Date   

Indigo Bunting at Marston Canyon

Nathan French
 

Male and possibly a female in the silky oaks near (32.7433935, -117.1551980) found this morning by Richard Cuthbertson

Nathan French
Hillcrest


Green-tailed Towhee in Hillcrest

Philip Unitt
 

Dear friends,

 

When you’ve lived in the same house for a quarter century it’s especially nice to see a new bird for your yard. I had that excitement just a few minutes ago: a Green-tailed Towhee foraging in and around my chuparosa bush. For a while it was hanging out with the family of California Towhees—the young fledged just today. So just this month my yard list of towhees has gone from 1 species to 3.

 

Good birding—from your home and neighborhood.

 

Philip Unitt

San Diego


Chestnut-sided Warbler

Catherine Zinsky
 

Birded near home here in Crest at the Ecological Preserve off of Suncrest along the stream.  Note: encountered one Diamondback Rattlesnake and came home with a few ticks.  (Am still itchy! LOL)
It was fairly birdy.  Of note was a Chestnut-sided Warbler that was bathing in the stream.  Also seen were: Townsend's Warbler, Wilson Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler,  California Quail, Wrentit, Canyon Wren, Western Tanager, Hooded Oriole, and many Scaly-breasted Munia.

Also believe I had a Hammond's Flycatcher.  Photos at:


--
Live in beauty....

Catherine


Competitive Obedience Toolbox: www.gettoready.net

OTCH Sporting Fields Summer Solstice, UDX 9, OGM ("Dax", as in "Dax of the Long Tongue" aka 'Sir Lickalot'))
GCH OTCH6 Sporting Field's Quantum Leap UDX 8, OGM  ('Devon'  aka "Monkey")   
Ch. Shorewind Spellbound's Dragon Rider , CDX ("Echo", aka  "Speed Bump")
Sporting Field's Royal Prerogative ("Liam"--aka, "Spanky" of Our Gang)
Ch. OTCH Trumagik Step Aside, UDX 20, OGM   (2002 - 2015)
Ch Borderfame Soul Train, UDX, OM 3  (2006-2018)
 


Re: San Diego pelagic birding 2020

David Povey
 

Hello all,
In the last few days, I've received a number of inquires about the 2020 pelagic birding locally.
Currently only the May 17th. trip as been cancelled. The June 13th. trip is still on the books, as is the Aug. Sept, and Oct. trips. No reservations are been taken at this time. All the landings offices are closed, and all sportfishing, whale watching, and other pleasure boat operations are shut down. 
I can not even launch my boat to go out, on the bay or ocean even if I were all alone.
How long all this will last is the question? Even if  operations are allowed by the county health dept. how many people will be allowed to gather onboard?. All I can suggest is standby. We will post something as soon as we know (either way).
Thanks for your patience, and stay well,
Dave Povey
Dulzura


Re: Escondido Solitary Sandpiper

dan jehl
 

The Solitary Sandpiper that Greg found this morning continues today at 11:30. Only bird in the water. 

Dan Jehl 
San Diego 


On Apr 25, 2020, at 9:19 AM, Greg Gillson <greggillson@...> wrote:


Jesmond Dene park. Pond north of baseball field. 50 foot view on mudflats. Great photo op. Lots of birds. Not many migrant warblers today though. 

I got dropped off. Parking on street not to far away? 

--
Greg Gillson
Escondido, California 
sandiegogreg.blogspot.com


Nazca Booby died

Philip Unitt
 

Dear friends,

 

I just heard from Kim Peterson at Sea World that the latest Nazca Booby from Coronado—the subadult with a nevertheless bright orange bill—died suddenly today. The sternum and coracoid were badly broken. The specimen has been saved, so we will prepare it for preservation in the museum’s research collection. I may set up my garage as a remote lab….

 

Good birding—from your home and neighborhood,

 

Philip Unitt

San Diego


Escondido Solitary Sandpiper

Greg Gillson <greggillson@...>
 

Jesmond Dene park. Pond north of baseball field. 50 foot view on mudflats. Great photo op. Lots of birds. Not many migrant warblers today though. 

