Southern California: Summer 2023

Summer 2023: 1 Jun–31 Jul

Guy McCaskie
guymcc@pacbell.net

Kimball L. Garrett
kgarrett@nhm.org

Recommended citation:

McCaskie, G., and K. L. Garrett. 2023. Summer 2023: Southern California. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-gIi> North American Birds.

After a relatively wet winter in most of the region, the spring and summer brought apparently high breeding success for many land birds, though quantification is lacking in most cases. The months of June and July in the region encompass the tail end of spring migration, a significant portion of the late spring “vagrant season,” the first few weeks of “fall” migration for many species, and also a period of high seabird diversity in pelagic waters. This report contains examples of all of these patterns. Unprecedented were midsummer records of Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher and Rufous-backed Robin; other late spring vagrants of note included multiple

Mississippi Kites, White-eyed Vireos, and Yellow-throated Vireos (including a nesting attempt of the latter species). Other highlights were topped by a stunning Swallow-tailed Gull present for one day in Santa Barbara County, along with that county’s first Little Stint, both Common Black and Gray Hawks along the Colorado River, encouraging numbers of Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and what now appears to be a resident Tundra Bean-Goose that has settled into a park south of downtown Los Angeles.

Sub-regional Compilers

David M. Compton (Santa Barbara), Sammy Cowell (Ventura), Tom M. Edell (San Luis Obispo), Kimball L. Garrett (Los Angeles), Kelli K. Heindel (Kern), Chris and Rosie Howard (Inyo), 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: NESS (north end of the Salton Sea, Riverside); SESS (south end of the Salton Sea, Imperial). Museum collections abbreviated in the text are: SDNHM (San Diego Natural History Museum).

Because most rarities in S. 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 (CBRC) review list (see www.californiabirds.org) is forwarded to the CBRC and archived at the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo. The symbol # indicates that a specimen has been deposited in the indicated collection.

Waterfowl through Grebes

The Tundra Bean-Goose first seen at Piute Ponds, Los Angeles Co 6 Mar (Jon S. Feenstra) was still at nearby Apollo Park until 8 Jul (Braxton Landsman), but mysteriously appeared at the Earvin Magic Johnson Recreation Area in Willowbrook, south of downtown Los Angeles, 13 Jul (Chris Dean) where it was still present into October. The White-winged Scoter found at SESS (Young Rd) 12 Apr was last seen 18 Jul (Guy McCaskie) when believed to have succumbed to the harsh summer conditions. A Long-tailed Duck was off Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego Co. 4–5 Jun (Varun Rao), then at the adjacent Scripps Coastal Reserve 20–21 Jun (Dan Briggs) where it was caught and taken to Project Wildlife (SDNHM). A Hooded Merganser, unexpected in summer, appeared at Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park near San Pedro, Los Angeles Co 11 Jul (John Ivanov), where it presumably summered locally. A Common Merganser at Lake Cuyamaca 20–22 Jul (David Goodward) provided the second record for San Diego Co in summer.

The Red-necked Grebe inland and high in the mountains on Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Co, first seen 12 May, was still present 5 Jul (Alla Shumko).

Doves through Rails

A White-winged Dove at Shoshone, Inyo Co 1–12 Jun (Forrest English) was north of this species’ range, and one at Piute Ponds 2 Jun (Kimball L. Garrett) was the first ever for this well-worked locality.

Far more Yellow-billed Cuckoos than average were reported, with eight at the South Fork Wildlife area, Kern Co 30 Jul (Annie Meyer) and one along the Santa Clara River near Ojai, Ventura Co 14 Jul (Sammy Cowell) at known nesting locations; one at Baker Meadow west of Big Pine, Inyo Co 29 Jun (John Bishop), another along the Mojave River near Hodge, San Bernardino Co 3 Jul (Art Davenport), three at Picacho State Recreation Area, Imperial Co 25 Jun (Henry D. Detwiler), and three more along San Felipe Creek upstream from Scissors Crossing, San Diego Co 26 Jun–2 Jul (David Trissel) were in suitable breeding habitat; one along Aliso Creek in Aliso Viejo/Laguna Niguel, Orange Co 26 Jun (Gary Meredith) and another along the San Dieguito River near Poway, San Diego Co 23–30 Jul (Steve Lima) were in marginal breeding habitat; and single birds in Carlsbad, San Diego Co 28 Jun (Tito Gonzalez), Poway 17 Jul (SDNHM) near Seeley (Rio Bend Golf Course), Imperial Co 12 Jul (Guy McCaskie), at Solstice Canyon in Malibu, Los Angeles Co 12 Jul (Jack Parlapiano), near Baldy Village, Los Angeles Co 15 Jul (Cathy McFadden), and near Doane Pond on Palomar Mountain 9 Jul (Rob Farber) were best considered straggling migrants.

