David M. Compton (Santa Barbara), Tom M. Edell (San Luis Obispo), Kimball L. Garrett (Los Angeles), Chris and Rosie Howard (Inyo), Kelli K. Heindel (Kern), Alexander E. Koonce (San Bernardino), Guy McCaskie (San Diego and Imperial), David Rankin (Riverside), Larry Sansone (photo editor), Justyn T. Stahl (San Clemente Island), Ryan S. Winkleman (Orange).
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: SBMNH (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History) and 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
Two summering Brant at N.E.S.S. were present through 7 Sep with one remaining to 5 Oct (Robert L. McKernan). Greater White-fronted Geese were far more numerous than expected in this region as indicated by 190 near Cambria, San Luis Obispo Co 15 Nov (Tom M. Edell), 235 at the San Ynez River Estuary, Santa Barbara Co 12 Oct (Spencer Seale), 360 at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 14 Oct (Kimball L. Garrett), 135 at the Prado Recreation Park, San Bernardino Co 26 Oct (Johnny Bovee), and over 900, including a flock of 150 at Sweetwater Reservoir (Paul E. Lehman), in coastal San Diego Co during October (Paul E. Lehman), and about 250 scattered throughout the Imperial Valley, Imperial Co 22 Oct (Guy McCaskie). A Tundra Swan at Seal Beach, Orange Co 19 Nov (Brian E. Daniels) and another at Pico Rivera 23–30 Nov+ (Benjamin Ewing) were the earliest to reach this Region this winter. A Wood Duck, exceptionally rare at the Salton Sink and elsewhere in extreme southeastern California, was at N.E.S.S. (84th Ave) 30 Nov (Robert L. McKernan) and two more were at Sunbeam Lake, Imperial Co 24–26 Nov (Mario Martinez). Eurasian Wigeon appeared less numerous than expected as only 12 were reported from along the coast along with only one inland. A Mexican Duck remained with Mallards on Lower Otay Reservoir, San Diego Co 29 Jul–23 Sep (Matt Sadowski), a male was at S.E.S.S. (Unit 1) 10 Aug (Guy McCaskie), another was in Bishop, Inyo Co 2 Nov (Eric Smith Jr.), and the bird in Huntington Beach, Orange Co during the past two winters was again present 19 Oct–30 Nov+ (Roger A. Schoedl).
A Surf Scoter inland at N.E.S.S. (North Shore) 10 Aug (Robert L. McKernan) had undoubtedly summered locally, but up to three at Pleasant Valley Reservoir, Inyo Co 13–24 Nov (Chris and Rosie Howard), single birds at Harper Dry Lake, San Bernardino Co 27 Oct (Sean Rowe), Baker, San Bernardino Co 6–9 Nov (Bill Deppe) and at Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Co 20 Nov (Mary Converse), along with up to four at N.E.S.S. (North Shore) 26 Oct–30 Nov+ (Robert L. McKernan), were fall migrants or wintering locally. The earliest of the few southbound White-winged Scoters was one at the mouth of Little Pico Creek, San Luis Obispo Co 4 Nov (Daniel Dunn), and the southernmost was one flying south with Surf Scoters at Point La Jolla in La Jolla, San Diego Co 8 Nov (Paul E. Lehman); one at Lake Cahuilla, Riverside Co 12 Nov (Otto Mayer) was inland where very rare. The earliest of the scarce Black Scoters was a female flying south with migrating Surf Scoters at Point La Jolla 2 Nov (Paul E. Lehman), and a male inland on Hollywood Reservoir, Los Angeles Co 3–9 Nov (Andrew Birch). A Long-tailed Duck, rare in Southern California, flying south with migrating Surf Scoters at Point La Jolla 3 Nov (Paul E. Lehman), was the first of only four reported along the coast this fall.
Single Red-necked Grebes, rare along the coast in Southern California, were at Malibu, Los Angeles Co 11 Nov (Rebecca Marschall), Newport Beach, Orange Co 2 Oct (Derek J. Hameister), Hedionda Lagoon, San Diego Co 28 Oct–25 Nov (Matt Sadowski), and on San Diego Bay 23–30 Nov+ (Paul E. Lehman); one at S.E.S.S. (Unit 1) 8 Nov (Andrew Farnsworth) was inland where unexpected.
Doves through Hummingbirds
A White-winged Dove in Cambria, San Luis Obispo Co 9 Aug (Petra Clayton) was the northernmost of more than 40 found along the coast and on the offshore islands this fall, and single birds in Bakersfield, Kern Co 3 Sep (John C. Wilson), Shoshone, Inyo Co 1–27 Oct (Frank Fabbro) and in Lone Pine, Inyo Co 8–9 Oct (Russell D. Kokx) were the farthest north in the central eastern parts of this region. An Inca Dove in Baker 3 Nov (Adrian Hinkle) was at an unexpected location north of the species’ known range. Single Common Ground-Doves at Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernardino Co 12 Oct (David Goodward) and Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino Co 29 Oct–2 Nov (Johnny Bovee) were at the extreme northern edge of the species’ present known range. A Groove-billed Ani, a casual stray to Southern California, was at the Palo Verde Ecological Preserve, Riverside Co 11–13 Nov (Mike Baker). A Yellow-billed Cuckoo that crashed into a window at a home in Coronado on the exceptionally late date of 10 Nov (Eve Berman) establishes the latest date for this species in California.
Three migrant Black Swifts, rarely reported in fall, were over Chula Vista, along with two more over Pacific Beach, San Diego Co 9 Sep (Andrew Newmark and Gary Nunn).
A Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a casual stray to California, frequented a feeder near Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 8–11 Sep (Nick A. Lethaby). Exceptionally late-staying Black-chinned Hummingbirds remained at feeders in Juniper Hills, Los Angeles Co to 6 Oct (Kimball L. Garrett) and in Tierrasanta, San Diego Co to 15 Oct (Paul E. Lehman); most have departed Southern California by mid-September. An adult male Broad-tailed Hummingbird, rare away from the limited breeding locations in the extreme northeastern part of this region, was well photographed in Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego Co 10 Jul (Dorothy Arnold) and another was at Bearpaw Ranch Sanctuary, San Bernardino Co 8 Oct–20 Nov (Anthony Metcalf). Three Broad-billed Hummingbirds were known this fall, with single males at Ira Lease Park in Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo Co 21 Oct–27 Nov (Will H. Knowlton), Vandenberg Village, Santa Barbara Co 6 Nov (Robert Bennett), and in Carmel Valley, San Diego Co 12 Nov–13 Dec (Jamie Smith).
Rails through Sandpipers
An emaciated Yellow Rail captured at Mission Bay, San Diego Co 21 Oct (* SDNHM #57230) is one of a very few known in Southern California, with the most recent being in 1998.
An American Oystercatcher was at the Los Angeles Harbor 11 Sep (Naresh Satyan) and two were there 8 Oct (Kimball L. Garrett). Five American Golden-Plovers were reported, with single birds at Arroyo Laguna near San Simeon, San Luis Obispo Co 24 Sep–6 Oct (Will K. Knowlton), near Oxnard, Ventura Co 23 Oct (Dan Stoebel), Malibu, Los Angeles Co 11 Nov (Chris Tosdevin), and inland at S.E.S.S. (Unit 1) 18–19 Sep (Guy McCaskie) and near the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Riverside Co on the somewhat late date of 13–18 Nov (Anthony Metcalf). At least 15 Pacific Golden-Plovers were known along the coast after 11 Aug, with at least five remaining into the winter. A Mountain Plover on the shore of the Salton Sea at Salt Creek 19 Oct (Robert L. McKernan) was early and at an unexpected location, and one near the Oso Flaco Creek mouth, San Luis Obispo Co 21–22 Oct (Nicole R. Durtschi) was on the coast where now very rare; up to 91 at the Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Luis Obispo Co after 3 Nov (Russell A. Namitz) and up to 13 near Palmdale after 17 Nov (Kimball L. Garrett) were at known wintering locations.