I got dropped off. Parking on street not to far away? 

--
Greg Gillson
Escondido, California 
sandiegogreg.blogspot.com


Yellow-th. Vireo No

David Povey
 

The Yellow-throated Vireo is a no show so far this morning.
Birders still looking. I will update if refound.
Dave Povey
Dulzura


Yellow-throated Vireo Dulzura 4-24-2020

David Povey
 

I first heard this bird sing it's two part spaced buzzy song about 10:30 this morning.
I was just putting away the weed wacking machine so it may have been singing earlier and unheard with my ear muffs on. 
I expected a "Solitary" type vireo
Went and got bins, and was surprised to find a bright yellow vireo, with yellow spectacles, yellow throat and breast, white belly, bold white wing bars, on gray wings. Head and back an off yellow green. Grayish rump. Yellow-throated Vireo
This bird was moving around very slowly and singing it's repeated spaced phrases and then took short flights between eucalyptus trees.
About 10:45 it stopped sing and was silent , but seemed to settle on the tall eucalyptus over the driveway, and the smaller ecuc just across the drive.
Last seen by three of us about 1:15 p.m.
If you'd like to take a crack at this bird, you're welcome to. Please contact me off line for directions.
Dave Povey
Dulzura


Re: Yellow-throated Vireo, Mount Soledad & Point Loma miscellanea

Nancy Christensen
 

The YTVI was found again at about 1pm, though silent.

Nancy Christensen
Ramona


A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
Chinese Proverb

On Apr 24, 2020, at 12:29 PM, lehman.paul@verizon.net via groups.io <lehman.paul=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

On Friday morning, Dave Povey has a sporadically singing YELLOW-THROATED VIREO in his yard out east in Dulzura. It was still singing a bit up until just after 10:30 AM, but has gotten quieter since--no surprise. He says he still had it at 11AM. If anyone wants to give it a hail mary and try for it later today, or tomorrow morning, feel free to contact him. But there is no "one spot" in his large yard to check. This is close to a typical "first date" for spring Yellow-throated Vireos in s. California.

Following the huge flight on Weds, the past two early mornings at Mount Soledad in La Jolla have had far fewer migrants (150 on Thurs, around 100 on Friday) but they have included several species of interest. On Thursday our coastal rarities were a Townsend's Solitaire (c/o Nicole Desnoyers) and a Purple Martin (c/o David Holway). And today they were a cooperative Gray Flycatcher, 2 Pine Siskins, and a few more Hammond's Flycatchers, Cassin's Vireos, and Lawrence's Goldfinch. Yesterday, there was a good number of migrants in residential Point Loma, including 6 Hammond's Flycatchers at Pt. Loma Nazarene University, but today the numbers of migrants there is notably fewer, although a new female Calliope Hummingbird turned up (but looked unsettled).

--Paul Lehman, San Diego




Yellow-throated Vireo, Mount Soledad & Point Loma miscellanea

lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

On Friday morning, Dave Povey has a sporadically singing YELLOW-THROATED VIREO in his yard out east in Dulzura. It was still singing a bit up until just after 10:30 AM, but has gotten quieter since--no surprise. He says he still had it at 11AM. If anyone wants to give it a hail mary and try for it later today, or tomorrow morning, feel free to contact him. But there is no "one spot" in his large yard to check. This is close to a typical "first date" for spring Yellow-throated Vireos in s. California.

Following the huge flight on Weds, the past two early mornings at Mount Soledad in La Jolla have had far fewer migrants (150 on Thurs, around 100 on Friday) but they have included several species of interest. On Thursday our coastal rarities were a Townsend's Solitaire (c/o Nicole Desnoyers) and a Purple Martin (c/o David Holway). And today they were a cooperative Gray Flycatcher, 2 Pine Siskins, and a few more Hammond's Flycatchers, Cassin's Vireos, and Lawrence's Goldfinch. Yesterday, there was a good number of migrants in residential Point Loma, including 6 Hammond's Flycatchers at Pt. Loma Nazarene University, but today the numbers of migrants there is notably fewer, although a new female Calliope Hummingbird turned up (but looked unsettled).

