Friday, August 26, 2016

Wrentit at Black Mountain

A few weeks back I chased a rare Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in a small city park in Rancho Peñasquitos. I found it, along with two recent fledglings that appear to be half Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and half Western Kingbird--a known hybrid pairing when the flycatcher can't find a mate of its own species. ("Chase" is birder talk for dropping everything to go see a rare bird someone else just recently found before it flies away. In my case I didn't go as soon as it was reported, but several days later when it was obviously still in the area and at a time I could get away.)

It was an overcast morning before work, and the birds were high in the trees and strongly backlit. So the photos weren't very good (you can see diagnostic photos [= "poor"] on my eBird report, here).

On my way home I checked out some trails on nearby Black Mountain. I walked a third of a mile on Miner's Ridge Loop (eBird checklist here).

I finally got one photo worthy of sharing--this Wrentit in chaparral (a toyon shrub, I believe).

Wrentit
Wrentit. Black Mountain, Rancho Peñaquitos, California. July 31, 2016. Greg Gillson.
It's a bit bedraggled, with lots of wear on the tail. That suggests that this bird has spent lots of time on a nest, recently, perhaps feeding its young.