[All photographs copyright, Gary Nunn 2014] – This Canada Warbler Cardellina canadensis, most likely a first winter female, was first encountered by John Bruin in the southeast corner of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery around 7:30 a.m. on 29 Oct 2014. Later, around 8:00 a.m., I spotted an “interesting” completely bright yellow bellied warbler moving rapidly between trees heading for the Committal Shelter. I ran ahead and managed to catch a few fleeting glimpses, and photographs, for the few moments it was stationary. It disappeared ahead of me, into the small palms around the Committal Shelter, and could not be relocated.
It appears to be a first winter female Canada warbler with just faint dusky markings about the necklace area of the bright yellow underparts and weaker facial markings. The face is distinctive though showing the typical black lores and a small amount of yellow supraloral coloration of this species. The large whitish eyering and bicolored bill are also quite distinctive. This bird behaved quite similar to a Wilson’s Warbler, but appeared larger in size. The complete upperparts and tail are a characteristic dark grayish, perhaps a little olive toned, although difficult to discern under the tree canopy. Although a bit wet and forlorn looking, the undertail coverts are characteristically white in coloration.
San Diego Field Ornithologists considers Canada Warbler a Category B rarity in the county. The last sighting, I believe, was from September 2012 at Lake O’Neill, Camp Pendleton.