The only Ruddy Turnstones reported inland were six at S.E.S.S. (Young Rd) between 11 August and 28 September. Up to three Black Turnstones were inland at S.E.S.S. (Young Rd) 3 Aug–12 Sep (Guy McCaskie). Up to two Red Knots near Harper Dry Lake, San Bernardino Co 13–15 Sep (Brooks Hart) were the only ones reported inland away from the Salton Sea. Eight Ruffs were reported, with single birds on the coast at Whale Rock Reservoir, San Luis Obispo Co 11–15 Sep (Petra and Jack Clayton) and in Huntington Beach, Orange Co 4 Sep (Brian E. Daniels) along with up to two at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Riverside Co 13–30 Oct (Anthony Metcalf) and single birds near Westmorland, Imperial Co 13–20 Aug (Guy McCaskie), S.E.S.S. (Unit 1) 18 Sep (Guy McCaskie) and at S.E.S.S. (Young Road) 22 Sep (Nicole Koeltzow) and 24 Sep–22 Oct (Guy McCaskie). Single Stilt Sandpipers, rare away from the S.E.S.S., were along the coast at the San Ynez River Estuary, Santa Barbara Co 17 Aug (Nick A. Lethaby) and San Joaquin Wildlife Area 16 Aug (Thomas E. Wurster) along with up to three at Sweetwater Reservoir, San Diego Co 3–10 Oct (Paul E. Lehman), and well inland with one at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 14 Aug (Mark and Janet Scheel), two at Lake Elsinore, Riverside Co 17 Aug (CH), and two more at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area 21–24 Sep (Chet McGaugh). Three Sanderlings at Owens Lake, Inyo Co 21 Sep (Chris and Rosie Howard) and four at Harper Dry Lake, San Bernardino Co 13 Sep (Brooks Hart) were the only ones reported away from the Salton Sea. Up to 75 Sanderlings at Salt Creek Beach on the east shore of the Salton Sea in November (Robert L. McKernan) were possibly attempting to winter locally. Over 80 Baird’s Sandpipers reported from along the coast and close to 100 more inland after 10 August appeared close to average, but exceptionally low numbers were in Los Angeles County (Kimball L. Garrett) and high numbers were inland at N.E.S.S. where one was still present on the late date of 26 Nov (Robert L. McKernan). The Little Stint that spent the past four winters on south San Diego Bay, San Diego Co was again present 18 Jul–30 Nov+ (Matt Sadowski). A Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Riverside Co 23–24 Sep (Tony Metcalf) was the only one known in this region. Pectoral Sandpiper numbers appeared below normal with fewer than 100 reported between 26 August and the somewhat late date of 15 November. Semipalmated Sandpipers were clearly far less numerous than expected with 17 reported from along the coast and only four inland between 26 July and 23 September. At least 90 Solitary Sandpipers were known scattered throughout the region between 1 August and 13 October, with one near Mecca, Riverside Co 11–28 Nov+ (Jasen Liu) wintering locally.
Skuas through Terns
A South Polar Skua was in the Santa Barbara Channel north of Santa Cruz Island, where rare, 4 Aug (Joel Barrett), but at least five were over the waters beyond the Channel Islands between 7 Sep and 12 Oct (David Pereksta) where expected. Single Parasitic Jaegers were inland at the N.E.S.S. (84th Ave) 31 Aug (Robert L. McKernan) and 28 Sep (Robert L. McKernan), and at the S.E.S.S. (Niland Boat Ramp) 10–12 Sep (Guy McCaskie) and (Young Rd) 11 Sep (Bridget Spencer). A juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger at the Niland Boat Ramp 10 Sep (Guy McCaskie) was the only one reported inland.
Seven Guadalupe Murrelets well offshore in the area of the Rodriguez and San Juan Seamounts between 6 September and 12 October, along with two 90-140 km southwest of Pt. Piedras Blancas, San Luis Obispo Co in October (CalCOFI Research Cruise) were well offshore where expected at this time of the year. In addition a Guadalupe Murrelet landed on a fishing vessel west of San Clemente Island 3 Aug (Wes T. Fritz), another landed on a cruise ship traveling between Santa Catalina Island and San Diego 15 Oct (Steve Backus), and one photographed 30 km off San Diego 13 Aug (Paul E. Lehman) was closer to the coast than expected. The latest of the post-breeding Craveri’s Murrelets was one south of the northern Channel Islands 12 Oct (Victor Stoll). An Ancient Murrelet at Newport Beach, Orange Co on the early date of 19 Sep (Derek J. Hameister) was the only one reported.
An adult Swallow-tailed Gull on a beach in Oceanside, San Diego Co 25 Oct (Janet Cavallaro) was the fourth in California and the first in this region. Only 10 Sabine’s Gulls were reported from inland localities, but included late juveniles at N.E.S.S. 19 Oct (Robert L. McKernan) and at S.E.S.S. 22 Oct (Logan Kahle). A Laughing Gull at Sweetwater Reservoir, San Diego Co 10 Sep (Paul E. Lehman) was the only one reported away from the Salton Sink. Far fewer than the expected number of Franklin’s Gulls passed through this region as indicated by only five along the coast and six inland. A Heermann’s Gull inland at N.E.S.S. (North Shore) 7 Sep (Robert L. McKernan) was in an area where rare, but another at Baker, San Bernardino Co 1 Nov (Logan Kahle) was certainly unexpected. A Short-billed Gull on the Salton Sea at Salt Creek Beach 2 Nov (Robert L. McKernan) was the only one known well inland. A Lesser Black-backed Gull at N.E.S.S. (84th Ave) 10 Aug (Robert L McKernan) had likely summered locally, but one on Lower Otay Reservoir 9 Sep (Matt Sadowski) was the earliest of 15 elsewhere in the Region.
Tropicbirds through Frigatebirds
Single Red-billed Tropicbirds were off Mission Bay, San Diego Co 6 Sep (Newton Berdine), 6 km west of Point Loma, San Diego Co 11 Sep (Paul E. Lehman), 48 km southwest of San Clemente Island 2 Oct (Gary Nunn), southeast of San Clemente Island 2 Oct (Matt Sadowski), at San Clemente Island 28 Aug (Benjamin C. Stalheim), 1.5 km off Dana Point, Orange Co 27 Aug (Charles Kelly), over the Santa Cruz Basin off Santa Barbara Co 1 Oct (David Pereksta), and over the Rodriguez Seamount 7 Sep (David Pereksta).
Single Pacific Loons, scarce inland, were on Lake Sabrina, Inyo Co 28 Oct (Russell D. Kokx), Klondike Lake, Inyo Co 13 Nov (Kelli K. Heindel), Lake Palmdale, Los Angeles Co 20 Nov (Kimball L. Garrett), and near Holtville, Imperial Co 5 Nov (Jeremiah Stock).
A Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, rare in Southern California waters, was well photographed at Point La Jolla 3 Nov (Matt Sadowski). The northernmost of the regularly occurring post-breeding Townsend’s Storm-Petrels were 18 over the Rodriguez and San Juan Seamounts off Santa Barbara Co 7 Sep (Todd McGrath); one over Crespi Knoll 5 Aug (David Pereksta) was a little closer to the coast than expected and the first known over Orange County waters. A recently fledged juvenile Black Storm-Petrel recovered at a parking structure in San Diego’s Kearny Mesa 17 Oct (* SDNHM #57227) mirrors over 20 others inland around San Diego in the fall of other years (Philip Unitt). The remnants of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Kay pushed large numbers of Least Storm-Petrels to the immediate coast as indicated by more than 40 reported from shore between Imperial Beach and Carlsbad, San Diego Co 9–12 Sep, at least 30 off Newport Beach 10 Sep (Curtis A. Marantz), and one inside Los Angeles Harbor 11 Sep (Chezy Yusuf); two on Lake Elsinore, Riverside Co 9–10 (Charity Hagen) were the only ones found inland. A Least Storm-Petrel off San Luis Obispo Co 12 Oct (Victor Stoll) was the northernmost this year.
Single Cook’s Petrels were near the 30-Mile Bank off San Diego 13 Aug (Paul E. Lehman) and 21 Aug (Paul E. Lehman) and over the Tanner Bank 8 Sep (Todd McGrath), along with 28 counted over the Rodriguez and San Juan Seamounts off Santa Barbara Co 7 Sep (Todd McGrath) and one 95 km west of San Miguel Island 23 Sep (Tim Shelmerdine).
A Streaked Shearwater, the second in Southern California, was over the Santa Rosa Passage, Santa Barbara Co 1 Oct (David Pereksta). A Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Southern California’s fourth, was over Nine Mile Bank, 35 km west of San Diego 11 Sep (Gary Nunn). A Buller’s Shearwater at the Nine Mile Bank off San Diego 31 Aug (Jimmy McMorran) was the southernmost, and 360 over the San Juan Seamount 7 Sep (David Pereksta) was an impressive concentration. A Flesh-footed Shearwater, rare off Southern California, over the Santa Barbara Channel, Santa Barbara/Ventura Cos 5 Oct (Joel Barrett) was the only one reported. Single Short-tailed Shearwaters, scarce off Southern California, were off Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo Co 18 Sep (Alvaro Jaramillo), 24 km east of Santa Catalina Island 18 Nov (Naresh Satyan), and at Point La Jolla 2 Nov (Paul E. Lehman). Single Manx Shearwaters, scarce off Southern California, were off Santa Barbara County 27 Aug (Wes T. Fritz), 30 Oct (Lucas Brug) and 6 Sep (David Pereksta), and off San Diego 13 Aug (Barbara Weise), 21 Aug (Paul E. Lehman) and 5 Sep (Todd McGrath).
The Wood Stork at the Prado Basin, Riverside Co through the summer was still there 20 Oct (Bonnie Johnson).
Two Magnificent Frigatebirds over Palos Verdes Estates/Redondo Beach, Los Angeles Co 4 Sep (Judy Kolo-Rose) were most likely young of the year wandering northward in the late summer/early fall. However, possibly as many as 12 Magnificent Frigatebirds along the coast of San Diego Co 9–12 Sep, two together over San Clemente Island 10 Sep (Nicole J. Desnoyers), one more off San Clemente Island 11 Sep (Naresh Satyan), four at Newport Beach 9 Sep (Derek J. Hameister), and up to two at the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Los Angeles Co 10–11 Sep (Mark and Janet Scheel) were associated with the remnants of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Kay.
Boobies through Spoonbills
Single Masked Boobies were 48 km off San Diego 4 Sep (Gary Nunn), on the cliffs at Point La Jolla 8–9 Nov (Charley Herzfeld), 65 km south and 55 km southwest of San Miguel Island 12 Oct (Ian Burgess), and on Anacapa Island 1 Oct (David Pereksta). At least 30 Masked/Nazca Boobies were reported from along the coast, with 20 of them identified as Nazca Boobies, and a Masked/Nazca Booby off San Luis Obispo County on 12 Oct (Victor Stoll) was the northernmost. A Blue-footed Booby was inland at S.E.S.S (Niland Boat Ramp/Lack and Gumbel) 10 Sep (Jason St. Pierre and Pam Rasmussen) and single birds were along the coast at the Tijuana River mouth, San Diego Co 23 Oct (Tibo Guo), 35 km west of Point Loma 11 Sep (Paul E. Lehman), and a continuing pair was on Santa Barbara Island through 6 Sep (David Pereksta). An unprecedented 30 Red-footed Boobies were reported, with single birds off San Luis Obispo County on 12 Oct (Victor Stoll) and 15 Oct (Tammy Russell) being the northernmost, and one photographed 7 km inland flying over Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, San Diego Co 29 Sep (Patti Langen) providing the first record from the interior.
Neotropic Cormorants are now well established in the southern part of this region, especially so in the southeastern part of the region, with the northwestern most reported being single birds at Bardsdale Ponds, Ventura Co 13–15 Aug (Tina Tan) and in Valencia, Los Angeles Co 21–30 Sep (Hans Spiecker).
An adult Little Blue Heron at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach, Orange Co 16 Sep–16 Nov+ (Donald R. Hoechlin), joined by an immature 19 Sep (Thomas E. Wurster), were the only two reported north of coastal San Diego County. The only Tricolored Heron reported was an immature inland at the S.E.S.S. (Obsidian Butte) 3 Sep (Guy McCaskie). A Reddish Egret in Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 1–26 Aug (Ron Hirst) was the northernmost on the coast. Inland, up to four Reddish Egrets were at N.E.S.S 21 Sep–30 Nov+ (Robert L. McKernan) and another was at S.E.S.S. 21–22 Sep (Aidan Healey). Two immature Roseate Spoonbills, a casual straggler to California, remained at the S.E.S.S. (Young Road and Unit 1) 20 Aug–14 Sep (Guy McCaskie).
Hawks through Woodpeckers
The Common Black-Hawk at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve during the summer was still there 10 Aug (Frank Fabbro). Six Harris’s Hawks were still present at Shelter Valley in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and five more remained in Jacumba, San Diego Co through November (Hana Hernandez and Paul E. Lehman). At least 36 migrant Broad-winged Hawks were reported from along the coast between 24 Sep and 17 Oct, along with single birds well inland at Lone Pine, Inyo Co 1 Oct (Russell D. Kokx) and Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino 17 Sep (Matt Grube). At least 12 Zone-tailed Hawks were known in the coastal lowlands, with one near Ventura 15 Nov (Jerry Maryniuk) being the northernmost, and most believed to be remaining through the winter. The only Zone-tailed Hawks known in the eastern half of this region were single birds at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley National Park, Inyo Co 1 Oct (Gabriel S. Mapel), and at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve 7–10 Aug (Brendan Murtha) and 11–27 Nov (Jason St. Pierre). A Ferruginous Hawk in the Tijuana River Valley, San Diego Co 19 Sep (Paul E. Lehman) was not only early, but also on the coast were now rare.
