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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hermit in the Dunes

I've been seeing a lot of Townsend's Warblers (Setophaga townsendi) lately.  A few days ago, on 26 December, I ran into a flock of them in the Bodega Dunes.  I started looking at each bird, wondering if there were any other species in the flock.  I thought I had checked them all and just started studying plumage variations see one example below:


And then my camera landed on this bird:


A Hermit Warbler (Setophaga occidentalis)!  Although more common during the summer and as a spring/fall migrant, Hermit Warblers are rare in Sonoma County during the winter.  Most of them spend the non-breeding season between Mexico and Nicaragua.

Not sure how long this flock will stay together, but if you're near the Bodega Dunes Campground and run into some Townsend's Warblers, you might want to keep an eye out for a Hermit, too.

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