Continuing Grace's Warbler ; Villa La Jolla Park 9 MAR2020

Tito Gonzalez

I observed the continuing GRACE’S WARBLER  at Villa La Jolla Park this afternoon (9 MAR20) around 3:30 pm. I actually saw it in the pines along the south side of Via Marin (road on along south side of park) about half a block east of the park. I’ve had good luck in these pines for montane species. RBNU frequently use these mature pines. While it stayed in view for only a short time, I could hear it chipping deep within the pine. I also found the Gray-headed dark-eyed junco reported by Jay D. in the center of park south of playground. Documentation photos are in following ebird report.


Tito Gonzalez

Carlsbad, CA

Hepatic Tanager, Red-breasted Sapsucker (ruber), "continuing"

Justyn Stahl

I spent much of today with Curtis Marantz seeing and missing several species around the county. The North Clairemont Rec Center HEPATIC TANAGER was quite obliging along the east edge of the tennis court in the eucs, but the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was not seen (could have departed by now?). The northern RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER (S. r. ruber) was still present at Harry Griffen Park (thanks to Eve Martin for pointing out the misspelled eBird hotspot name) in La Mesa. We then spent some time at Lake Murray with Eitan Altman - no sign of any goldeneye or the Cackling Goose from yesterday, but a WHITE-FACED IBIS was locally of interest. We then dipped on the Rusty Blackbird at the swap meet (it, too, could be gone by now?), and saw/heard a mix of the SE Balboa Park birds widely reported already (NORTHERN PARULA and SUMMER TANAGER, but not the Orchard Oriole) - which contrary to a previous email aren't "mine" in the least.

And as many of these are continuing birds, I thought I'd again prod folks to avoid "continuing" as their only eBird description. As spring approaches these birds will ultimately leave (or die) and establishing end dates is important. You may not want to write a whole paragraph on your phone and it can wait til you get home (and probably should, to avoid typos), but something as simple as "chestnut belly, black head" while in the field takes only a few more seconds and is much more helpful than "continuing" for an Orchard Oriole, especially if you then go on to write two sentences on where it was, but not what it looked like. 

Justyn Stahl
North Park

Plumbeous Vireo ; Stagecoach Park SE Carlsbad 8 MAR2020

Tito Gonzalez

I observed a PLUMBEOUS VIREO this morning, 8 MAR2020, at Stagecoach Park in South East Carlsbad. It was foraging in the eucalyptus trees just north of the tennis courts. Given the same location, this is likely the same bird that Alex Abela reported on 9 NOV 2019, despite the 4 month gap between observations. Documentation photos are in the following ebird report.


Also of note, I was greeted to singing Hermit Thrush when I arrived. I was just west of tennis courts next to parking lot. It was not singing later in the morning.


Tito Gonzalez

Carlsbad, CA



Justyn's three birds still present

phil Pryde

The three uncommon birds (Orchard Oriole, male;  N. Parula, and Summer Tanager, female) that Justyn Stahl reported on two days ago were all seen by several birders (and pointed out to me; thank you, much appreciated) in the same trees immediately north and east of the cul-de-sac at the east end of Russ Blvd. (E. of 27th St.), between 10 and 11 a.m. on Sunday. 
Phil Pryde 
San Carlos

Mew gull

phil Pryde

This morning (Sat., about 10:30 a.m.) my birding class and I enjoyed the presence of a Mew Gull in the SD River mudflats north of Robb Field.  Maybe the same one seen earlier this week?  It was in a mixed assemblage of other gulls, godwits, and Royal Terns, but something stirred them all up, and when then settled down again I was unable to relocate the Mew Gull. 

Black-throated Sparrow in Cuyamaca Mountains

Robyn Waayers

Yesterday (March 6) I saw and photographed a Black-throated Sparrow near my home on North Peak in the Cuyamaca Mts. - not a typical bird up here in the mountains!

I am also getting quite a few Rufous Hummingbirds at feeders that I put out about a week ago. At least 6 Rufous Hummingbirds were seen yesterday afternoon, along with similar numbers of Anna's hummers. And one green-backed Selasphorus sp. - unsure whether Rufous or Allen's.

Robyn Waayers

Robyn Waayers

Re: possible Glaucous Gull

Jeremiah Stock's astute observations on his pale first-cycle gull today are bang on. Undoubtedly the same bird was first found yesterday, nearby at the saltworks, by Robert Patton and Lea Squires. They obtained good photos of the bird, which shows a large, very pale gull which one would first think is indeed a first-cycle Glaucous. But the bill is much messier (darker) colored than in a typical Glaucous, and it is shaped probably a bit more like a Glaucous-winged bill as well. But be on the lookout for it anywhere around the South Bay.

