Monday, May 5, 2014

San Diego Year Bird #212: Townsend's Solitaire

Townsend's Solitaire
Townsend's Solitaire. Hot Springs Mountain, California. April 13, 2014. Greg Gillson.
Here's a rather uncommon species in San Diego County. It is found primarily fall through spring, but perhaps does not breed. There were 3 breeding season records, one of a pair, for the San Diego County Breeding Bird Atlas (1997-2002).

I found a pair of birds in suitable breeding habitat during the breeding season, 3 weeks ago. One was singing and skylarking and another calling about 3 hours after taking the photo above. So this is a possible breeding record. It should be noted, however, that migrant or wandering birds are still appearing along the coast. So even the birds I saw singing in proper habitat could be migrants and not breeders.