A Snowy Owl well photographed adjacent to Whites Point Preserve in San Pedro, Los Angeles Co 12 Nov (Peggy Gussman) would establish the first record for Southern California if a genuine vagrant from the north. [There has been some doubt as to the circumstances of another Snowy Owl, a specimen from the high San Gabriel Mts., Los Angeles Co in May 1913; see Condor 47:247, 1945.] Given the lack of any southerly movement of Snowy Owls along the Pacific Coast this fall and winter (eBird), there is some concern it might not have reached the area on its own, but possibly transported by ship to neighboring Los Angeles Harbor. What was almost certainly this same Snowy Owl was roosting in nearby residential Cypress, Orange Co 26 Nov–16 Jan, becoming something of a celebrity viewed by well over a thousand people as it roosted daily on residential rooftops.
Lewis’s Woodpeckers were more numerous and widespread along the coast than expected, especially so in Santa Barbara County where 156 were counted migrating westward along the foothills in Montecito 7 Oct (Hugh P. Ranson) and 52 were counted at San Rafael Mountain 6 Nov (Larry R. Ballard), but also in Los Angeles County with 18 at Gorman 25 Sep (Richard Crossley) and 14 in Malibu Creek State Park 28 Oct (Jan Dougall); however, they were virtually unreported in the southeastern part of this region. Single Acorn Woodpeckers on Point Loma 2 Oct (Nathan French) and at San Elijo Lagoon 10–15 Oct (P. C. Koger) on the immediate coast were unexpected. Single Williamson’s Sapsuckers in Borrego Springs, San Diego Co 27–30 Nov+ (Michael Getty), at Corn Springs, Riverside Co 21–22 Oct (Brian Sandstrom), and at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley National Park 13 Nov (Chris and Rosie Howard) were at noteworthy desert locations.
Dusky-capped Flycatchers (to be augmented by additional winter reports) were at San Luis Obispo 14–20 Nov (Michael D. Munroy) and Peck Park, San Pedro, Los Angeles Co 29 Nov+ (Brian E. Daniels). Great Crested Flycatchers are casual vagrants to California, mainly in fall, with three found this year, at Atascadero, San Luis Obispo Co 24–26 Sep (Dale E. Ball), Los Osos, San Luis Obispo Co 20–24 Oct (Jim S. Royer), and on Point Loma, San Diego Co 26 Oct (Paul E. Lehman). A Brown-crested Flycatcher at Mission Viejo, Orange Co 14 Nov (Tom Fangrow) had also been present the previous three winters. Exceptional numbers of Tropical Kingbirds were recorded this fall, with a very early bird on Point Loma 2 Sep (Allen Schenck) followed by 20 in San Luis Obispo Co 21 Sep+, 16 in Santa Barbara Co 15 Sep+, two in Ventura Co 11 Sep–16 Oct, 18 in coastal Los Angeles Co 16 Sep+, one on San Clemente I. 8–13 Oct (Justyn T. Stahl, Nicole J. Desnoyers), three in Orange Co 30 Sep+, and 18 in San Diego Co 10 Sep+; well inland were singles at San Timoteo Canyon in Redlands, San Bernardino Co 30 Sep–5 Oct (Matt Grube) and Castaic Lagoon, Los Angeles Co 2 Oct (Richard Crossley). A Cassin’s Kingbird at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 7–14 Nov (William Tyrer) was unusual on the floor of the Antelope Valley. Thick-billed Kingbirds were at Toyon Canyon in Griffith Park, Los Angeles 31 Oct (Curtis A. Marantz), the Tijuana River Valley, San Diego Co 7–13 Nov (with two together on 7 Nov; Paul E. Lehman), and Ontario 11 Nov+ (Thomas A. Benson), the last being only the second for San Bernardino Co. Six Eastern Kingbirds, regular in early fall, were at El Dorado Park, Long Beach 30 Aug (Becky Turley et al.), Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 5–13 Sep (Richard Block), with two birds there on 9 Sep (Marge and Don Thornton), the lower Los Angeles River in Long Beach 10–20 Sep (Brian E. Daniels), Tecolote Canyon in San Diego 13 Sep (John Bruin), and Lunada Bay, Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles Co 18 Sep (Naresh Satyan). Scissor-tailed Flycatchers made appearances to Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale, Los Angeles Co 6–7 Oct (Keith Condon) and Balboa Park in San Diego 13–17 Nov (Paul E. Lehman).
Olive-sided Flycatchers on 25 Oct at San Ysidro, San Diego Co (Paul E. Lehman) and Bonelli Regional Park, Los Angeles Co (Chuck Burt) were the latest to be found this fall. Quite late was a
Western Wood-Pewee at Encinitas, San Diego Co 10–11 Nov (Steven Brad). Three
Yellow-bellied Flycatchers was an exceptional showing; well-documented birds were at Scorpion Ranch, Santa Cruz Island SBA 16 Sep (Hugh P. Ranson), Point Loma SD 5–7 Oct (Gary Nunn), and Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 16–17 Oct (Logan Kahle, Adrian Hinkle, Christopher Hinkle), the last establishing the first record for Los Angeles Co. The latest convincingly documented Willow Flycatchers were at Piute Ponds 8 Oct (Femi Faminu), Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale, Los Angeles Co 8 Oct (Frank and Susan Gilliland et al.), and Vista, San Diego Co 19 Oct (Sally Veach). Least Flycatchers were at Point Conception, Santa Barbara Co 10 Sep (Nick A. Lethaby), Upper Scorpion Campground on Santa Cruz Island 16 Sep (Marky Mutchler), Point Loma 5–14 Oct (Gary Nunn), Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 16–17 Oct (Logan Kahle, Adrian and Christopher Hinkle), and Huntington Beach (Huntington Central Park), Orange Co 26 Oct–4 Nov (Richard Cabe and Jasmine Kay). Fall vagrant Eastern Phoebes were at Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 19 Oct (Chris Dean et al.), Sunnyside Cemetery, Long Beach 23 Oct (Naresh Satyan), Ocean Beach, San Diego Co 24 Oct (Barbara Wise), and Twentynine Palms 8 Nov (Adam Panto); returning wintering birds were at San Miguel Ranch, San Diego Co 24–25 Oct (Jonny Sperling; for its third winter) and Lake Lindero, Agoura, Los Angeles Co 21 Oct+ (Daniel S. Cooper).
Vireos through Corvids
A Gray Vireo remained to the late date of 10 Sep on the breeding grounds at Kitchen Creek, San Diego Co (Max Kirsch). The only Yellow-throated Vireo reported was at Waller Park in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara Co 2 Nov (Jay Carroll). Late for the deserts, a Cassin’s Vireo was at California City, Kern Co 26 Oct (Gary Rosenberg, Scott B. Terrill, Linda Terrill). Blue-headed Vireos were at Valle Lindo Park in Camarillo, Ventura Co 30 Sep–2 Oct (David Pereksta) and Point Loma 10–11 Oct (Alex Abela). The eight Philadelphia Vireos found were more than average, with birds at Los Osos, San Luis Obispo Co 30 Sep–11 Oct (Will H. Knowlton), Point Loma 10–11 Oct (Paul E. Lehman), Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach 22 Oct (James M. Maley), Balboa Park in San Diego 24 Oct (Paul E. Lehman), and Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego Co 15–28 Nov (Bridget Spencer); others were on the Channel Islands at Scorpion Campground, Santa Cruz Island 28 Sep (Hugh P. Ranson), Thompson Reservoir, Santa Catalina I. 16 Oct (Laura Vandezande), and Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 16–17 Oct (Logan Kahle, Adrian Hinkle, Christopher Hinkle). Late Warbling Vireos were at Sand Dune Park in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles Co 4–8 Nov (Chris Dean), Malibu Legacy Park, Los Angeles Co 6 Nov (Richard Ambrose, Mike Ambrose), Vina Vieja Park in Pasadena, Los Angeles Co 9 Nov (Luke Tiller), Los Osos 19 Nov (Steve and Janny Tillmann), and Del Mar, San Diego Co 22 Nov (Alex Abela); another at Bohnett Park in Santa Barbara 3 Nov+ (Hugh P. Ranson) had returned for a tenth winter.