In other news, the nominate ruber Red-breasted Sapsucker (2nd [?] county record of this subspecies) continues this AM at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa. Today in the most heavily-drilled eucalyptus trees along the south side of the dog run.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego

Possible Glaucous Gull at Fenton Pond

Jeremiah Stock

I birded Fenton Pond Saturday morning, March 7, 2020.  At about 10:05 AM, a large white gull and 5 adult Western Gulls landed on the pond for a few minutes before taking off.  The large white gull looked good for 1st Winter Glaucous Gull: larger than the nearby Westerns, white plumage including white wingtips, pink legs and large bill; however, my impression of the bill was 2-toned but mostly black, not pink with a well-defined black tip.  Because of that, I hesitate to identify it as Glaucous Gull, considering the possibility of a hybrid or a very pale Glaucous-winged Gull.  No photographs.

Fenton Pond is located in Otay Valley Regional Park in the southwest Chula Vista area and can be accessed from Beyer Blvd.

Jeremiah Stock
Santee, CA

200-300 Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen

This evening 2 waves of hawks dropped into town between 5:30 and 6pm. It's possible that we have as many as 300 hawks in the area. It appears that they may have roosted either at the Roadrunner Club or tamarisk trees north of The Springs RV Park. Tomorrow the wind should be moderate at 8am so the hawks might get up early. However for the past few days, the Swainson's Hawks have been feeding on Crane Flies. It is possible that this huge group might do the same. If so, the hawks will move about the valley slowly while consuming the flies on the wing. By 9 or 10am the hawks will most likely begin to migrate. I'd say there is a 50/50 chance that the hawks will leave the valley by 8am or they will remain in the area to feed before migrating. 

Best spots to observe the hawks will be at the evening site on Borrego Valley Rd., 1.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive. Another possible spot for observation is on DiGiorgio Rd and Big Horn Rd. about 1 mile north of Palm Canyon Drive.  
Hal Cohen
Borrego Springs

Encinitas, CA Grace's Warbler continues into March 2020 spring season (6 Mar 2020)

Susan Smith

Dear SD Region birders, 

This morning (6Mar), Gretchen Nell and myself went to check on the overwintering GRACE's WARBLER at the stakeout spot along Drest Drive in Encinitas.  This has been a noisy and busy spot these last few months, with building construction going on, although  the noise was not too bad today.  At first, there  was no sign of the bird in its usual location for about the first hour (we arrived at ~0720 am). Then it appeared at 1260 Crest in small pine at 8:24 am, when we heard its rather loud, distinctive sweet chip.    It then left abruptly, flying NW out of sight at 8:28 am. We saw it again at 10 :15 am in the same tree at 1260 Crest near the main road, calling and also singing.  (Gretchen may add some sound files soon).

This bird was  first sighted this wintering season on Nov 9,2019 by Tito Gonzales, and undoubtedly is a returning bird first sighted the previous winter in this same location on Dec 7, 2018, and then continued into  March 2019. On this day, it  did not once fly to the tall pines at 1282 Crest (a previous favorite spot), possibly due to excessive pruning of these trees recently.  

eBird checklist at   .  A few poor quality photos.  Sue

Susan Smith 
Seiurus Biological  Consulting 
Del Mar, CA 

Susan Smith
Seiurus Biological Consulting
Del Mar, CA

SE Balboa: continuing Orchard, Parula, Summer Tanager

Justyn Stahl

This morning (6 March) at 0815 several birders were treated to the continuing Orchard Oriole, Northern Parula, and Summer Tanager in the dip just east of 27th St. and Russ Blvd. All birds of note appeared at one time or another in the sycamore at the east end of Russ. 

Justyn Stahl
North Park

next san elijo monthly bird count mon 9 mar 2020

Robert Patton

The next San Elijo monthly bird count will be Monday 9 March 2020.  Counts are conducted by volunteers on the second Monday of each month, rain or shine.  Please spread the word or join us if you can (no RSVP required).  Meet at 7:30 am at the north end of Rios Ave in Solana Beach (north from Lomas Santa Fe Dr, west of I-5) to divide into groups to cover different subareas.  A compilation generally follows around noon at the nature center on Manchester Ave (bring your own lunch).