Two Common Nighthawks at Erwin Lake 21 Jul (Griffin Rohrer) were the only ones reported in the San Bernardino Mountains or elsewhere away from the extreme northeastern corner of this region. Up to three Black Swifts foraging over the Claremont Wilderness Park in the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles Co 25 Jun–30 Jul (Luke Tiller et al.) were probably nesting locally. One or two Vaux’s Swifts in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo Co 5–9 Jul (Steve and Janny Tillmann) were likely summering locally, this area being the southern extreme of this species’ suspected breeding range.

At least one Sora was calling at Piute Ponds 27 May–5 Jun (Daniel Irons, William Tyrer), and single birds were at Lake Casitas, Ventura Co 11 Jul (Lukas Le Grice) and near Ojai, Ventura Co 22 Jul (Lukas Le Grice), but there is no proof of nesting at these locations or elsewhere in the lowlands of Southern California.

Plovers through Auklets

A Pacific Golden-Plover at Estero Bluffs State Park, San Luis Obispo Co 31 Jul–9 Aug (Mike O. Bush) was an early fall migrant.

A Stilt Sandpiper high in the mountains at Big Bear Lake 22 Jul (Brad C. Singer), was the only one reported away from the SESS. Two Baird’s Sandpipers at the Santa Clara River Estuary, Ventura Co 28–24 Jul (Sangeet Khalsa) and one at Estero Bluffs State Park 29 Jul (Ann Vaughan) were the earliest of the fall migrants this year. A Little Stint in Goleta 8 Jun (Nick Lethaby) was a new species for Santa Barbara Co. A Pectoral Sandpiper at the Los Angeles River in Long Beach 23 Jun (Jeff Boyd) and another at Estero Bluffs State Park 19 Jul (Tom M. Edell) were believed to be early fall migrants. A Wilson’s Snipe at Piute Ponds 28 Jul (Kimball L. Garrett) was an early fall migrant.

The earliest of the fall migrant Solitary Sandpipers were single birds at Piute Ponds 8–9 Jul (Mark and Janet Scheel), on the Los Angeles River in Long Beach 24 Jul (Jeff Boyd), in the Riverside Co portion of the Prado Basin 27–28 Jul (James E. Pike) and at Estero Bluffs State Park 31 Jul (Tom M. Edell). A Red Phalarope, unexpected in summer, was at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Orange Co 9–25 Jun (Nancy Salem) and another was at the Santa Clara River Estuary 6 Jul (Rick Constantino).

A first-summer Long-tailed Jaeger and a first-summer Parasitic Jaeger at the 30-Mile Bank off San Diego 12 Jul (Paul E. Lehman) were both believed to be summering locally.

At least three Common Murres at Point Piedras Blancas Rock, San Luis Obispo Co 5 Jul (Tom M. Edell) were suspected to be nesting; if so, this would establish the southernmost nest site on the eastern Pacific. A Pigeon Guillemot in La Jolla, San Diego Co 10 Jul (Paul E. Lehman) was at the southern extreme of this species’ known range. Two northbound regularly occurring post-breeding Craveri’s Murrelets at the 30-Mile Bank off San Diego 23 May (Paul E. Lehman) were the earliest this summer. A Rhinoceros Auklet at the 30-Mile Bank off San Diego was well south of the southernmost known nesting location in Northern California; however, up to eight at Montana de Oro Park 8 Jun–30 Jul (David Lealand) were believed to be nesting.