The Red-eyed Vireo summering in the Tijuana River Valley, San Diego Co was present to 17 Aug (Kale Worman, Alex Merritt); five others were on the coast and islands 24 Sep–31 Oct, and another was on the desert at California City, Kern Co 26 Oct (Gary Rosenberg, Scott and Linda Terrill). Once again Yellow-green Vireos outnumbered Red-eyeds, with seven birds on the coastal slope 6 Sep–24 Oct, another at Scorpion Ranch on Santa Cruz I. 28 Sep (Hugh P. Ranson), and one seen from a cruise ship well off San Luis Obispo Co 12 Oct (Victor Stoll).
A moderate movement of Pinyon Jays away from the species’ regular range in the region occurred, with up to 100 around Mt. Pinos, Ventura Co 15–25 Oct (Sammy Cowell) and small flocks seen sporadically around nearby Frazier Park (Richard Crossley); large flocks were also noted on the eastern Mojave Desert of San Bernardino Co, including 51 at Cima Dome 2 Oct (James E. Pike) and 40 there 6 Oct (Amber Hart) and 46 at Wildhorse Canyon Rd. 3 Nov (Lauren Johnson, John C. Sullivan), up to eight were in the Laguna Mts., San Diego Co 18–30 Oct (Nancy Christensen), and five were in Juniper Hills, Los Angeles Co 22 Oct (Kimball L. Garrett; the first for Los Angeles Co since 2010). A Clark’s Nutcracker at the Carrizo Plain National Monument 26 Oct (Russell A. Namitz) was the first for San Luis Obispo Co since 2014. Another corvid wandering slightly out of range was Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, with single birds at Baker, San Bernardino Co 20 Sep (Jim Pike), Zzyzx, San Bernardino Co 8–13 Oct (Russell A. Namitz), and Inyokern, Kern Co 28 Nov (Bob and Susan Steele).
Verdin through Dippers
A Verdin at Bolsa Chica 30 Nov–2 Dec (Brian Sandstrom) was only the third to be found in Orange Co; others outside the regular range were at San Timoteo Canyon in Redlands 6 Aug–9 Oct (juv.; Matt Grube) and the Tijuana River Valley 19 Nov (Brandon Stidum). A rare migrant in the Imperial Valley, a Purple Martin was at S.E.S.S. 24 Aug (Guy McCaskie).
The outstanding highlight among landbirds this fall was California’s first Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), a Palearctic species with previous North American records limited to the islands off Alaska; it was found in the Signal Hills neighborhood of Long Beach, Los Angeles Co 15 Oct (Brad Dawson) and observed by hundreds at Willow Springs Park, the adjacent Sunnyside Cemetery, and an adjoining business park until 24 Oct (Karyl Gabriel, Carol Furutani et al.). This is the fourth species of Phylloscopus to be found in California; that number rose to five a few days later with the discovery of a Willow Warbler (P. trochilus) in Marin Co in the Northern California region.
Small numbers of Golden-crowned Kinglets dispersed into the lowlands of the region, with over a dozen on the coastal slope, including three at Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 6 Nov (Otto Mayer, Van Pierszalowski), and four on the San Bernardino Co desert 25 Oct–13 Nov. Early arriving
Ruby-crowned Kinglets were in the Laguna Mts. (Upper Agua Dulce Creek) 7 Sep (Nancy Christensen) and Encinitas 9 Sep (Kurt Gaskill).
Two Swinhoe’s White-eyes at Wilson Cove, San Clemente I. 21 Nov (Sue T. Meiman) established the second record for this island by this rapidly-expanding naturalized species; up to five were at Santa Barbara 2–4 Sep (Eric B. Culbertson) and one was in Goleta 29 Nov (Jessie Altstatt), the current northerly range limit.
A Bohemian Waxwing at Lone Pine, Inyo Co 26–28 Nov (Russell D. Kokx); this is a rare late fall and winter visitor to the region, absent most years. Early Cedar Waxwings included one at Avalon, Santa Catalina I 21 Aug (Kurt Scearce), six at the Huntington Gardens in San Marino, Los Angeles Co 29 Aug and 30 there on 31 Aug (Jim Margitan).
A House Wren at Furnace Creek Ranch, Inyo Co 13 Nov (Chris and Rosie Howard) was very late for the far northern desert. A Winter Wren at Arroyo Burro in Santa Barbara 19–30 Nov (Hugh P. Ranson) established the third record for Santa Barbara Co. A Sedge Wren at the Toyon Landfill site in Griffith Park, Los Angeles 29–31 Oct (Kevin Lapp) was the first to be found in Los Angeles Co, with the second following shortly afterward at Piute Ponds 14 Nov+ (Kimball L. Garrett).
Gray Catbirds were found on the coastal slope at Point Loma 11 Oct (Steve Ellis) and 22–27 Oct (Gary Nunn), the Tijuana River Valley 21 Oct (Paul Marvin), and the Sedgwick Reserve near Los Olivos, Santa Barbara Co 21 Oct–4 Nov (Tim Miller), with island records at Scorpion Cove, Santa Cruz I. 16–18 Oct (John B. Callender) and 23 Nov (J. Smith) and at Wilson Cove, San Clemente I. 19–23 Oct (Benjamin C. Stalheim); inland, one was at Jackson Lake in the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles Co 7 Oct–6 Nov (Naresh Satyan, Jeffer Giang, et al.) with others on the northern deserts at Baker 8 Oct (Thomas A. Benson), Birchim Canyon north of Bishop 17 Oct (Chris Howard), Furnace Creek Ranch 27 Oct–4 Nov (with two on 3 Nov; Mark Sawyer), and Piute Ponds 27 Oct (Chris Dean). Brown Thrashers were on the northern deserts at Jawbone Canyon, Kern Co 8 Oct (Sasha Robinson) and west of Bishop, Inyo Co 4 Nov (Nicholas Levendosky); coastally one was at Two Harbors on Santa Catalina Island 31 Oct (Michael Rigney) with another at the Tijuana River Valley (Bird and Butterfly Garden) 18–19 Nov (Bonnie Henderson). A very early fall migrant Sage Thrasher was at North Island, Coronado, San Diego Co 10–11 Aug (Brian Flick).
Despite almost historically low stream levels, American Dippers were found at three localities in the San Gabriel Mts., with one at Cooper Canyon/Burkhart Trail north of Cloudburst Summit 17 Aug–29 Sep (Sean Crockett), two on the East Fork of the San Gabriel River 21 Oct (Naresh Satyan), and one at the South Fork of Big Rock Creek 23 Oct–05 Nov (Corey Husic).