--Paul Lehman, San Diego


Re: [birdingSanDiego] Sabre Springs migrants - need ID confirmation

Lisa Ruby
 

Concensus on the empid in question is that it was a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Thanks to those who responded.

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs

On 4/22/2020 4:51 PM, Lisa Ruby via groups.io wrote:
I sent this once, but from the wrong e-mail address. My apologies if the post ends up duplicated.

As part of opening city parks and trails for local use, they opened the trail along the creek near my house. So I birded down there this morning.

Saw more migrants than I've ever seen in one outing along that trail. Among the 49 to 50 species I found there were 10 WESTERN TANAGERS, 1 WESTERN WOOD-PEEWEE, 1 possible HAMMOND's FLYCATCHER, 7 WARBLING VIREOS, 3 TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, 7 WILSON'S WARBLERS, and 5 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, and the icing on the cake was an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER. Only the second time I've ever seen one down there. The last one was in May of 2016.

Usually when I find Tanagers or migrating Warblers along that trail I'm lucky to see one or two of each species.  Most likely there was more than what I spotted. It's a large area with a lot of dense foliage and a lot of the habitat is inaccessible.

If anyone who lives over this way is considering checking out the trail, I highly recommend avoiding weekends. Trail is narrow in a lot of spots, and there are too many people on it on the weekends to be able to maintain appropriate distancing.

I have a few not so great photos of the empid that I thought looked like a Hammond's Flycatcher. They are currently under empid sp. Could use some help with confirming the ID.

List with photos:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S67639446

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs South



--
Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs


Bird & Butterfly Garden

Gary Grantham
 

This morning (4/22/20) Cheryl and I ventured out with our Covid-19 paraphernalia to the Bird & Butterfly Garden.  The parking lot is closed but the garden is open to the public so we parked on Hollister and walked in.  Covid contact was not a worry.  We saw only two human beings the whole time we were there and they were two Spanish speaking ranch hands on horseback about 50 feet away.  Lots of birds and butterflies were there.  Some of the birds seen were 12+ Western Tanagers (all males); Wilson's Warblers - 8+;  Townsend's Warblers - 5+; Hermit Warbler - 1; Yellow-breasted Chat -2 (very vocal); Olive-sided Flycatcher (hawking insects from the top of a tall dead tree); Pacific Slope Flycatcher -3; Hooded Oriole; multiple Rufous/Allen's type hummers; and a Lesser Goldfinch on a nest with female Cowbirds lurking in the same tree yearning to drop an egg.  I too thought it was a little early for Olive-sided flycatcher, but according to Paul I hold the county early arrival record of April 10th, 2012 at Mission Trails Park.  Who knew?

Gary Grantham
Scripps Ranch


Sabre Springs migrants - need ID confirmation

Lisa Ruby
 

I sent this once, but from the wrong e-mail address. My apologies if the post ends up duplicated.

As part of opening city parks and trails for local use, they opened the trail along the creek near my house. So I birded down there this morning.

Saw more migrants than I've ever seen in one outing along that trail. Among the 49 to 50 species I found there were 10 WESTERN TANAGERS, 1 WESTERN WOOD-PEEWEE, 1 possible HAMMOND's FLYCATCHER, 7 WARBLING VIREOS, 3 TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, 7 WILSON'S WARBLERS, and 5 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, and the icing on the cake was an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER. Only the second time I've ever seen one down there. The last one was in May of 2016.

Usually when I find Tanagers or migrating Warblers along that trail I'm lucky to see one or two of each species.  Most likely there was more than what I spotted. It's a large area with a lot of dense foliage and a lot of the habitat is inaccessible.

If anyone who lives over this way is considering checking out the trail, I highly recommend avoiding weekends. Trail is narrow in a lot of spots, and there are too many people on it on the weekends to be able to maintain appropriate distancing.

I have a few not so great photos of the empid that I thought looked like a Hammond's Flycatcher. They are currently under empid sp. Could use some help with confirming the ID.