Gulls through Terns

An adult Swallow-tailed Gull, the fifth to be found in California and the second in this region, was on the beach at Goleta, Santa Barbara Co 19 Jul (Eunice Schroeder), where it was seen by numerous observers until it flew out to sea at dusk. An immature Laughing Gull at the San Diego River mouth 6 Jun (Jim Pea) was unexpected on the coast; one at SESS (New River) 21 Jul (Bobby Figarotta) was the earliest of those breeding in west Mexico that regularly move north into the Salton Sink after nesting. Single Franklin’s Gulls, unexpected in summer, were on the coast at Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo 24–25 Jun (Caden Klamut), Port San Luis, San Luis Obispo Co 7 Jul (Kilian and Liam Hampl), the Santa Ynez River Estuary, Santa Barbara Co 3 Jun (Nick A. Lethaby) and 7 Jul (Brad K. Hines), the Santa Clara River Estuary, Ventura Co 16 Jun (Glen Austin), the Ballona Freshwater Marsh in Playa del Rey, Los Angeles Co 3–4 Jun (Chris Tosdevin), Batiquitos Lagoon, San Diego Co 23 Jul (Tito Gonzalez), and inland at the NESS (Ave 81) 14 Jun (Robert L. McKernan). A pair of Heermann’s Gulls with a nest containing eggs in Long Beach Harbor in June (Robert Schallmann) established one of the few nesting attempts for coastal Southern California. At least nine post-breeding Heermann’s Gulls known at the Salton Sink between 28 Jun and 12 Jul included five together on Fig Lagoon 28 Jun (Guy McCaskie) and one at NESS (Desert Shores) 19 Jul (Robert L. McKernan).

Single Least Terns at the SESS (Rock Hill) 23 Jun (Bill Crowe) and NESS (Ave 82) 12 Jul (Robert L. McKernan) were far inland where rare. Virtually all Gull-billed Tern nesting attempts at the Salton Sea failed due to predators, and the latest of the summering birds was one photographed at SESS 26 Aug (Dan Hayes). Two Elegant Terns, very rare inland, in flight over the Ramona Grasslands, San Diego Co 7 Jun (Brennan Mulrooney) probably originated from the Gulf of California, as did another on Fig Lagoon, Imperial Co 5 Jul (Guy McCaskie).

Tropicbirds through Boobies

A Red-billed Tropicbird offshore between Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands 23 Jul (Chris Dean) was the only one reported.

A Laysan Albatross 8 km off Mission Bay, San Diego Co 22 Jul (Ameet Shah) was unusually close to the coast. An unprecedented 56 Cook’s Petrels were counted off San Diego 3 Jun, with most around the 30-mile Bank, but included one 18.5 km off Point Loma and another only 16 km off Point Loma (Paul E. Lehman); in addition, eleven were over Los Angeles Co waters between Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands 23 Jul (Chris Dean), one was over the deep water west of San Clemente Island 30 Jul (Wes T. Fritz), eight more were in that same area 31 Jul (Wes T. Fritz), and 19 were over the Tanner Bank off Ventura 29–30 Jul (Wes T. Fritz).

Two Buller’s Shearwaters, unexpected off Southern California in July, were over Estero Bay, San Luis Obispo Co 25 Jul (Gregory P. Smith). A Manx Shearwater, rare in Southern California, was over Los Angeles Co ocean waters at Emery Knoll near San Clemente Island 25 Jun (David Bell), another was in the San Pedro Channel 31 Jul (Matt DuRoss), and a third was photographed off Orange Co 23 Jul (Van Pierszalowski).

The wide-ranging Wood Stork, present since at least 2020, was in the Riverside Co portion of the Prado Basin 7–25 Jul (James E. Pike).

An immature Magnificent Frigatebird, first seen at the San Diego River mouth 1 Jul (Jim Pawlicki), then a little to the north over Encinitas later that same day (Alison Hiers), was off Long Beach 2 Jul (Robert Schallmann) then over the mouth of the San Gabriel River later that same day (Thomas E. Wurster); an immature at Dana Point 12 Jul (Dawn Garcia) was seen later that same day to the south at San Onofre/Camp Pendleton (J. R. Kinander) and the Tijuana River mouth 16 Jul (Jim Pawlicki); in addition, single immatures were at Redondo Beach 24 Jul (Ralph Carlson) and off La Jolla 26 Jul (fide Celia Condit). A Masked Booby, now rarer than Nazca Booby in California’s Pacific Ocean, was over Los Angeles Co waters at the 30-Mile Bank 31 Jul (Michelle McLeod). An adult Nazca Booby was photographed off San Diego 31 Jul by a whale watching boat crew. Five Masked/Nazca Boobies were reported off San Diego Co between 26 Jun and 14 Jul. A Red-footed Booby was well photographed over the Redondo Canyon off Redondo Beach, Los Angeles Co 15 Jul (Henry Chiu). The range of the Neotropic Cormorant in Southern California continues to expand as indicated by two to three pairs at nests in the Riverside Co portion of the Prado Basin 25 Jul (James E. Pike), one high in the San Jacinto Mountains on Lake Hemet, Riverside Co 7 Jul (Robert Packard), nine on Lake Elsinore, Riverside Co 17 Jul (Julie Szabo), and single birds on Lake Sherwood, Ventura Co 20 Jul (Mary Hansen) and at the Santa Clara River Estuary, Ventura Co 11 Jul (Sammy Cowell).

