch).

Fringillids through Orioles

Purple Finches wander only casually to Inyo Co, so two at Furnace Creek Ranch 31 Oct (Frank Fabbro) and one at Big Pine 26 Oct (Jo Heindel) were of note. Pine Siskins moved into the lowlands in numbers well below average this fall; the earliest reported was at the Tijuana River Valley 15 Sep (Paul E. Lehman). An American Goldfinch in Big Pine 31 Aug (Jo Heindel) was in an area where unexpected before late in fall. 

The earliest fall Lapland Longspur ever recorded in the region was at Lemon Tank on San Clemente Island 14 Sep–15 Oct (Justyn T. Stahl, Nicole J. Desnoyers); eight others were on the coast (and San Miguel Island) 21 Oct–29 Nov, and others were east of Lancaster, Los Angeles Co 17–20 Oct (Mark and Janet Scheel) and at Owens Lake, Inyo Co 19–23 Oct (Eric Smith Jr.). Chestnut-collared Longspurs were at Mission Bay, San Diego Co 14–22 Oct (Gary Nunn) and 24 Nov (Jeremiah Stock); Costa Mesa, Orange Co 10 Nov (Doug Lithgow, Bettina E. Eastman); San Miguel I. 12 Nov (two different birds; David M. Compton); and Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Co 14 Nov (Derek Hameister), along with a flock of five at Lake Isabella, Kern Co 19 Oct (John Schmitt, Allison M. Sheehey). The fall’s only Thick-billed Longspur was at Chula Vista, San Diego Co 5–13 Nov (Matt Sadowski).

A Cassin’s Sparrow was found dead in a swimming pool in the Allied Gardens neighborhood of San Diego 22 Oct (Joe Alsadi; # SDNHM 56893). A very rare transient on the eastern deserts, a Grasshopper Sparrow was at Zzyzx, San Bernardino Co 3 Oct (m. ob.). Seven migrant Black-throated Sparrows were found on the coastal slope of Los Angeles and San Diego Cos 16 Aug–23 Oct; another was at Rancho Cucamonga in far western San Bernardino Co 15 Sep (Kitty Blassey, Mike Brossart). The only Lark Bunting of the season was at Fountain Valley, Orange Co 16 Aug (James P. Mitchell). Forty-seven Clay-colored Sparrows were found in the coastal counties 13 Sep–28 Nov, with another seven on the deserts 10 Sep–29 Oct. Rare migrants in general and especially on the coast, Black-chinned Sparrows were at the Tijuana River Valley (Community Gardens) 6 Aug (Paul E. Lehman), Huntington Beach 7 Sep (Cynthia K. Case), and Coon Creek, Montana de Oro S. P. 16 Sep (J. Owen Catagnoli), the last constituting the first fall record for San Luis Obispo Co. 

The five reports of “Red” Fox Sparrows were all from the deserts: at Furnace Creek Inn, Inyo Co 13 Oct (m. ob.), Furnace Creek Ranch, Inyo Co 31 Oct (m. ob.), Pearblossom, Los Angeles Co 14 Oct (Kimball L. Garrett), Vallecito, San Diego Co 26 Oct (Britta Lee Shain), and two at Baker, San Bernardino Co 29 Oct (m. ob.). Casual as far south as Southern California, an American Tree Sparrow was at Big Sycamore Canyon, Point Mugu S. P., Ventura Co 13–14 Nov (Deven Kammerichs-Berke). The only Harris’s Sparrows reported were on San Miguel Island 12–13 Nov (Nick A. Lethaby) and on the deserts at Coco Junction Rest Area, Inyo Co 9 Nov (Russell D. Kokx), Piute Ponds 18–22 Nov (Chris Dean), and Chiriaco Summit, Riverside Co 22–23 Nov (Chris Lindsey). The earliest of some 80 White-throated Sparrows were two on San Clemente Island 25 Sep (Sue T. Meiman). Nelson’s Sparrows returned to regular wintering sites at Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo Co and Mission Bay, San Diego Co, with a leucistic individual photographed at the former site on 22 Oct (Will K. Knowlton). Early Swamp Sparrows were at Peck Road Water Conservation Park near El Monte, Los Angeles Co 23 Sep (Steven Kurniawidjaja) and Los Osos, San Luis Obispo Co 27 Sep (Phil Chaon); at least 10 additional birds were on the coastal slope, along with four others on the deserts. A Green-tailed Towhee at Aliso Park in New Cuyama, Santa Barbara Co 18 Sep (Steven P. Courtney) was the first for the Cuyama Valley. The passerine highlight of the season was an Eastern Towhee seen and photographed by numerous observers at Jacumba, San Diego Co 6–8 Nov (Bridget Spencer, Tim Swain, Max Leibowitz). If accepted by the C.B.R.C. this would constitute a first record for California, but some have expressed concern about possible hybrid origin with Spotted Towhee since the bird gave some vocalizations more typical of the latter species (along with other calls typical of Eastern). The nearest records of Eastern come from Arizona and Oregon. 