List with photos:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S67639446

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs South




--
Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs


Little-visited park very productive

phil Pryde
 

         Like others, I thought I’d try going to a new venue to look for migratory birds, and decided I’d try Hillside Park in El Cajon.  I can’t recall many (any?) reports coming from there.  The park is open to hikers and dog-walkers. 
         Turns out, it’s a very birdy location.  Between 7:40 and 9:30 this (Wed.) morning I had no trouble ID-ing 27 species of land birds (0 water birds). Those of you better at bird calls than I am (meaning almost all of you) could easily log  > 30 species there.  
         Included were at least a half dozen W. Tanagers, both genders of Black-headed Grosbeak, both Pac. Slope and Hammond’s Flycatchers, and a variety of warblers of which Wilson’s were by far the most common.  Other warblers were Townsends, Yellow,  O-crowned, Y.-rumped, and maybe a Nashville.  (The latter was seen only from underneath and had the whitish area on the belly around the legs, but I never got a look at the head.)  Other interesting observations included two sizable flocks of Cedar Waxwings, a pair of Allen’s Hummers, and a female Anna’s on a nest 5 feet from the path - an easy great photograph.  
         If you haven’t been to Hillside Park, as you go down the hill (eastbound) towards El Cajon, just turn right off Fletcher Parkway onto Buena Terrace (road), and you’re there.  Park on Buena Terr.  Hike in on the main path at least as far as the picnic tables;  the picnic table area was by far the most productive birding area (at least this morning).  Go early; at 7:30 there was almost no one in the park.  

        FYI, Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa is also open, and this (Wed.) morning there were perhaps a dozen W. Kingbirds scattered all around it.  

Phil Pryde, San Carlos


Weds Mount Soledad flight: 1500 migrants

lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

Given the building high pressure and wind shift to the northeast overnight and early this morning, light at first (5-10 mph), then slightly stronger (still under 15 mph) and N as the morning went on, we figured there was the potential for an excellent morning flight. Mount Soledad in La Jolla seemed to be the right place to be, as we totaled ca. 1500 migrants passing by between 6:10-9:10 AM (and smaller numbers were still passing by at 9:15 when I departed). My previous morning high there of passerine migrants was in the 300s! I was ably assisted this morning by Jay Desgrosellier, and the two of us stood about 150+ feet apart so we could view two largely different sections of the broad front of passing birds. Unfortunately, two other sites in the county that were checked this morning--Eitan A. at Mount Helix and Alex A. on the west side of Escondido--produced pleasing, but not exceptional, numbers of birds. Perhaps the easterly breeze/wind stacked birds up right along the coast, where we were, rather than farther inland where Eitan and Alex were? Here are Jay's and my totals at Soledad:

75 Vaux's Swift

1 Sharp-shinned Hawk (a typical departure date in spring)

14 Ash-throated Flycatcher

15 Western Kingbird

14 Hammond's Flycatcher

1 GRAY FLYCATCHER (Jay D.)

28 Pacific-slope Flycatchers

11 Cassin's Vireos (presumably a county migrant record)

260 Warbling Vireo (must be by far a county record high)

8 Barn Swallow (clearly through-migrants)

20 Cliff Swallows (clearly behaving like through migrants rather than some nearby breeders)

2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

2 Swainson's Thrush

20 Cedar Waxwing

3 PINE SISKIN (Jay D.)

7 Lawrence's Goldfinch

17 Chipping Sparrow

12 White-crowned Sparrow (some in actual active migration!)

3 Golden-crowned Sparrow

20 Hooded Oriole (still moderate numbers of actual migrants streaming north--all females and imm males)

25 Bullock's Oriole

40 Orange-crowned Warbler

55 Nashville Warbler

4 MacGillivray's Warbler (including in active, in-the-air, through-flight)

1 NORTHERN PARULA (male; PL)

6 Yellow Warbler (this species almost NEVER makes up large numbers in morning flights)

25 Yellow-rumped Warbler

150 Black-throated Gray Warbler (by far a record county total; a large majority were females)

225 Townsend's Warbler (new county high)

90 Hermit Warbler (new county high)

220 Wilson's Warbler (maybe a new record, but close)

50 Western Tanager

14 Black-headed Grosbeak

2 Blue Grosbeak

190 Lazuli Bunting (new county record)

Approximately similar weather forecast for another three days. Will be interesting to see if additional excellent flights materialize on at least some of these next mornings, although there is presumably only so many times one can "go to the well" over a short time period.