An adult Little Blue Heron at SESS (Unit 1) 12–14 Jul (Guy McCaskie) was the first at the Salton Sink since 2019. A Reddish Egret at SESS (Young Road) 14–31 Jul+ (Curtis A. Marantz) and another at NESS (North Shore) 12–26 Jul (Robert L. McKernan) were inland.

Hawks through Falcons

An unprecedented six Mississippi Kites were reported, with single birds at Panamint Springs, Inyo Co 1 Jun (Scott B. Terrill), China Ranch, Inyo Co 7 Jun (Forrest English), the Ramona Grasslands, San Diego Co 8 Jun (Brennan Mulrooney), Yucca Valley, San Bernardino Co 10–11 Jun (Caroline Poli), Santa Barbara 17 Jun (Peter A. Gaede), and San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego Co 22 Jul (Jonathan Montgomery). A Common Black Hawk at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve, Riverside Co 11 Jun (Jason St. Pierre) was believed to be the same bird first seen there in April. A pair of Harris’s Hawks successfully fledged three young at Shelter Valley, San Diego Co in June (Nancy Christensen) and another pair was attending a nest in Jacumba, San Diego Co in May (Paul E. Lehman). Elsewhere, a lone Harris’s Hawk was seen in flight at Julian, San Diego Co 29 Jun (Kimberly Dillbeck). A Gray Hawk, a casual stray to California, was at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve, Riverside Co 11 Jun (Jason St. Pierre). A flock of 30 Swainson’s Hawks at Ranger Peak in the San Rafael Mountains, Santa Barbara Co 16 Jul (John Lewis), a flock of 93 at Hinkley, San Bernardino Co 9 Jun (Rainey Barton), and a flock of about 20 over the Mojave River near Hodge, San Bernardino Co 13 Jun (Linette Davenport) were all unexpected considering the time of year. In addition, a pair fledged two young from a nest close to the coast at the Los Alamitos Elementary School, Orange Co (Ben R. Newhouse and Beth Fife). A pair of Zone-tailed Hawks attended three young in a nest near Mid Hills Campground in the Mojave National Preserve 4 Jul (Sid Haltquist), two near the Granite Mountains in eastern San Bernardino Co 19 Apr (Stoney Lamontagne) were near a known nest site, and another was at nearby Caruthers Canyon the same day (Brock Dolman).

An Acorn Woodpecker at Piute Ponds 13 Jun (David Rankin) was well away from the species’ normal range and habitat. A pair of White-headed Woodpeckers feeding young on Hot Springs Mountain, San Diego Co 19 Jun-7 Jul (Paul Mulholland) were at the southern extreme of this species’ current range; populations to the south of there were evidently extirpated by recent fires.

A Crested Caracara of unknown provenance, first seen at Playa del Rey, Los Angeles Co 4 Jun (Van Pierszalowski), then over Seal Beach and at Irvine, Orange Co 7 Jun (William Cullen, Jennifer Breckenridge), was last seen on Point Loma, San Diego Co 2 Jul (Steve Lima) and 11 Jul (David Holway).