Thrushes through Pipits
Thrushes and other frugivores were exceptionally widespread and abundant in the region this fall (more detail to come in the winter report). Mountain Bluebirds were widespread in the desert and coastal lowlands; two e. of Shandon, San Luis Obispo Co 16 Oct (Petra and Jack Clayton) were quite early, and 23 on San Clemente I. 4–30 Nov and 26 in Brea, Orange Co 15 Nov (Shirley Reynolds) were indicative of the developing irruption. Townsend’s Solitaires were especially widespread after mid-October; thirteen were on San Clemente I. 5 Oct+ (Justyn T. Stahl), with others on Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Is. Solitaire superlatives from elsewhere included a “major irruption” in Orange Co with seven in the lowlands and 15+ in the Santa Ana Mountains; 20 in mainland Santa Barbara Co; 40 birds in the deserts of San Bernardino Co; 22 in the lowlands of Riverside Co; and 14 in the lowlands of San Diego Co after 5 Oct. Solitaires were more numerous and widespread than usual on the desert foothills and Antelope Valley of Los Angeles Co, and birds made it to the Imperial Valley at El Centro 22 Oct (Logan Kahle, Guy McCaskie) and near El Centro 29–31 Oct (Kenneth Z. Kurland). An exceptional five Wood Thrushes were found this fall (with only 23 previous regional records), with birds at Cerritos 28 Sep–4 Oct (Joyce Brady) for the fourth Los Angeles Co record, Scorpion Campground on Santa Cruz Island 16–17 Oct (Jeremy Cowan, Max Laubstein; the first record for the Channel Islands and second for Santa Barbara Co), Furnace Creek Ranch 5–6 Nov (Charity Hagen; the first in Inyo Co since 2011), Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino Co 22–25 Oct (Johnny Bovee), and Doane Pond on Mount Palomar, San Diego Co 25 Nov–10 Dec (Bill Tweet). Large numbers of American Robins were also on the move in the region beginning in October, e.g., 140 around Niland, Imperial Co 30 Nov (Guy McCaskie); more details on numbers will come in the Winter season report. Despite the elevated numbers of some other thrushes, Varied Thrushes appeared in lower than average numbers, with only about 15 total reports 18 Oct+.
At least six Scaly-breasted Munias, both adults and juveniles, were in Avalon 18 Nov (Laurel Sanchez), establishing the first record for that island and marking the fourth Channel Island to have recorded this expanding naturalized species; a juvenile in Juniper Hills 21 Nov (Kimball L. Garrett) established one of the few records for the desert slope of Los Angeles Co, and other outliers were in San Bernardino Co at Big Bear Lake 11 Sep (Eric Tipton) and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve 17 Sep (Lisa Kaplowitz).
White Wagtails, without subspecies determination, were at Goleta 27 Sep (Peter A. Gaede) and on the desert at Baker 8 Oct (Thomas A. Benson), the latter being the second to be found in San Bernardino Co. It was a poor fall for Red-throated Pipits, with the only records being at Estero Bluffs S. P., San Luis Obispo Co 18 Oct (Tom M. Edell), up to two near Oxnard, Ventura Co 18–25 Oct (Spencer Seale), and the Santa Clara R. mouth, Ventura Co 20 Nov (David Pereksta). An
American Pipit of the subspecies japonicus retuned to the Ferraro Soccer complex in Griffith Park, Los Angeles Co for its third winter 15 Nov+ (Andrew Birch). A Sprague’s Pipit in Neenach in the western Antelope Valley Co 19 Oct (Richard Crossley) was first in Los Angeles Co since 2008.
Finches through Icterids
Evening Grosbeaks appeared on the deserts at Furnace Creek Ranch 24 Oct–3 Nov (female; Chris and Rosie Howard) and 13 Nov (male; Curtis A. Marantz), Desert Center, Riverside Co 24 Oct (Brooks Hart), and Primm Valley, San Bernardino Co 5 Nov (Logan Kahle). A Purple Finch at Deep Springs College, Inyo Co 29 Oct (Scott B. Terrill) was a bit out of range. There was little movement of Pine Siskins into the lowlands this fall, but single birds did reach S.E.S.S. (Salton Sea NWR refuge headquarters) 14 Nov (Sue Cossins) and San Clemente I. 17 Nov (Benjamin C. Stalheim).
Some 12 Lapland Longspurs were found along the coast or islands 12 Oct–20 Nov (with one remaining at Ocean Beach, San Diego Co through the end of the period); farther inland singles were at Neenach, Los Angeles Co 19 Oct (Richard Crossley), the Cuyama Valley, Santa Barbara Co 12–20 Nov (Linus Blomqvist), Furnace Creek Ranch 13–14 Nov (Chris and Rosie Howard), and Owens Lake, Inyo Co 26 Nov–3 Dec (Jon L. Dunn). Chestnut-collared Longspurs were found at only four localities, with birds at the Toyon Landfill in Griffith Park, Los Angeles 8 and 23 Oct (Andrew Birch), San Miguel I. 9 Oct (David M. Compton), Neenach 19 Oct (Richard Crossley; five, with four continuing to 1 Nov), and Elings Park in Santa Barbara 29–30 Oct (Hugh P. Ranson). Completely unexpected was a Snow Bunting seen briefly but photodocumented at Oceanside Harbor, San Diego Co 2 Nov (Matt Sadowski).
The fall migration period of the secretive Grasshopper Sparrow certainly includes October, with one at Zzyzx, San Bernardino Co 1 Oct (Adrian Hinkle), three far offshore of San Luis Obispo Co 12–15 Oct (Victor Stoll, Steve M. Backus, Tammy Russell), and one along Ballona Creek in Playa del Rey, Los Angeles Co 30 Oct (Kevin Lapp), all areas far from any breeding or wintering localities. At least ten Black-throated Sparrows, mostly hatch-year birds, dispersed to the coastal slope 26 Aug–13 Oct. The only Lark Buntings reported were at Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale 10 Sep (Luke Tiller), Encinitas 28 Sep (Eve Martin), and Point Conception 15 Oct (Linus Blomqvist).
The 64 Clay-colored Sparrows reported (60 on the coast and islands 13 Sep–26 Nov, with another four on the deserts 8 Oct–7 Nov) exceeded last fall’s total, but was still well below the 99 found during the record fall of 2020. A rare coastal Black-chinned Sparrow was at La Jolla, San Diego Co 9 Sep (Alex Abela). A Field Sparrow at Piute Ponds 27 Oct (Chris Dean) was only the third to be found in Los Angeles Co. A White-crowned Sparrow photographed at Furnace Creek Ranch 1 Nov showed characters consistent with Z. l. pugetensis, establishing the first record of this coastal-wintering subspecies in Inyo Co (Ethan Monk). The summering Golden-crowned Sparrow at Goleta 2 Jul+ was last seen 17 Sep (Richard Block). Harris’s Sparrows were at Little Harbor, Santa Catalina I. 1 Nov (Laura Vandezande), Poway, San Diego Co 13–19 Nov (Tyler Krul), Goleta 30 Nov–4 Dec (Dave Levasheff), and on the northern desert at Inyokern, Kern Co 28 Nov (Bob and Susan Steele). A hybrid White-crowned x White-throated Sparrow was studied at California City 26 Oct (Scott and Linda Terrill, Gary Rosenberg). Exceptional numbers of White-throated Sparrows were found in the region, with some 135 birds found after 9 Oct, mostly on the coastal slope. “Red” Fox Sparrows, likely Passerella iliaca zaboria, were at Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo Co 28 Nov (Herb D. Elliott) and Piute Ponds 18–19 Nov (Chris Dean), with another four on the San Bernardino Co deserts 30 Oct–27 Nov. A LeConte’s Sparrow at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve 25 Nov (Shannon Lehrter) was the first to be found in Riverside Co. Nelson’s Sparrows away from regular wintering areas were at Lake Los Carneros, Goleta SBA 1–2 Oct (Barry Rowan) and Furnace Creek Ranch 24 Oct (Chris and Rosie Howard), the latter being the first for Inyo Co since 1995. Swamp Sparrows were found in above-average numbers, with at least 40 on the coastal slope after 6 Oct and another 19 on the deserts after 10 Oct.