R. Patton
San Diego, CA

Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen

Today 271 Swainson's Hawks migrated from Borrego Springs. For a 3 hour period several kettles of hawks migrated or were observed aerial feeding. We are not sure what the food source was. Although we did not see flying ants. This evening over 25 Swainson's Hawks descended into the date farm. They probably will take off around 8am. tomorrow. They may aerial feed before departing the valley. Best spot to observe them may be 1.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive on Borrego Valley Rd. Each evening 1 hour before sunset we meet at this site. The official day site (8-11am) to count the hawks as they migrate out of town is located 2.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive on DiGiorgio Rd. 
Hal Cohen
Borrego Springs

Re: recent miscellanea

Geoffrey L. Rogers

Re: Song Sparrow, I too saw a bob-tailed juvenile on the 26 February. It was in my apartment complex east of Qualcomm Stadium, incessantly begging and following an adult.

Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of lehman.paul@... via Groups.Io
Sent: Wednesday, March 4, 2020 11:32 AM
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] recent miscellanea

Some recent highlights over the past week include 2 White-winged Scoters and 1 female Black Scoter off Camp Surf, a Bald Eagle over I-5 near Sweetwater Marsh in National City, and a Cassin's Vireo in residential Point Loma that presumably wintered somewhere locally. A flock of 20 Ruddy Turnstones in the saltworks is a good count nowadays for this declining species, and 15 Black Turnstones there is a good count for that site. On Feb 26th there was a recently fledged, bob-tailed, juvenile Song Sparrow in downtown San Diego, an early date for a bird already fledged. Several more wintering Western Tanagers scattered about (residential La Jolla, Presidio Hills). Continuing are the returning, nesting pair of Vermilion Flycatchers at the Mission Bay Golf Course, and the adult male American Redstart in residential Point Loma.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego

recent miscellanea

Some recent highlights over the past week include 2 White-winged Scoters and 1 female Black Scoter off Camp Surf, a Bald Eagle over I-5 near Sweetwater Marsh in National City, and a Cassin's Vireo in residential Point Loma that presumably wintered somewhere locally. A flock of 20 Ruddy Turnstones in the saltworks is a good count nowadays for this declining species, and 15 Black Turnstones there is a good count for that site. On Feb 26th there was a recently fledged, bob-tailed, juvenile Song Sparrow in downtown San Diego, an early date for a bird already fledged. Several more wintering Western Tanagers scattered about (residential La Jolla, Presidio Hills). Continuing are the returning, nesting pair of Vermilion Flycatchers at the Mission Bay Golf Course, and the adult male American Redstart in residential Point Loma.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego

Swainson's Hawks Arrive in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen

This evening over 100 Swainson's Hawks arrived around 4:30pm. They are probably roosting in Eucalyptus Trees in the back of the date farm. Light wind is predicted until 11am. If so, the hawks will most likely take off between 8 and 9am. Best viewing from the evening mound 1.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive on Borrego Valley Rd. or the junction of Big Horn and DiGiorgio Rd. about 1 mile north of Palm Canyon Drive on DiGiorgio Rd. Be careful parking in soft sand on the side of the road. 

CBRC review and request for documentation

Thomas Benson

Good morning birders,


In early April the California Bird Records Committee (CBRC) will begin reviewing the following Masked Booby records. If you have any documentation to submit for these records, please do so as soon as possible. Thank you.




Thomas A. Benson

Secretary, California Bird Records Committee



2019-203, 30-31 Dec 2019, Moonlight State Beach, SD

2020-013, 8-24 Feb 2020, Playa del Rey, LA

2020-017, 28 Feb 2020, 13 km SSW of Pt. Loma, SD



What kind of documentation should one submit to the CBRC? Following are some guidelines for submitting media and written descriptions that will be useful for helping the CBRC evaluate records and archive documentation. Documentation may be submitted directly to the secretary via email (secretary@...), or by using the online submission form (


Media: This includes photos, audio recordings, and video. Photographs are usually the most useful documentation for evaluating records. If you have reasonably good (=identifiable) photos, please submit them. If possible, please crop the photos before submission so that the bird fills most of the frame. Also, please send originals whenever possible, and not screenshots or back-of-camera photos. How many photos should you submit? That really depends on the record. If it is a long-staying rarity that is easily identifiable and seen by dozens of people, then a few photos (1-3 per person) are sufficient. If it is a mega-rarity that is difficult to identify and only seen by one or few people, then send as many photos as possible that show the bird at different angles, postures, lighting, etc. Sometimes it is also useful to submit audio and/or video recordings of the bird, as some birds are more easily identified by their vocalizations. If relatively short, most audio recordings are small enough to be submitted via email; please submit those along with a brief note indicating the date and location of the recording. Large audio files and video files can be submitted by using a file sharing service; please contact the secretary if you need to submit a file that is too large for email.


