Fog bound – Blue-headed Vireo in Point Loma

[All photographs copyright, Gary Nunn 2016] – Thick fog smothered Point Loma this morning and after two hours of, literally, birding by ear, I decided I had had enough and went to sit in my car for a few minutes. Glancing through the fog at my favorite Chinese Elm, in the southeast section, I noticed the silhouette of a large vireo clambering around in the lower hanging branches. I made a quick exit and ran over to the elm tree camera in hand! In spite of the thick white fog a strikingly colorful Solitary type vireo literally jumped off the branch it was so bright. I’ve seen a lot of Cassin’s Vireos around Point Loma and this bird looked far and away more colorful than that species. Most noticeable was the solid dark blue-gray crown and cheeks, gleaming white cleanly demarcated throat, green back, and bright yellow chest sides and flanks extending generously onto the undertail coverts. In addition the very bright bold edges to the tertials jumped out. The tapered and slightly abraded tail feathers, and tapered primary coverts, indicates this is an immature. So far as I can determine this appears to be a hatch year Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius. Close examination of photographs of the underside of the tail also show a white edge extending all the way around the outer tail feathers characteristic of this species.

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

Blue-headed Vireo – Point Loma, San Diego County, California Sep 18, 2016 (© Gary Nunn)

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