#433 Bell’s Vireo

I feel like I should be exploring more new places and habitat like the Dorothy Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, Huntington Library and Gardens, Santa Cruz Island, the Sanata Ana River, or Yorba Linda. But why when I’m still finding life birds within casual walking distance of my apartment?

Last Sunday (June 8) I once again joined the Sea & Sage Audubon’s Monthly bird walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge led by Chris Obaditch. We pulled over 50 species in about 3 hours from 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. including Yellow-breasted Chat, American Avocet (with chicks no less!) and American White Pelican.

However the best bird for me was #433, Bell’s Vireo. There are maybe several dozen breeding pairs at San Joaquin right now so they aren’t hard to find. However I didn’t know this bird’s call, and it looks a lot like a warbling Vireo, so I’d missed it. However Chris found them again and again in the northern part of the refuge.

We also relocated the California Thrasher that had been missed on the census a few days earlier. The most unusual bird for the area was a possible Western Scrubjay that I missed. It was heard more than seen, and I’m afraid it’s not a call I know. (Now if a Blue Jay showed up, that I’d recognize.)

Looking at the list later, there were also Wrentits that I missed. Like Marsh Wrens, Wrentits are heard frequently and seen almost never. Unfortunately, unlike Marsh Wrens, I don’t really know what a Wrentit sounds like. I really have to learn that call before it’s too late.

My species count was 47, and there were maybe six other species seen by other people that I missed:

  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • American Coot
  • Killdeer
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Least Tern
  • Caspian Tern
  • Forster’s Tern
  • Black Skimmer
  • Mourning Dove
  • White-throated Swift
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher
  • Bell’s Vireo
  • American Crow
  • Tree Swallow
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Bushtit
  • Marsh Wren
  • California Thrasher
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Yellow-breasted Chat
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Song Sparrow
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • American Goldfinch

2 Responses to “#433 Bell’s Vireo”

  1. Mike Says:

    Nice! I also got my life Bell’s Vireo at San Joaquin. What a place… nothing like NYC, is it?

  2. Elliotte Rusty Harold Says:

    Funny. San Joaquin is one of the few places around here that does make me feel like I’m back home in NYC. Just squint my eyes so the Black Phoebes look like Eastern Phoebes, and the Western sandpipers look like Least Sandpipers and I could be at Jamaica Bay. :-)

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