Late reports of Yellow-breasted Chats included birds at Zzyzx, San Bernardino Co 29 Oct (m. ob.), Agua Caliente County Park, San Diego Co 27 Oct (Alex Abela), Santa Monica, Los Angeles Co 1–2 Nov (Nona Drabkin), and Rancho Sierra Golf Course east of Lancaster, Los Angeles Co 4 Nov (Chris Dean).

Bobolink numbers were around average this fall, with some 37 birds on the coast and islands 9 Sep–17 Oct, along with an earlier bird 1–3 Sep on San Clemente I. (Nicole J. Desnoyers), and three on the deserts 17–26 Sep. An Orchard Oriole at Orcutt 13–14 Aug (John Deacon) was record early for Santa Barbara Co; eight others occurred along the coast 15 Sep–26 Nov, and another was on the northern desert at Zzyzx 2–3 Oct (Matthew A. Grube). Different Baltimore Orioles were at Point Loma Co 30 Aug (Paul E. Lehman) and 6 Oct (Jim Pawlicki), Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley, Orange Co 11 Oct–18 Nov (adult male; Richard A. Cabe and Jasmin C. Kay) and 4 Nov (female; Becky A. Turley), and Carpinteria 24 Nov (Eric B. Culbertson) and 29 Nov–5 Dec (John B. Callender); the only desert report was at Agua Caliente County Park, San Diego Co 25 Sep (Nancy Christensen). A Bullock’s Oriole at Niland 10 Nov (Logan Kahle) was late for the Salton Sink.

Wood-warblers

The 12 Ovenbirds found were almost the double the average encountered the past 20 falls; 10 were on the coastal slope and islands 15 Sep–9 Oct, with others at Coso Junction, Inyo Co 13–15 Sep (Susan Myers) and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, San Bernardino Co 2 Oct (Sandeep Dhar). Among our rarest wood-warblers, a Worm-eating Warbler was at Leucadia, San Diego Co 7–16 Oct (Kathy Aldern). Northern Waterthrushes were found in average numbers with 17 on the coastal slope and islands 26 Aug–4 Nov (with one remaining to winter), and 10 on the deserts 30 Aug–7 Oct. Casual in California, a Golden-winged Warbler at Meadow Park in San Luis Obispo 5–10 Oct (Nick L. Belardes) provided the third San Luis Obispo Co record. The Black-and-white Warbler reported in summer at the Matilija L. riparian, Ventura Co remained to 6 Aug (Jerry Maryniuk, Rick Constantino); 51 others were in the coastal lowlands 4 Sep+, and nine more were on the deserts 23 Sep–14 Nov. A tad above average were six Prothonotary Warblers on the coast 26 Sep–30 Oct plus one in inland San Diego Co at Jamul 11 Sep (Carlton Rochester) and another at Furnace Creek Ranch 6 Oct (Eric Heisey). Tennessee Warblers were found in above-average numbers, with some 44 on the coastal slope 3 Sep–27 Nov and five more well inland and on the deserts 23 Sep–29 Nov. Regular fall vagrants to the coast, a dozen Lucy’s Warblers were found from San Luis Obispo Co to San Diego Co 14 Aug–16 Nov; others were at Mojave Narrows Regional Park, San Bernardino Co 16 Aug (William R. Deppe), Borrego Springs, San Diego Co 19 Oct (Jim Pawlicki), and Barstow Community College, San Bernardino Co 20 Oct (John Yerger). Twelve Virginia’s Warblers were found along the coast 2 Sep–19 Oct; scattered farther inland were birds at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 3–16 Sep (Kathy Duret) with two there 10 Sep (Ted Keyel), Weldon, Kern Co 20 Sep (Allison M. Sheehey), Jacumba, San Diego Co 22 Sep (Jim Pawlicki), and Lucerne Valley, San Bernardino Co 8 Oct (Steve Ritt). A returning wintering MacGillivray’s Warbler was at Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 24 Sep+ (Brad Hacker). Casual in fall, a Kentucky Warbler was at Los Osos, San Luis Obispo Co 26–28 Sep (Curtis A. Marantz). 