A Yellow-breasted Chat on Santa Catalina I. (Wrigley Road) 28 Oct (Mitchell Bailey) was one of the latest ever found in fall on the Channel Islands.
Bobolink numbers were somewhat below average this fall, with a total of 28 individuals 4 Sep–29 Oct, all in coastal areas and offshore islands. Ten costal slope Orchard Orioles were found 1 Sep–25 Nov, with a couple remaining to winter; inland birds were at Jacumba, San Diego Co 15 Sep (Paul E. Lehman) and Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino Co 15 Oct (Johnny Bovee). The 15 Baltimore Orioles 15 Sep+ were all on the coast, including birds on San Clemente I. 7 Oct (Nicole J. Desnoyers) and Santa Cruz I. 16 Oct (John B. Callender). Despite a global population crash, Rusty Blackbirds continue to appear annually in the region, with five birds this fall at Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park near San Pedro, Los Angeles Co 12–16 Nov (Johnny Ivanov), Scorpion Cove on Santa Cruz I. 13 Nov (Viviana McKinley), Boron, Kern Co 26 Oct (Scott and Linda Terrill, Gary Rosenberg), Baker 7–9 Nov (Logan Kahle), and Desert Center 15 Nov (Loren Wright). Less than annual in the region, a Common Grackle was at Lake Tamarisk, Desert Center, Riverside Co 14–16 Nov (Derek J. Hameister).
It was a banner fall for many wood-warbler species, with some 711 individuals of 22 key annually (or near-annually) occurring vagrant species more than doubling the average for the past 20 fall periods. The 11 Ovenbirds found 15 Sep–26 Oct were all on the coastal slope or islands. Among our rarer warbler vagrants, a Worm-eating Warbler was at Pismo State Beach Oceano Campground, San Luis Obispo Co 23 Sep (Kevin J. Zimmer). An above-average 34 Northern Waterthrushes were on the coast and islands 22 Aug+, with another six on the deserts 2 Sep–2 Oct. A very rare Blue-winged Warbler was at Big Sycamore Canyon in Point Mugu S.P., Ventura Co 30 Aug (Dessi Sieburth). Black-and-white Warbler was one of many wood-warblers found in exceptional numbers this fall, with a total of 70 on the coast and islands after 24 Aug, and nine on the deserts 27 Sep–27 Nov. The Prothonotary Warbler summering at Encinitas, San Diego Co remained to 15 Sep (Neal Glasgow); fall vagrants included one found dead at the Santa Ynez River Estuary, Santa Barbara Co 21 Nov (Lisa Walker-Roseman; *SBMNH) as well as birds at Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms 1 Oct (Johnny Bovee), Lone Pine, Inyo Co 8 Oct (RDK), and Birchim Canyon north of Bishop 15–17 Oct (Pema Zonglo). To say it was a record fall for Tennessee Warblers would be an understatement; the 155 birds found this fall amounted to some five times the average of the last ~20 years; about 146 were on the coastal slope and islands 5 Sep+, with another 10 on the deserts and mountains 9 Sep into November.
Coastal counties recorded the following numbers of Tennessees: San Luis Obispo – 20; Santa Barbara – 37, Ventura – 6, Los Angeles – 32 (including four on San Clemente I.), Orange – 11, and San Diego – 39. Fourteen Lucy’s Warblers were found on the coast and islands 7 Aug–12 Nov, with another on the desert at Piute Ponds 14 Aug (Femi Faminu). A Nashville Warbler at Atascadero 15 Aug (Tom M. Edell) established the earliest fall record for San Luis Obispo Co. Twenty-five Virginia’s Warblers were found on the coastal slope 23 Aug–18 Oct, with others in Lake Los Angeles on the Los Angeles Co desert 20–25 Aug (Kimball L. Garrett), the Laguna Mts., San Diego Co 21–23 Aug (Nancy Christensen), the shore of Lake Isabella shore near Wofford Heights, Kern Co 10 Sep (Sasha Robinson), and Baker 24 Sep (Matt Grube, Alexander E. Koonce). A Connecticut Warbler at Wilson Cove, San Clemente I. 8 Oct (Justyn T. Stahl, Nicole J. Desnoyers) was only the second for Los Angeles Co, with the previous record also from this island. A MacGillivray’s Warbler at Goleta 29 Sep+ had returned for its third winter (John B. Callender). The only Mourning Warblers of the fall were at Point Conception 10 Sep (Nick A. Lethaby) and Wilson Cove, San Clemente I. 8 Oct (Nicole J. Desnoyers), the latter establishing the first record for that island and only the third well-documented record for the Channel Islands. The fall’s lone Kentucky Warbler was at Point Loma 11–21 Oct (Derek J. Hameister, Michael Ray).
Somewhat surprisingly, only one Hooded Warbler was found, at Granada Park in Monterey Park, Los Angeles Co 16 Sep (Jon S. Feenstra). Well above average were 55 American Redstarts on the coastal slope and islands 26 Aug–27 Nov along with 26 on the deserts 26 Aug–23 Oct plus the Salton Sink’s earliest fall bird ever at S.E.S.S. (Salton Sea N.W.R. refuge headquarters) 9–10 Aug (Frank Fabbro). The lone Cape May Warbler of the fall was in South Pasadena, Los Angeles Co 24 Oct (Sequoia Ding). A Cerulean Warbler in Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 27–28 Oct (Laura Vandezande) was a first for Los Angeles County and region’s ninth and the first since 2008. Skewed somewhat late in the fall were the well above average 20 Northern Parulas on the coast and islands 18 Sep–29 Nov and seven others on the deserts 30 Sep–25 Nov. Magnolia Warblers were also well above average with 30 on the coastal slope and islands 20 Sep–21 Nov and interior birds at the west shore Lake Isabella near Wofford Heights 25 Sep (Sasha Robinson), Piute Ponds 30 Sep–2 Oct (Naresh Satyan), Jackson Lake in the San Gabriel Mts. 16 Oct (Becca Cockrum), and Barstow, San Bernardino Co 2–11 Nov (Bill Deppe). Bay-breasted Warblers, typically found late in the fall, were at Scorpion Ranch on Santa Cruz I. 22 Oct (David Blue, David M. Compton), University City in San Diego 23–29 Oct (Jim Roberts), Rolling Hills, Los Angeles Co 29 Oct (Bobby Trusela), and Goleta 1–2 Nov (Nick A. Lethaby); another in the San Jacinto Mtns. near Idyllwild 20 Nov (Van Pierszalowski) was only the second to be found in Riverside Co.