In other news, there were 2 Calliope Hummingbirds and another Sharp-shinned Hawk later this morning in residential Point Loma. And back on Monday there was a Bank Swallow in the Tijuana River Valley.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego


Huge morning flight

lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

a huge morning flight at Mount soledad this morning starting at 6:15 and it's still going on almost at 9 am. Well over a thousand Birds. Highlights include a northern parula and a gray flycatcher and two pine siskins, and silly counts like over 200 lazuli buntings and over 200 warbling Vireos and 200 Townsend's warblers and nearing a hundred hermit warblers and 12 cassin's Vireos and a dozen hammonds and the list goes on. Will post a full report later today.

Paul Lehman, San Diego


Most parks but not beaches reopen

Justyn Stahl
 

Yesterday the City of San Diego announced it will be re-opening some parks, with caveats: no gathering in groups and no driving into the park (parking lots stay closed). Beaches and piers remain closed.

A list of open parks posted here:


Possible Olive-sided Flycatcher - comments welcome

Sara Baase Mayers
 

On our morning walk (in the wooded area of Point Loma), Keith and I saw what we think was an Olive-sided Flycatcher. It would be early and the light & distance weren't good, so I welcome offline comments. Here's what I saw: Large flycatcher perched upright at the top of a tall tree; large head and bill, with a peak at the back of the head; light throat contrasting with darker face. I had mostly a back view so could not see vest or whether it was white up the center of the front. There seemed to be a small white area that could have been the spot sometimes seen on the flank or rump, but given the distance, I wasn't sure, and the Sibley field guide seems to say that would be seen on juveniles later in the year. Not much movement except for turning its head (no tail flicking) - until it dropped down out of sight. We couldn't wait long, so don't know if it returned to the perch.

======================
Sara Mayers
Point Loma (San Diego)
======================


Re: spring morning flight

Eitan Altman
 

Headed up to Mt Helix this morning for an hour before a day of web meetings at work :/ 

Warbler numbers will still good, although not the crazy flood of two days ago.  Interestingly, after not seeing a single Black-throated Gray the other day, they were the most numerous species after Orange-crowned this morning.  And Nashville numbers were much lower with only a few seen.  Totals today estimated at ~30 Orange-crowned, ~20 BT Gray, ~15 Townsend's, ~5 Nashville, ~5 Wilson's, 1 MacGillivray's and 1 Hermit.  Minimal other migrant activity, just a single Western Tanager, and a few Hooded Orioles which are likely setting up shop in the neighborhood.

Yesterday morning I hiked a bit in the hills of Santee, outside of the (currently closed) Mission Trails area.  Lazuli Buntings were present in big numbers (20+ seen), with about a 70/30 ratio of males to females from what I saw.  Vaux's Swifts continue to push through, with ~100 joining a huge mixed flock of WT Swifts, Cliff Swallows and N Rough-winged Swallows in the heavy overcast.  I heard at least 5 Grasshopper Sparrows singing, and Rufous-crowned Sparrows were quite active in the area with several pairs seen and many more heard singing and calling in the surrounding hillsides.

Western Kingbird migration seems to have ebbed, for the prior couple of weeks I had been seeing groups of them passing overhead pretty much anywhere I went in the inland region, but haven't seen any for the past couple of days.

Eitan Altman
San Carlos
  

On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 5:13 PM Eitan Altman <eitanaltman@...> wrote:
Inspired by Paul's post, this morning I walked the streets near the peak of Mount Helix looking for migrants, something I had always meant to do but somehow had never quite gotten around to despite it being fairly close to my house.  

Mount Helix Park is currently closed, but the neighborhood streets are fairly empty of both people and vehicles.  It was cold, overcast, and a bit damp, but bird activity was excellent.