Hooded Warblers were in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego 30 Oct+ (Dawn Tagburt, Nathan French), at Furnace Creek Inn, Inyo Co 30 Sep–6 Oct (Eric Heisey), and at Diaz Lake, Inyo Co 22 Nov (Russell Kokx). The summering American Redstart at Oceano, San Luis Obispo Co remained to 27 Aug (Ann. M. Stockert); another 27 were in the coastal lowlands 26 Aug+ along with another 11 on the deserts 9 Sep–10 Nov and one in the San Gabriel Mts. at Wrightwood, San Bernardino Co 9 Aug (Konshau Duman, Lynette Williams). The eight Northern Parulas were all on the coastal slope 12 Sep–6 Nov. Among several “eastern” Setophaga warblers present in well-above-average numbers this fall was Magnolia Warbler, with 18 on the coastal slope 6 Sep–28 Oct plus a wintering bird at San Dieguito County Park, San Diego Co 18 Nov+ (Sandy Yayanos, Dan King), and three more on the deserts 26 Sep–18 Oct. Also in above-average numbers was Bay-breasted Warbler, with the six birds on the coast skewed late in fall, as is typical of this species, 20 Sep–21 Nov, along with another on the northern deserts at Baker 8 Oct (Eric Heisey). Even more exceptional, though, was Blackburnian Warbler; averaging about eight per fall over the last decade, this year saw an amazing 37 birds––34 on the coastal slope and islands 18 Sep–14 Dec, along with three more in Anza-Borrego Desert S. P., San Diego Co 23 Sep (John Dumlao), 29 Sep (Gary Nunn), and 19 Oct (Eve Martin). A fairly high total of 33 Chestnut-sided Warblers were found coastally 10 Sep–11 Dec, with others on the desert at Lucerne Valley, San Bernardino Co 27 Sep (Steve Ritt) and Lancaster, Los Angeles Co 12 Nov (Trina Jones). The 41 coastal slope Blackpoll Warblers 16 Sep–30 Oct and four more on the deserts 14 Sep–6 Oct were close to the recent average but below historical averages from the latter decades of the 1900s. Black-throated Blue Warblers traditionally skew late and inland in fall; six were on the coast and islands 27 Sep–31 Oct, with another well inland at Alpine, San Diego Co 16 Nov (Eve Martin), and six more on the deserts 29 Sep–26 Oct. Fifty-two Palm Warblers were on the coast 28 Sep–28 Nov, including a bird that came aboard a boat far offshore at Cortez Bank 7 Oct and remained all the way to Ensenada, Baja California (Robert McNab); the only two on the deserts were at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 6–9 Oct (Chris Dean) and Furnace Creek Inn, Inyo Co 6 Oct (Eric Heisey). 

Most falls the region sees low single digit numbers of Pine Warblers in late fall and winter; this fall an unprecedented 15 were recorded, all in the coastal counties except for one at Palm Desert in the Coachella Valley, Riverside Co 20–21 Nov (Brad Waggoner).  At the Santa Maria cemetery, Santa Barbara Co a remarkable three birds were present 13 Nov (Jamie M. Chavez), with two remaining to 16 Nov and one to 17 Nov. Others were at the Ventura Rd. tamarisks in Oxnard, Ventura Co 22–26 Oct (Noah Arthur); Oxnard College, Ventura Co 30 Oct (Noah Arthur); Sepulveda Basin in Encino, Los Angeles Co 30 Oct (Jon L. Fisher); Legg Lake in El Monte Los Angeles Co 30 Oct (Larry Schmahl); Otay Mesa, San Diego Co 31 Oct–2 Nov (Dean DiTommaso); Tijuana River Valley 4 Nov (Dave Povey); San Ysidro, San Diego Co 5 Nov (Paul E. Lehman); and Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley, Orange Co 8 Nov (James E. Pike). Finally, the Channel Islands recorded their first Pine Warblers at Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 17 Oct (Chris Dean) and Wilson Cove, San Clemente Island 3 Nov (Nicole J. Desnoyers).

A Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler at Orcutt, Santa Barbara Co 3–31 Aug (Stephen Emerson) was surely among the few birds of this subspecies ever found in mid-summer in the region. The eight coastal Prairie Warblers included two on San Clemente Island 15-20 and 19 Sep (Justyn T. Stahl, Nicole J. Desnoyers); one at Furnace Creek Ranch 5 Sep (Kristin Trouton) was the first for Inyo Co since 1997. Five Grace’s Warblers, all remaining to winter, included a new arrival at Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo Co 8 Oct+ (Owen Hilchey), and returning birds for a fourth winter at Encinitas, San Diego Co 11 Oct+ (Susan E. Smith), a second winter at Vacation Island in Mission Bay, San Diego Co 17 Oct–15 Nov (Jim Pawlicki) and Point Loma 28 Oct (Sara B. Mayers), and a fifth winter at Del Mar, San Diego Co 20 Nov+ (Dan King). Always among our scarcer vagrant warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers were found this fall from a boat west of San Miguel Island 8 Sep (David Pereksta), at Allied Gardens, San Diego 26 Sep+ (Christopher Adler), and at North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego Co 10 Oct (Brian Flick). A Townsend’s Warbler at El Centro, Imperial Co 8 Nov+ (Logan Kahle) was attempting to winter locally. A Hermit Warbler at the same location near El Centro 2 Aug (Kenneth Z. Kurland) was the earliest ever in fall for Salton Sink. Above average were eight Canada Warblers in the coastal counties 16 Sep–13 Nov plus one on the desert at Baker 24 Sep (Logan Kahle). Two Red-faced Warblers were found in San Diego Co: in the Tijuana River Valley (Smugglers Gulch) 6–9 Sep (Jim Pawlicki) and at Point Loma (Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery) 9 Oct (Gary Nunn). Painted Redstarts at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles Co 24 Sep+ (Russell Stone), University City, San Diego Co 7–10 Oct (Jim Roberts), Arroyo Verde Park in Ventura 13 Oct+ (m. ob.), and Tierrasanta, San Diego Co 10 Nov+ (Paul E. Lehman) were all returning birds; another was at Oak View in the Ojai Valley, Ventura Co 14 Nov (Kirsti Carr).

Cardinalids 

Only one Hepatic Tanager was found, at Solana Beach, San Diego Co 7 Oct–4 Nov (Gjon C. Hazard). Some 48 Summer Tanagers were found on the coastal slope 4 Sep+, with another five on the deserts 10 Aug+. Scarlet Tanagers were at Balboa Park in San Diego 14–17 Oct (John Bruin), downtown San Diego 7–10 Nov (Lisa Huffman), and Carlsbad, San Diego Co 20–21 Nov (Alex Abela); another was at Cuesta Canyon Park, San Luis Obispo Co 5–11 Nov (Petra and Jack Clayton) and what might have been the same bird (both hatch-year males) was about two miles away 6–8 Dec (J. Owen Castagnoli). A Pyrrhuloxia photographed in Indio Hills, north of Indio, Riverside Co 11 Aug (Sarah Benita Rodriguez) adds to the growing list of records for the southeastern part of the region. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were represented by 22 birds on the coastal slope 9 Aug–20 Nov, one in Palm Springs, Riverside Co 10 Oct (Steve Eckert) and singles in Bishop, Inyo Co 9 Oct and 28 Oct (m. ob.).

A late Black-headed Grosbeak was at Montecito, Santa Barbara Co 20 Nov (Joan E. Lentz). A Blue Grosbeak at Goleta 9–18 Nov (Nick A. Lethaby) was close to latest ever in fall migrant in Santa Barbara Co. The summering male Indigo Bunting at Whittier Narrows Dam, Los Angeles Co remained to 21 Aug; single migrants were at Silver Lake Reservoir, Los Angeles Co 25 Aug (Andrew Birch), Tijuana River Valley 22–23 Sep (Paul E. Lehman), Point Loma 7–9 Oct (Paul E Lehman), the Sepulveda Basin 18 Oct (Mayer Otto), and Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 30 Oct (Mark Wilson, Van Pierszalowski). A good showing of six coastal mainland Painted Buntings 6 Sep–7 Nov was augmented by one on San Clemente I. 2–5 Sep (Justyn T. Stahl) and one at Desert Center, Riverside Co 5 Sep (Brian Sandstrom); these were all in female/immature plumage, but an adult male at a feeder in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles Co 4–7 Nov (Kelly Fogarty) must be regarded as of uncertain provenance. Dickcissels included four on San Clemente Island 19 Sep–3 Oct (Nicole J. Desnoyers, Justyn T. Stahl, Sue T. Meiman) and one at Robb Field in Pacific Beach, San Diego Co 2 Nov (Elizabeth Morgan); six more were on the Inyo Co and San Bernardino Co deserts 1 Sep–3 Oct.