Flycatchers through Vireos

Up to 13 Brown-crested Flycatchers were at known nesting sites in Borrego Springs/San Felipe Valley in June and July; another was nearby at Vallecito 1–25 Jun (Britta Lee Shain). A Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher at Point Loma 2 Jul (Sara B. Mayers) was the third for San Diego Co; most California records are for fall. An unseasonal Tropical Kingbird was at Whelan Lake near Oceanside, San Diego Co 3 Jun (Peter A. Ginsburg). Late spring or wandering summer Eastern Kingbirds were at Goleta 8 Jun (Adrian L. O’Loghlen), Crystal Cove State Park, Orange Co 11 Jun (Sasha Cahill), Ridgecrest, Kern Co 17–19 Jul (Robert Barnes), and Seal Beach 27 Jul (Jan Gaffney, Kim Moore). Late migrant Contopus included an Olive-sided Flycatcher on San Clemente I. 13 Jun (Ben C. Stalheim) and Western Wood-Pewees at Point Loma 15 Jun (David Trissel), Encinitas 16 Jun (David Trissel), and Piute Ponds 30 Jun (Kimball L. Garrett). An early fall migrant Willow Flycatcher was at Sorensen Park in Lake Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co 24 Jul (Kimball L. Garrett). An Eastern Phoebe was at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area Headquarters, NESS, on the surprising date of 14 Jun (Chris Dean); normally a fall and winter visitor, this species was unknown in the region during the summer period. At the northern edge of the region, Vermilion Flycatchers nested for the second consecutive year at Millpond west of Bishop, Inyo Co through 26 Jun (Rosie C. Howard).

A good showing of White-eyed Vireos included one continuing from 27 May to 27 Sep at Lake Murray in La Mesa, San Diego Co (Matt Sadowski), one at City Heights in San Diego 27 May–20 Jul (Lesley Handa), a singing bird in residential Palmdale, Los Angeles Co 13 Jun (Becky Kitto), one at the Upper Sweetwater River near Dehesa, San Diego Co 1 Aug that was likely present all summer (Paul Marvin), one at Shoshone, Inyo Co 12 Jun (Forrest English), and one in Lone Pine, Inyo Co 27 Jun–1 Jul (Russell D. Kokx). Yellow-throated Vireos were at Tollhouse Spring, Inyo Co 1 Jun (Scott B. Terrill), near Gaviota, Santa Barbara Co 2 Jun (Nick A. Lethaby), Seal Beach, Orange Co 5–15 Jun (Brian E. Daniels), and most surprisingly near Oceanside 7 Jun–29 Jul where a pair constructed a nest, with the attempt ultimately failing but the male remaining to 12 Sep (Angela Johnson). A singing Cassin’s Vireo in Holy Jim Canyon 1 Jul (Jordan Kuettle) was unexpected in summer in Orange Co’s Santa Ana Mts. Red-eyed Vireos were at Fountain Valley (Mile Square Regional Park) 1–5 Jul (Darren Clark), Rio de Los Angeles State Historic Park in Los Angeles 2–10 Jul (Samuel Bressler), and the Kern River Preserve 7 Jul (Sasha Robinson), with sightings at the last locality 9 Jul and 8 Aug presumed to be the same bird (R J Baltierra); another singing bird at Scissors Crossing, San Diego Co 27 Jun (Patti Langen and Sally Veach) was either a Red-eyed or a Philadelphia.

Verdins through Sparrows

Very rare on the coastal slope, a Verdin was at Orcas Park in Lake View Terrace, Los Angeles Co 27 Jul (Brad Rumble). Early arriving fall swallows at SESS included a Bank Swallow 18 Jul (Bobby Figarotta) and twenty Tree Swallows 28 Jun (Guy McCaskie). Good numbers of Purple Martins were at known breeding sites near Stallion Springs, Kern Co, with 21 there on 11 Jul (Becky Kitto); another 12 were at Lost Lake near Cajon Pass, San Bernardino Co 18 Jul (David A. Goodward), also a known breeding locality. A slight eastward range expansion brough two Red-whiskered Bulbuls to Chino, San Bernardino Co 17 Jul (Jhoneil Centeno). Two to three Ruby-crowned Kinglets in the high San Jacinto Mts. 9 Jul (Valerie Rosich) suggests that this species may still breed in this range.

A Gray Catbird at Piute Ponds 8 Jun (Chris Dean) was thought not to be the same individual there in late May; others were at the Ventura Settling Ponds 13 Jun (Marc Better) and the Whitewater Preserve, Riverside Co 20 Jun (Stephen Myers) along with three more in Inyo Co 4–14 Jun (Chris and Rosie Howard). The Brown Thrasher found near El Centro in April has apparently taken up residence, being present throughout the summer period and well into the fall (Kenneth Z. Kurland).

