[All photographs copyright, Gary Nunn 2016] – Wow! Some magic trees just live up to their reputation! I found this Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus clambering around in my favorite “hot” Chinese Elm at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery this morning at 7:55am on Oct 02, 2016. I’d already checked the tree several times since about 6:30am, when it was just light enough to see birds, and was at least on the third circuit around the southeast section of the cemetery when I detected the vireo. I will confess to being mad about vireos and this species was about top of the top list of birds I’ve been looking for here in Point Loma. A colorful very cute vireo with rich yellow wash on the throat and chest, spreading to the underparts, and a bit stronger on the undertail coverts. The dark loral line and bright supercilium, along with a darker cap, give it a splendid aggressive little demeanor. Best photographed in the shade to bring out the real character! After the first sighting it returned about hourly to the “hot” Chinese Elm where many people got to see and photograph it at very close quarters. Now just a nemesis Red-eyed Vireo to complete my self-found county vireo collection!
The images below are the first set I obtained within a matter of seconds of detecting the vireo in the elm tree. It was moving around sluggishly and for a minute or two just sat stationary and looked at me! The thick marine layer clouds and rather dull lighting actually helped with bringing out some of the underpart coloration once I got the camera exposure adjusted. After this first sighting it disappeared for a while. Then every hour or so it reappeared in the first large Chinese Elm where I found it. Seen by many observers all day until after 5pm!