Report processed by Eric DeFonso, 15 Feb 2022.

Photos–Southern California: Fall 2021

This Curlew Sandpiper, still retaining the peachy wash on the breast associated with juveniles, was with a young Dunlin at the Ventura County Game Preserve, California on 23 September 2021. Photo © Larry Sansone.

This adult Red-necked Stint in alternate-plumage was photographed on the second day of its 22–29 August 2021 stay at Malibu Lagoon, Los Angeles Co, California. Photo © David Pereksta.

These two Craveri’s Murrelets, probably an adult and juvenile, flushed from the Pacific Ocean waters off Ventura Co, California on 2 October 2021, show the diagnostic dark spur at the upper breast as well as extensive dark on the underwings. Photo © Larry Sansone.

One of six Cook’s Petrels seen in flight off San Diego, San Diego Co, California on 14 August 2021, showing the distinct dark “M” across the upper side. Photo © Naresh Satyan.

This young brown-morph Red-footed Booby off Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo Co on 24 September 2021 was one of an unprecedented 18 reported over Southern California’s oceanic waters between 1 August and 30 November 2021. Photo © Curtis A. Marantz.

This short-staying young Mississippi Kite at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, Imperial County on 21 September 2021 is the first to be found at California’s Salton Sink. Photo © Jason Vassallo.

The coastal Southern California counties experienced a noticeable influx of Lewis’s Woodpeckers during the fall of 2021, including this individual in Los Angeles Co on 11 November 2021. Photo © Larry Sansone.

Although visual identification of our wood-pewees is rarely possible, this Eastern Wood-Pewee at Furnace Creek, Death Valley National Park, Inyo Co on 2 October 2021 was recorded giving vocalizations typical of that species, which is a casual vagrant to California. Photo © Matthew Grube.

This most cooperative Dusky Warbler at the Sepulveda Basin in Encino, Los Angeles Co, was photographed on 15 October 2021 during its 9–16 October stay. This Asiatic Phylloscopus is now found almost annually in California. Photo © Larry Sansone.

This well marked immature Red-throated Pipit, photographed on the first day of its 1–10 November 2021 stay at Robb Athletic Field in Ocean Beach, San Diego Co, California shows the prominent black streaking on the underparts and the distinctive patterning on the mantle. Photo © Thomas Ford-Hutchinson.

This American Tree Sparrow, now much scarcer in Southern California than formerly, was photographed at Sycamore Canyon in Point Mugu State Park, Ventura Co, on the last day of its 13–14 November 2021 stay. Photo © David Pereksta.

This apparent Eastern Towhee, a species unrecorded in California, was photographed on the last day of its known 6–8 November 2021 presence in Jacumba, San Diego Co. There is no question that the plumage matches that of an Eastern Towhee, but there remains a question whether certain of its vocalizations suggest some Spotted Towhee ancestry. Photo © Curtis A. Marantz.

This obvious male Golden-winged Warbler, photographed on the second day of its 5–10 October 2021 stay at Meadow Park in San Luis Obispo, provided the third record for well-birded San Luis Obispo Co, California. Photo © Derek Hameister.

This Bay-breasted Warbler photographed at Balboa Park in San Diego, San Diego Co, California on 12 November 2021 clearly shows the unstreaked breast, pinkish-buff wash on the underparts, and dark feet helpful in separating it from the similar-appearing Blackpoll Warbler at this time of the year. Photo © Mel Senac.

This well-marked Blackburnian Warbler at Bob Kildee Community Park in Camarillo, Ventura Co on 28 September 2021 was one of an unprecedented 37 reported in Southern California during the fall. Photo © David Pereksta.

This young male Black-throated Blue Warbler posing nicely at Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach, Orange Co on 2 October 2021 was one of thirteen reported in Southern California this fall. Photo © Jon L. Dunn.

This male Red-faced Warbler, photographed on 7 September 2021 at Smuggler’s Gulch in the Tijuana River Valley, San Diego Co, California attracted large crowds during its 6–9 September 2021 stay. Photo © Derek Hameister.

This first-fall Painted Bunting at Doyle Community Park in La Jolla, San Diego Co on 30 September 2021 was one of eight similar looking greenish individuals in Southern California this fall. Photo © John Dumlao.