Lake Hodges swallows

phil Pryde

Today (January 31) I led a birding hike for the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy at Lake Hodges, and while nothing rare was seen, the abundance of swallows was noteworthy. As we were leaving the Rancho Bernardo Community Park area, three Tree Swallows flew over. About twenty minutes later a flock of about 15 Northern Rough-wings circled above us. Between noon and 1 pm several small waves of apparently migrating swallows flew in from the south, heading towards the lake to feed. There were so many swallows over the lake it was hard to speciate the flocks of new arrivals, bit there were clearly many Violet-greens mixed in. Then I noticed that some of the low-flying swallows had very dark backs and yellow-orange bellies, making me think Barn Swallows. At the very least 3 species, and quite likely 4 species, were over the lake, and it's still January (well, at least for a few more hours).

Is it possible the rainy weather of the last couple of days, that included winds from the SW, might have brought the swallow flocks in? But in late January?

Did others see presumably migrating flocks of swallows on Saturday?

The Green-tailed Towhee reported 3 days ago along the same trail we were on wasn't seen.

Phil Pryde
San Diego

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