One morning in early March, as a very cold wind blew through Howarth Park, I found myself sitting in the sun in the middle of a meadow surrounded by bay, oak and manzanita trees, trying to get warm. A few birds drifted through the shrubs around me while American crows soared high above, dipping and banking in the wind and looking as though they were having some kind of fun. Out of the corner of my vision I noticed movement in a nearby shrub and raised my binoculars to see a bird that I thought was probably a Ruby-crowned kinglet. I watched it as it moved from shrub to tree and back again, singing "Pweep - Pweep - Pweep." loudly and repeatedly. Something about it just didn't seem right for the kinglet, but I couldn't clarify what made me feel that way so I made as many notes as I could in order to mull it over later.
At home I looked at the Ruby-crowned kinglet article at All About Birds. I looked at a few other pages, too, and read, on more than one of them, about the uncanny similarity between Ruby-crowned kinglet and Hutton's vireo (Vireo huttoni). By this time I'd listened to the Ruby-crowned kinglet sound recording and felt fairly certain that my hunch had been correct and the bird I'd seen wasn't a kinglet. I listened to the Hutton's vireo recording and knew I'd found my bird! Pweep!