Written descriptions: Some written details should always be provided – even the best photos should be accompanied by the name of the observer, the date, and the location, at a minimum. Sometimes a photo can’t be obtained or vocalizations can’t be recorded. In some cases, behaviors might be noted in the field that aren’t preserved well by photos. In these cases, it is helpful to submit a written description of the bird. Ideally, this description should be written as soon after observing the bird as possible; it is often helpful to make written notes in the field, or even dictate notes into the voice recorder on your smartphone while observing the bird, from which you can later generate a written description. The most important aspect of a written description is that you report only what you observed, and not a general description of the bird from a field guide. At a minimum, your description should include the date and location of the observation, and a description of the bird (size and structure, plumage, vocalizations, behavior). A brief discussion of how the bird was identified, and how similar species were eliminated is also helpful. Other useful information you might report includes optics used, distance from bird, lighting or weather conditions, length of time viewed, and other observers present.



North American Birds - Winter 2019-2020

Guy McCaskie

County Coordinators/Contributors:

The Winter Season (1 December 2018 through 29 February 2020) is ended, and we solicit reports for inclusion in the Southern California Region of NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS. Reports should be arranged with species in the taxonomic order followed by the American Ornithologists Union (Check-List of North American Birds 1998 and all Supplements) and the American Birding Association (7th edition of the ABA Checklist, 2009 revised through 2019). Reports of species included on the California Bird Records Committee (CBRC) review list

must be accompanied by documentation (written description, photographs, etc.).
Similar documentation should also accompany reports of species unusual for
the location or season. Full names, with all initials, should be used in the reports (this reduces the potential for different observers having the same initials, and makes it simpler to acknowledge contributors) – John P. Doe in lieu of John Doe.

Reports should be sent to the appropriate County Coordinators (listed below)
or directly to Guy McCaskie by 23 March 2020. NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS can not exist without your input.

David Compton (Santa Barbara County)

Tom M. Edell (San Luis Obispo County)

Kimball L. Garrett (Los Angeles County)

Chet McGaugh (Riverside County)

Kelli K. Heindel (Kern County)

Tom and Jo Heindel (Inyo County)

Adam Searcy (Ventura County)

Alexander E. Koonce (San Bernardino County)

Guy McCaskie (San Diego and Imperial County)

Ryan S. Winkleman (Orange County) 

We thank you in advance for your time and effort.

Guy McCaskie and Kimball L. Garrett.


Re: SE Balboa Park, 29 Feb 2020

Tuck Russell

I ran into Millie and Peter Thomas this morning at this location, and together we refound the male Orchard Oriole at about 10AM (in the same tipu and bare cottonwoods in the dip described by Phil, before it absconded deep into the golf course), the female Yellow Warbler, and the Chipping Sparrows and Juncos.  The Black-and-White Warbler continued by the bathrooms.  

Before Millie and Peter left we had a mystery bird in the tipu that we never got good looks at, but seemed to be a female tanager or oriole.  After they left, I got better looks at this bird, which turned out to be a female Bullock's Oriole.  I managed adequate pictures of the orioles, along with perhaps my worst ever picture of a Townsend's Warbler, which are included in this checklist:

Tuck Russell

La Jolla Cove after the Bird Festival

Stan Walens

Helder Cardoso, from Portugal, and I went to the Cove after the close of Birdfest, getting there about 2:45 and staying until 5:00.
Several birds we saw were not previously reported during Birdfest.

Birds were pouring south, many very close to shore.
At least 50 fulmars.
Helder had his life Pacific fulmar within 1.5 seconds of raising his binoculars up.
1500 or so black-vented shearwaters.
4 pink-footed shearwaters, well seen.
One short-tailed shearwater.
5-6 jaegers, mostly pomarines.
About 100 Heermann’s gulls flying south.
Virtually no other gulls.

Highlight of the afternoon, if not the year, happened at about 3:20 or so, when I saw a black-and-white albatross doing dynamic soaring at the horizon.
I yelled out “Laysan albatross” just as a dissolute horde of people walked in front of us.
I lost the bird and never could refind it, but Helder _did_ refind it, and watched it for several minutes.
But as he was describing where on the horizon the bird was, trying to get me back onto the bird, a second Laysan albatross flew though my scope's field of view.
The bird was flying over the kelp bed, so no more than maybe 1/4 mile offshore.
Helder couldn’t see this bird, possibly because he was looking too far offshore, so I had him come over and take a quick look through my scope.

A spectacular end to a really nice Bird Festival.

P.S.: My Hornblower whale-watching friend, Scottie Schmidt, now living in Monterey, sent me a photo of an albatross he saw on a whale-watching boat there this past Friday.
All dark, with a lovely, as the books say, "bubblegum-pink" bill.

Stan Walens, San Diego
March 1, 2020; 7:30 pm