Townsend’s Solitaires were found on San Clemente I. 5 Jun and 13 Jun (Ben C. Stalheim), the latter being the latest ever for the island; another at Beaumont, Riverside Co 3 Jun (eBird) was very late for the desert lowlands. The latest spring migrant Swainson’s Thrush was at Vallecito, San Diego Co 16 Jun (Britta Lee Shain), and a Hermit Thrush at Huntington Central Park, Orange Co 13 Jun (Richard A. Cabe, Jasmine C. Kay) was exceptionally late for the coastal lowlands. Perhaps the first ever to be found in California in summer, a Rufous-backed Robin was at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve 13 Jun (Chris Dean, Loren Wright). A Varied Thrush at Chiriaco Summit, Riverside Co 3 Jun (Brian E. Daniels, Curtis A. Marantz) was exceptionally late and followed a winter with very few present in the region. An unseasonal Cedar Waxwing was at Bishop, Inyo Co 7 Jul (Chris B. Howard)

Red Crossbills remained at Apollo Park near Lancaster, Los Angeles Co to at least 7 Jun; successful breeding here was nicely documented in late May, including the fledgling shown in the accompanying photo taken 31 May (Chris Roher).

The minor late spring invasion of Cassin’s Sparrows continued into summer, with a singing bird near Winchester, Riverside Co 10–18 Jun (Ryan Winkleman). A very late

pugetensis/nuttalli White-crowned Sparrow was at Whites Point Preserve in San Pedro, Los Angeles Co 14 Jun (Adam Johnson). Observation of a Bell’s Sparrow carrying food in coastal sage scrub habitat at the Morro Bay estuary 14 Jun (Christine Braun) confirmed that nesting still occurs on the immediate coast of San Luis Obispo Co.

Orioles through Buntings

The latest spring vagrant Orchard Oriole was at Panamint Springs, Inyo Co 1 Jun (Scott B. Terrill), and an adult male Baltimore Oriole was at El Dorado Park in Long Beach 11 Jun (Carol Furutani, John La Rose).

A passerine photographed from a boat 18 miles off Point Loma, San Diego Co 3 Jun proved to be either a Golden-winged Warbler or a “Brewster’s”-type hybrid (Nick Thorpe). A late spring vagrant Black-and-white Warbler was at Olivenhain, San Diego Co 17 Jun (Betsy Miller). A Prothonotary Warbler at Lake Los Carneros in Goleta 16 Jul (Barry Rowan) established only the second midsummer record for Santa Barbara Co. Late spring Tennessee Warblers were at Panamint Springs 1 Jun (Scott B. Terrill), Shoshone 6–7 Jun (Forrest English), and near Whale Rock Reservoir, San Luis Obispo Co 28 Jun (Ann and Pat Vaughan), but a Nashville Warbler at

San Diego 22 Jul (Mary Jo Hayes) was thought to be an early fall migrant. West of its breeding range, a Lucy’s Warbler was at San Timoteo Canyon in Redlands 29 Jul (Matthew A. Grube); a hatch-year bird was near El Centro 10–14 Jul (Kenneth Z. Kurland). One of our rarer wood-warblers, a singing Kentucky Warbler was at the Rock Camp Fire Station northwest of Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mts. 6–16 Jun (David A. Goodward). A modest showing of

Hooded Warblers involved birds in Kern Co at Butterbredt Spring 2 Jun (Michael Lott) and the Kern River Preserve headquarters 6 Jun (Annie Meyer, Sasha Robinson) as well as Upper Pine Creek, Inyo Co 7 Jun (Annie Meyer). A scattering of eight American Redstarts appeared during June on the coast and deserts, and a very late bird was at Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Co 2 Jul (David A. Goodward). Thirteen Northern Parulas were on the coast 5 Jun–5 Jul, with five of these in Santa Barbara Co and seven in San Diego Co; four more were on the deserts 3–14 Jun and another was at the Kern River Preserve headquarters 20 Jun (R. J. Baltierra). An exceptional summering Townsend’s Warbler was in the Tijuana River Valley 10–29 Jun (Christine Beck), an early fall migrant Hermit Warbler was at Piute Ponds 31 Jul (Sylvia Afable, Steve Neely), and a late spring singing male Black-throated Green Warbler was on San Clemente I. 18 Jun (Ben C. Stalheim). The lone Canada Warbler of the spring and summer periods was at Del Mar, San Diego Co 12 Jun (David Trissel).