The highlight was running into warbler highway, where over the course of about 30 minutes I had 100+ warblers of various species pouring through what must have been a particularly tempting spot.  Groups of 10-20 birds were flowing through the bushes and pines, often at very close range.  My estimated counts were 50+ Nashville, 25+ Orange-crowned, 20+ Wilson's, 15+ Townsends, with a single (possibly 2) Hermit mixed in for good measure.  I've never seen so many Nashville's, it felt like there were 5-10 in every tree I checked and it's possible ~50 is a significant undercount since they were moving around so quickly as they flowed through.

Other than that mini warbler flood, the rest of the morning had fairly typical migrant + resident activity with ~5 Western Tanagers, a few BH Grosbeaks, ~15-20 Hooded Orioles, a few Bullock's, ~10 Rufous/Allen's Hummers (including at least 2 orange-backed males identifiable as Rufous), scattered other Wilson's and Orange-crowned Warblers, ~5-10 Pacific-slope Flycatchers, and a single MacGillivray's Warbler foraging in the dry scrub near the peak.

A great morning!  Will be looking forward to some socially distanced Black Swift watches in May :) 

Eitan Altman
San Carlos

On Wed, Apr 15, 2020 at 9:27 AM lehman.paul@... via groups.io <lehman.paul=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
It's that time once again, April through mid-May, to find a good site
for a post-dawn "morning flight" of passerines. Obviously more difficult
to do this year than usual.... But usually the best spots are in
foothill and montane canyons, and up on hill-, ridge-, and mountain-
tops, and when there's been an overnight breeze/wind from somewhere
between the N and ESE (for here in San Diego--would be a slightly
different preferred direction, including NW, at a place like Santa
Barbara and Ventura where the coast and mountains are oriented
differently). The first 90+ minutes after dawn are typically best,
sometimes with a bit of a delay of the start time to be maybe 30 minutes
after dawn. And just so it's clear, a majority of these birds are
fly-by's only, and the remainder perch often only very briefly before
continuing on. So, it's easy to "miss" lots of birds and to not be able
to identify a good number of them!

These past two days have had favorable night-time breeze directions, but
it looks rather less favorable for perhaps the next 5 days. As a result,
there has clearly been a push of migrants these past two days here in
San Diego and Orange Counties, and presumably elsewhere. Here are my
totals from a site I visit, as an example. I would term these numbers
"pleasing," but not "high."

April 14 and 15:

Calliope Hummingbird: 1, 0

Vaux's Swift: 2, 0

Olive-sided Flycatcher: 0,1 (arrival)

Western Wood-Pewee: 1, 0 (arrival)

Hammond's Flycatcher: 4, 5 (a good spring for this species region-wide)

Gray Flycatcher: 1, 0 (rare) (yes, it perched!)

Pacific-slope Flycatcher: 8, 3

empid sp.: 4, 5

W. Kingbird: 4, 8

Cassin's Kingbird: 0, 2 (difficult to tell migrants from common
residents, but these two birds were high overhead heading N)

Ash-throated Flycatcher: 4, 2

Cassin's Vireo: 1, 0

Warbling Vireo: 6, 8

Nashville Warbler: 8, 18

Orange-crowned Warbler: 10, 12

Townsend's Warbler: 1, 0 (just starting)

Hermit Warbler: 0, 2 (just starting)

Black-thr. Gray Warbler: 3, 43 (today's total one of the all-time
highest for the county)

Yellow-rumped Warbler: 4, 8 (just starting)

Wilson's Warbler: 15, 14

Hooded Oriole: 8+ (like the CAKI, typically difficult to tell migrants
from local breeders, but these birds were in two higher-flying groups
and were all females/young males)

Western Tanager: 2, 2 (just starting)

Lazuli Bunting: 0, 15 (just starting)

migrant passerine sp.: 20, 50

Golden-crowned Sparrow: 5, 7 (staying put; still molting)


In other news, on 14 April the wintering male Eurasian Wigeon was still
with the small group of remaining American Wigeons at the San Diego
River mouth--somewhat later than usual.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego






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