After living in San Diego County now for 21 months, I finally made the rather long trip (80 miles, 1 hour and 20 minutes from home) specifically to see this bird.
On June 14, 2015 I rose at 4:30 a.m. and left home in San Marcos a bit after 5:00 a.m. I filled with gas then headed south on the 15 to the 8 and up, up, up. The June Gloom overcast stayed with me until I neared Pine Valley at about 3000 feet elevation. Then the newly risen sun shown directly in my eyes as I continued east. I arrived at the Pacific Crest Trail pullout at 6:30 a.m. and it was very birdy. In fact, I found 28 species here over the next 2 hours, as the temperature steadily climbed from 60F to 90F.
Within 15 minutes of arrival, between 500 and 1000 feet west on the PCT (Southbound) I heard my target species. There were 2 singing Gray Vireos and I photographed one of them at quite a distance up the hillside.
The bird was rather all-over gray. The under tail coverts and lower belly whiter. There was a thin white eye ring and a single faint wing bar.
|Gray Vireo. Kitchen Creek, Pacific Crest Trail, San Diego County, California. June 14, 2015. Greg Gillson. |
My 300th San Diego County bird!
Compared to surrounding areas that don't seem to have Gray Vireos, the chaparral here is thicker and taller, interspersed with more boulders, and in a steeper canyon. There was a little creek down a couple hundred feet, but the vireo was up in the dry chaparral.
|Looking down on Kitchen Creek|
|Oak Titmouse at Cibbets Flat Campground|
|Acorn Woodpecker at Cibbets Flat Campground.|