Two more species found in very high numbers this fall were Blackburnian Warbler, with 27 on the coast and islands 18 Sep–18 Nov and another at Lone Pine, Inyo Co 29 Sep (Russell D. Kokx), and the Chestnut-sided Warbler with 45 on the coastal slope and islands 15 Sep–6 Nov and another 12 on the desert 30 Sep–12 Nov. Thirty-five Blackpoll Warblers were on the coast and islands 12 Sep–2 Nov, with another inland at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Riverside Co 6 Nov (Pema Zonglo) and one at California City 1 Nov (Logan Kahle).
Black-throated Blue Warblers were found late in the fall, as expected, with 14 on the coast and islands 1 Oct–23 Nov and four more on the deserts 2 Oct–2 Nov. The 62 Palm Warblers were all on the coastal slope and islands 29 Sep+ except for one at Shoshone, Inyo Co 3 Oct (Adrian Hinkle). Though well below last fall’s record 15 birds, there was a good showing of five Pine Warblers, at Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale 11 Oct (Jon S. Feenstra), Buddy Todd Park in Oceanside 22–23 Oct (Tito Gonzalez), Chula Vista, San Diego Co 24 Oct (Bonnie Henderson), Ventura 31 Oct (David Pereksta), and Waller Park in Santa Maria 2 Nov (John B. Callender). Yellow-throated Warblers were at Morro Bay 26 Aug (Tom M. Edell), Valle Lindo Park in Ventura 30 Sep–2 Oct (John Mueller), and Avalon, Santa Catalina I. 16 Oct (Logan Kahle, Adrian Hinkle, Christopher Hinkle), the last being a first record for that island. Twelve Prairie Warblers were found on the coastal slope and islands 21 Aug–26 Oct, including one seen on a cruise ship off San Luis Obispo Co 12 Oct (Victor Stoll). A Grace’s Warbler was along Upper Kitchen Creek Rd. in the Laguna Mts., San Diego Co 10 Sep (Kurt Gaskill); additional returning wintering birds were at Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo Co 6–25 Nov (Brad K. Schram), Crest Canyon in Del Mar, San Diego Co 5–7 Nov (Dan King), Encinitas 5–30 Nov+ (P. Gretchen Nell), and Point Loma 6–30 Nov+ (Jonny Sperling). An above-average eight Black-throated Green Warblers were at Granada Park in Monterey Park, Los Angeles Co 16–18 Sep (Mark Scheel), Lewis Macadams Riverfront Park along the Los Angeles River near Glendale 19–25 Sep (Andrew Birch), Point Loma 25–26 Sep (Gary Nunn) and 9 Oct (Haim Weizman), Pismo State Beach Oceano Campground 29 Sep–2 Oct (Liam and Kilian Hampl), Santee Lakes, San Diego Co 17 Oct–30 Nov+ (Terry Hirst), San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Riverside Co 28 Oct (Johnny Ivanov), and Hollis Lake at Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego Co 17 Nov (Jeremiah Stock). A Townsend’s x Yellow-rumped Warbler hybrid was in La Jolla, San Diego Co 23 Sep (Nick Thorpe).
Six Canada Warblers were found in coastal areas: at Wardlow Park, Long Beach 13 Sep (Kim Moore), La Jolla (U.C. San Diego campus) 25 Sep (Emily Davis), Lake Murray, San Diego Co 3–9 Oct (Matt Sadowski), Carlsbad, San Diego Co 3 Oct (Gjon C. Hazard; *SDNHM), Point Loma 15–16 Oct (Jim Pawlicki), and Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park near San Pedro from 20 Nov until 23 Nov when killed by a Merlin (Graham Hamby). A Red-faced Warbler in the Laguna Mts., San Diego Co 12 Aug (Victor Stoll) had presumably summered locally. Painted Redstarts were in West Los Angeles 12 Oct+ (Mark Harris), Pattinson Park in Huntington Beach 27–29 Oct (Brian E. Daniels), Pasadena 30 Oct–6 Nov (Andrew Jacobson), Goleta 1–27 Nov (Tom Turner), Tierrasanta, San Diego Co 1–30 Nov+ (Judy Neave; for its fourth winter), and around Birdcage Park in Long Beach 30 Nov+ (Nancy DeVries, James M. Maley).
Returning wintering Hepatic Tanagers were at Tierrasanta 24 Oct–30 Nov+ (Paul E. Lehman) and San Dieguito County Park, San Diego Co 26–30 Oct (P. Gretchen Nell). Summer Tanagers were numerous and widespread on the coastal slope, with some 115 birds reported through the period; at least 14 more were on the deserts away from known breeding sites. Six Scarlet Tanagers were found along the coast, at Whelan Lake, San Diego Co 9 Oct (Tito Gonzalez), La Jolla 18 Oct (Jay Desgrossellier), Oso Flaco Lake, San Luis Obispo Co 20 Oct (Herb D. Elliott), El Dorado Park in Long Beach 22 Oct (Joyce Brady), Encinitas 22 Oct (Betsy Miller), and Buddy Todd Park in Oceanside 23–25 Oct (Peter A. Ginsburg); on the islands one was at Wilson Cove, San Clemente I. 22 Oct (Nicole J. Desnoyers). Casual in California, a Pyrrhuloxia was in the Coachella Valley at Lake Cahuilla, Riverside Co 3 Nov+ (John Green). A total of 46 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were found on the coastal slope and islands 10 Aug–25 Nov, with another eight on the deserts 21 Aug–14 Nov.
Exceptionally late Blue Grosbeaks were in Orange Co at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine 11–12 Nov (Tom Marsan-Ryan) and Peters Canyon Creek 29 Nov (Chuck Schussmann). Summering Indigo Buntings remained in Glendale, Los Angeles Co from July to 19 Aug (Jon Fisher, Andrew Birch) and in the Tijuana River Valley where a male and female remained to 14 Aug (Marcie Mason, Barbara Wise), with a juvenile being seen there 14–24 Aug (Matt Sadowski); 13 more were on the coastal slope and islands 29 Aug–10 Nov and five more were on the Kern and San Bernardino Co deserts 23 Oct–25 Nov. Painted Buntings, all females or immatures not likely to be escapees, were found in greater than average numbers, with birds on Santa Cruz I. at Prisoner’s Harbor 16 Sep (Nick A. Lethaby) and at Scorpion Landing 17 Sep (Steve Tillman), another seven on the coastal slope 23 Aug–2 Oct, and two in the Laguna Mts., 12 Aug (Chris Staurovsky); additional birds were on the northern deserts at Shoshone, Inyo Co 21 Sep (Dessi Sieburth), Furnace Creek Ranch 3 Nov (Mark Sawyer), and Baker 22 Nov (Nathan Moorhatch). Dickcissel was another species occurring in high numbers this fall, with 24 being found on the coastal slope and islands 4 Sep–30 Oct; three others were on the Riverside Co deserts, east of Desert Center 7 Oct (Nathan Banfield), at Desert Center 11–15 Oct (Curtis A. Marantz), and at Palm Springs 8 Oct (Lisa Kaplowitz).
Indian Silverbills, first reported in Palm Springs, Riverside Co in 2018, continued there with two on 8 Sep and at least five on 10 Nov at Prescott Preserve (fide David Rankin).
In the Summer 2022 report, the Red-eyed Vireo in Huntington Beach, Orange County 10 Jun should be credited to Roger A. Schoedl. Also, the reference to a “Cape May Warbler…on the Owens River north of Bishop, Inyo Co 17–19 Jun (Aidan Place)” should have referred to a Hooded Warbler.
Report processed by Eric DeFonso, 5 Apr 2023.