Lake Hodges Wood Stork Continues 6-8-21

Max Leibowitz

Hi all,
A bit belated of a message, but thought I would mention and give some tips of where I happen to spot the Wood Stork at Lake Hodges this morning for those considering chasing it at this lake. From the Bernardino Bay and Piedras Pintadas Trails side, I happened at one point to be standing by approximately (33.0530860, -117.0854965) and scanning around the lake mainly to the west. This area gives you a view of a north and south shoreline. At least a mile west of there (probably a lot closer if viewing it from the San Dieguito River Trail on the north side of Lake Hodges) was where I spotted a large white bird that I suspected to be the Wood Stork just chilling on one of the shorelines by 2 Great Blue Herons (one basically super close by to it). That was around 8:45 AM. I didn’t stay in that area for too long as I wasn’t too sure at first of what I was attempting to distantly photographed. A bit later closer to 9:20 or so I noticed the same large white bird this time a bit southeast on the south side of the lake in a large dead tree back in the same area I stood at prior. Still being very far out in the distance, I got a few better yet poor record shots to see later that it had a bald head. This was when Donna Mancuso was nearby me and she with her long zoom lens point and shoot got a photo of it in a large dead tree which I was able to make out the details better than mine to confirm my suspicion later on. The bird took off and gained elevation as it continued on soaring around least 2 or 3 hillsides southwest of where we were standing. At 9:50 it completely flew over us while in the process of being mobbed by 4 Common Ravens that were mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk moments before that. The Stork continued moving northeast towards the direction of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park which is probably where it ended up if I had to guess. I have no idea in terms of a pattern of this bird of how often it sticks around Lake Hodges versus the Safari Park. That will be the fun part to figure out more about. I didn’t have time to check along the San Dieguito River Trail side this morning while I was there to see if it was actually closer or not.

Good Birding,
Max Leibowitz
San Diego/formerly also Tucson

Max Leibowitz
Tucson, AZ / San Diego, CA

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