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  1. Re: [LACoBirds] Continuing Brant, Pacific Loon, Willow Flycatcher & more (San Pedro) LINK
    DATE: May 29, 2018, 24 day(s) ago
    The Pacific Loon also continued at the same location as of 11:12am today
    (in fact at that time, it was floating alongside the Brant, demonstrating
    that they are the same length). And to correct my earlier comment about
    the beached Red-throated Loon: it's in first-summer (immature) plumage,
    not adult nonbreeding.
    
    The other local Ash-throated Flycatcher also continues. One was at
    Lookout Point Park on May 20 (11:07-11:20am) and May 25 (1:50pm), and one
    was at Shoshonean Road on May 24 (5:11pm) and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    parking lot on May 29 (10:53-10:56am).
    
    And concerning my comment about Black Skimmers, "each one has an
    audibly different voice", I should add that I've noticed the same
    thing for most bird species. The reason it came to mind for skimmers is
    that I've been reporting lots of banded ones, and was thinking about
    potential alternative ways to track individuals over time.
    
    Another little note I'd like to add: The Double-crested Cormorants at
    Cabrillo Youth Camp have been very vocal for the past week or more. I
    think I was birding for years before I ever heard one at all. I may not
    still have ever heard a Brown Pelican vocalize.
    
    David Ellsworth
    
    San Pedro, CA
    
    At 2018-05-29 10:27, David Ellsworth davidells@... [LACoBirds]
    wrote:
    
    I just went down to Cabrillo
    Beach, and as of 9:15am, the Brant continues, this time on the inner
    beach (not the scout camp beach) along with a flock of Black Skimmers,
    California Gulls, and Western Gulls. I also just took a beached
    Red-throated Loon (adult in nonbreeding plumage) from the inner beach to
    IBRRC. I haven't checked yet if the Pacific Loon is still here, but it
    seems healthy; it looked very clean when it showed its belly yesterday
    evening, and was putting its head underwater to look for prey (though
    didn't dive while I watched).
    
    And a third thing I forgot to include: An Olive-sided Flycatcher was
    perching in trees both small and large on the west side of the southern
    stretch of Shoshonean Road (west-adjacent of the Salt Marsh), on May 22
    from 9:02am to 9:18am.
    
    David Ellsworth
    
    San Pedro, CA
    
    At 2018-05-29 08:18, David Ellsworth davidells@... [LACoBirds]
    wrote:
    
    First of all, I forgot to
    include three things: A Nashville Warbler was in my backyard near
    Cabrillo Beach on May 23 and 24, and a male Phainopepla was at the Greg
    Smith Conifer Grove again on May 20 at 12:10pm. And, for a few days
    starting May 15, there were singing Swainson's Thrushes all over the
    Cabrillo area (in a tree near the dirt ramp down to Cabrillo Beach; in a
    tree in the Marine Aquarium parking lot area; all along the top of the
    slope/cliffside on the west side of Shoshonean Road), just like the
    singing Black-headed Grosbeaks; both species are still around here, but
    not singing anywhere near as much as they were during those few
    days.
    
    Secondly, I wanted to add that of all the Japanese White-eye audio
    samples on xeno-canto.org , the only
    ones that actually sounded like ours here were two recordings made in
    Orange County. None of the recordings made in Japan sounded like ours. I
    am inclined to believe that the identification of Japanese White-eye is
    incorrect, and they're in fact some other species of White-eye (or at
    least, a subspecies of Japanese White-eye that is vastly
    under-represented on xeno-canto); the call sounds like an innate call,
    which wouldn't need to be learned, so captive-raised birds should do the
    same calls as wild ones in their native habitat, right
    
    Photos still to come later.
    
    David Ellsworth
    
    San Pedro, CA
    
    At 2018-05-28 23:13, David Ellsworth davidells@... [LACoBirds]
    wrote:
    
    Yesterday and today (May 27-28) both a Black Brant, and a Pacific Loon in
    absolutely full breeding plumage, were at Cabrillo Youth Camp (during the
    late afternoon, at least, when I looked on both days). The Brant spent
    time both on water and on shore. Both birds can be seen from the boat
    launch dock which is southeast-adjacent to the salt marsh (Salinas de San
    Pedro).
    
    On both May 23 and 25 a Willow Flycatcher showed up in my backyard,
    giving me a new yard bird. (It's possible they weren't even the same
    individual.) Other flycatchers have been especially abundant as well;
    Pacific-slope Flycatchers have been as numerous as I ever remember them
    being here, and Willow Flycatchers might be even more numerous than
    they've been before in my experience (i.e. since 2006). I saw an
    agonistic territorial encounter between two Willow Flycatchers for the
    first time (in my backyard) and one of them made an agonistic call
    sounding identical to a Say's Phoebe agonstic call (a call that many
    Northern Mockingbirds include in their song repertoire) a call which I
    think is most notable for its peculiar lack of
    "aggressive-soundingness" to human ears, in contrast to the
    agonistic calls of most other species. And I have found two Ash-throated
    Flycatchers recently at different local spots, one of them continuing,
    when Ash-throated Flycatchers have been mostly absent in my area for
    years.
    
    The Warbling Vireos are still present in force. I've had at least 6 at
    once in my backyard at times, and they often sing.
    
    I have observed proof of Orange-crowned Warbler nesting success in the
    Salt Marsh / Shoshonean Road area. An Orange-crowned Warbler, whose song
    I recognize from at least one year ago at the same location, fed a
    begging juvenile, and I recognized his identifying physical features from
    having filmed him singing earlier. And at another spot, an Orange-crowned
    Warbler sang for vast swaths of the day (also with a unique recognizable
    song), every day for weeks, and suddenly a few days ago stopped singing
    and started hanging out with a second Orange-crowned Warbler very
    suggestive that this pair are nesting as well.
    
    At least two "Japanese" White-eyes have been quite consipicuous
    in the area, with a Hutton's Vireo like call, showing up often in the
    Cabrillo Marine Aquarium parking lot... and today for the first time I'm
    aware of, in my backyard near Cabrillo Beach. (They usually show up as a
    pair together, which for a while made me think there are two in the area,
    but in retrospect the frequency with which I encounter them suggests
    there are quite a bit more than two.) I put "Japanese" in
    quotes because I don't understand why virtually everyone is identifying
    these as Japanese White-eyes. I looked at the various species of
    White-eye (they are numerous) and a large number of them look virtually
    identical I couldn't find any distinguishing characteristics by looking
    at photos. When listing to samples of a large subset of White-eye species
    on xeno-canto.org , I couldn't find
    any that actually matches the Hutton's Vireo like call I most often hear
    from the ones here and in Orange County. Certainly, the Japanese
    White-eye audio samples sound nothing like the ones here. So why do
    birders identify them as Japanese White-eye instead of
    White-eye sp.
    
    Black Skimmers have been sticking around every day lately at the Cabrillo
    Youth Camp shore. They're very vocal whenever another skimmer comes in to
    land with them, and each one has an audibly different voice. I got to see
    a behavior I'd never seen before from this species a fish display. A
    skimmer held the fish in his bill, as if to entice the other skimmers,
    but none of them proved worthy of it (all who tried to take it were
    denied) and eventually he ended up eating it himself.
    
    On May 24 I had my first-of-season Least Tern at Cabrillo Beach dive and
    catch a fish in the water just outside the salt marsh.
    
    A Heermann's Gull adult in breeding plumage was at Cabrillo Beach today
    at 5:33pm. I haven't even seen an immature one since May 12, and hadn't
    seen an adult since March 24.
    
    I will post photos later.
    
    David Ellsworth
    
    San Pedro, CA
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