A female Hepatic Tanager at Blue Jay Campground in Santa Ana Mts. 8 Jun (Richard A. Cabe and Jasmine C. Kay) was outside the species’ very limited breeding range in the region. Late spring vagrant Scarlet Tanagers were at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma, San Diego Co 13 Jun (David Trissel) and Rancho Simi Community Park in Simi Valley, Ventura Co 1 Jul (Matthew Page); one at Lake Casitas near Ojai 6–28 Jul (Chris Shannen) was the first to summer in Ventura Co. A wandering Pyrrhuloxia was in Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego Co 8 Jul (Rebecca Olsen and Ken Wilson). Twenty Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were on the coastal slope 2–30 Jun, with a later bird at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange 17 Jul (Jan and Tim Almond) and a worn male that was likely summering locally at Point Loma 2 Aug (Paul E. Lehman); nine more were on the deserts and in the mountains 2 Jun–9 Jul. Lazuli Buntings made news on San Clemente I., where fledglings noted on 18 Jun and 14 Jul (Ben C. Stalheim) provided the first definitive evidence of nesting on the island since 2001; breeding here was likely encouraged by the wettest winter on the island since 2004 and additional males were scattered nearly island-wide, e.g., up to five singing in Warren Canyon 18 Jun. Some 15

Indigo Buntings were found in the coastal counties through the period, including a pair returning for a third summer at the Bird and Butterfly Garden in the Tijuana River Valley 3 May–22 Jul with a begging juvenile there 29 Jun–4 Jul (David Trissel, Andrew Newmark); farther inland, about 14 birds were in the deserts and mountains in June and July.

Report processed by Randi Minetor, 16 Feb 2024.

Photos–Southern California: Summer 2023

This Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the Rio Bend Golf Course near Seeley, Imperial Co on 12 July 2023 was one of the greater than expected number found scattered throughout the region during the summer of 2023. Photo © John Dumlao.

This Little Stint in alternate plumage, the first to be found in Santa Barbara Co, was at Goleta Slough in Goleta on 8 June. Photo © Wes Fritz.

This adult Swallow-tailed Gull, the fifth to be found in California, was present on the beach in Goleta, Santa Barbara Co on 19 July 2023. Being a nocturnal pelagic feeder, it departed at dusk and did not reappear here the following day. Photo © Larry Sansone.

The same Swallow-tailed Gull in Goleta, Santa Barbara Co on 19 July 2023, here showing the pattern on the ventral side in flight. Photo © David Pereksta.

Part of a flock of Cook’s Petrels on calm water near the 30-Mile Bank off San Diego on 3 June 2023. Photo © Naresh Satyan.

One of an unprecedented 56 Cook’s Petrels counted off San Diego, San Diego Co on 3 June 2023, with a good view of its underparts. Photo © Nancy Christensen.

Although Little Blue Herons are resident in coastal southern San Diego Co, they are very rare to casual stragglers elsewhere in California, and especially so far inland. As such, this adult Little Blue Heron at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in Imperial Co on 12 Jul 2023 was the first at the Salton Sink since 2019. Photo © John Dumlao.

This Crested Caracara of unknown provenance, photographed at Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma, San Diego Co on 2 July 2023, was believed to be the same bird first seen at Playa del Rey in Los Angeles Co on 4 June, then to the south over Seal Beach and Irvine in Orange Co on 7 June. Photo © Lisa Ruby.

Unexpected was this Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher in residential Point Loma, San Diego Co on 2 Jul 2023, since all but two of the previous twenty-five found in California have been during the fall. Photo © Andrew Newmark.

Red Crossbills giving “Type 2” flight calls were found around planted pines at several sites in the Antelope Valley of Los Angeles Co in the spring, with some remaining into June; successful nesting was documented at Apollo Park near Lancaster in May, including this photo of a male feeding a streaky juvenile on 31 May 2023. Photo © Chris Roher.

This singing male Kentucky Warbler, photographed on 11 Jun 2023, was known to be present at the Rock Camp Fire Station northwest of Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Co 6-16 Jun 2023 Photo © Thomas Ford Hutchinson.