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Winter Residents in July (1 Viewer)

SueO

Well-known member
I have been "home" for years now after our 13 year sail around the world, but for various reasons, I have not thrown myself into birding like I did while underway. In fact, I hardly go birding at all. I have not bothered to learn about migration patterns of the birds found close to home in Orange County, Southern California. Although I have seen all the birds on the list I'm posting today many times, I never paid much attention as to when I saw them. Yesterday, I got a hint of how ignorant I was.

I went for a short walk at Bolsa Chica Wetlands yesterday. It's about a 10 minute drive from my house. I was surprised to see so many birds listed in my Sibley as 'winter' residents. I did a little research in regards to this, but I need to do a lot more. Willets seemed to be one of the most populous species I saw and they are listed as winter visitors. Apparently, they leave their breeding sites as early as June--among the earliest of any North American sandpipers. A few other 'winter' birds seen were: Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlews, Western and Least Sandpipers...and quite a few more.

Here is my Bolsa Chica birdlist for 7/10/22:

Savannah (Belding's) Sparrow
Horned Lark
Brown Pelican
Cliff Swallow ?
Long-billed Curlew
Snowy Plover
Elegant Tern
Willet
Western Gull
Double-crested Cormorant
Marbled Godwit
Western Sandpiper
Black-bellied Plover
Greater Yellowlegs
Semipalmated Plover
Least Sandpiper
Caspian Tern
California Least Tern
Black Skimmer
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Eared Grebe
Short-billed Dowitcher (first time I've seen in breeding plumage-much easier to ID!)
 
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Birds that over summer in their winter grounds is common behavior as far as I'm aware for shorebirds, here in Florida you can go to any beach in the Gulf coast and you will see small numbers of Least and Western Sandpipers, along with Red Knots, Sanderlings and Ruddy Turnstones.

As for why it's more prominent for shorebirds and waders as opposed to songbirds or raptors, I'm not really sure myself. But I also know that fall migration is slowly starting in my area with the first Louisiana Waterthrush and Yellow-throated Warblers being reported in South Florida for the first time since early May.
 
That's a lovely list you've got Sue.... more than I'd see in my garden in a month!!

I have seen three of those on the list, but not in my garden LOL
 
Nice list for southern CA in winter. Have you checked ebirds to see what has been reported from there during this time frame? Would let you know which are anomolies.
 
Birds that over summer in their winter grounds is common behavior as far as I'm aware for shorebirds, here in Florida you can go to any beach in the Gulf coast and you will see small numbers of Least and Western Sandpipers, along with Red Knots, Sanderlings and Ruddy Turnstones.

As for why it's more prominent for shorebirds and waders as opposed to songbirds or raptors, I'm not really sure myself. But I also know that fall migration is slowly starting in my area with the first Louisiana Waterthrush and Yellow-throated Warblers being reported in South Florida for the first time since early May.
Yes, I have noticed a few birds that stay behind both here and in Mexico, but I'm talking lots of birds. Maybe food supply? I should go back through my photos and see what I have at different times of the year. That wasn't the only sand bar hosting Willets. Also, I was at the beach on the 9th with my grandkids and there were willets there too.
 

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Nice list for southern CA in winter. Have you checked ebirds to see what has been reported from there during this time frame? Would let you know which are anomolies.
Didn't think of that. I could check back a year or two. Thanks. I did read on the Cornell site that Willets leave the breeding sites as early as June, so maybe I'll learn that many of the shorebirds leave their breeding sites early. I'm going to go through my own photos too. If it is the norm, seems like the field guides would point out that winter starts in July for some species. ;)Maybe these questions will spur me into getting active again with birding. Curiosity.
 
Normal for Least Sandpipers to migrate from July-October. I'm reading about the 'winter' birds one at a time. Probably find this is not unusual. I just never paid enough attention.
 
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