Chestnut-sided Warbler and Pink-sided Junco / Bishop City Park

Observers: Chris Howard
Remote Name:
Date: 10/08/2004
Time: 05:02 PM -0400


Today (8 Oct) at lunch there was a Chestnut-sided Warbler in the cottonwoods and willows along the ditch, immediately north of the playground. I initially saw it at eye-level in the willow bushes. It had a bright lime-green crown, pale eye-ring, off-white unstreaked underparts, and bold yellow wing-bars on a dark wing.  No chestnut sides.  As it moved higher, I saw the green of the head continued down into the back and rump. The belly and undertail coverts were white. The underside of the folded tail was white to the tail-tip. This is the first Chestnut-sided I've seen in the West. The Heindel Graphs consider them casual in spring and fall: many years with no records.

Equally surprising was an apparent 'Pink-sided' Dark-eyed Junco in the brushpile in the rear of the park. I realize this race is rare in California; see Sibley's lack of 'dots' on his map. I first saw only its back and head and thought the dark-lored, pale hooded look could easily be mistaken for a Pink-sided, so I wrote it off as an Oregon, having been fooled by female Oregon's that approach this appearance. Later, I saw the bird head-on and was amazed to see the extensive cinnamon/pink flanks that converged in the center of the breast in a significant band across the breast. The throat was essentially hood-less gray which blended seamlessly with the cinnamon breast band. This was the first junco (of any race) I'd seen on the valley floor this year.  Fun stuff!