Date   

La Jolla Cove, Dec 14 afternoon

Stan Walens
 

I went to the Cove this afternoon, for just an hour, 2:30–3:30, after seeing Matt’s eBird report from this morning. The Cove has been pretty birdless for the last 2 weeks, what with the balmy Santa Ana zephyrs from the east. [okay, technically zephyrs are western winds; don’t know the word for their opposite direction equivalent]
Today there was a small front coming through, and some moderate northwest winds. Very choppy ocean, with lots of swells.


There was a massive congregation of black-vented shearwaters. They covered the ocean as far as I could see in every direction, out to the horizon.
Because they were swirling around, making huge circles in and out of the canyon, it is impossible to say just how many of them there were.
But at one point a stream of them started heading south just outside the kelp bed.
I counted 20 per second (!) for close to 6 minutes. That’s approximately 7000; and it didn’t include the birds not in that stream.
So I’d say there are somewhere between 7–10K BVSHs out there.
No other tubenoses in the flock, but the light was harsh and a lot of the birds were not in good scoping distance.
Did not see either of the two albinistic shearwaters Mat sae this morning. His descriptions fit those of the two birds I first reported from the Cove in August.

Didn’t count Pacific loons carefully because I was concentrating on the shearwaters, but I’d guesstimate 600 or so. 2 common loons.

A few surf scoters, brant. No jaegers near shore.

Stan Walens, San Diego
December 14, 2020; 5:00 pm


North Clairmont Rec Center - Red-breasted Sapsucker and Dusky-capped Flycatcher

David Trissel
 

The Dusky-capped Flycatcher was seen before I arrived; I heard it call at around 11:00 but did not see it. It was seen and heard in the same area as reported yesterday just east of the tennis courts. I looked unsuccessfully for the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker I’d seen yesterday, but there was a Red-breasted Sapsucker in a small tree at the SW corner of the tennis courts. It stayed at least 30 minutes in the same tree and was still there when I left at 11:45. NOTE: This bird looks like a hybrid Red-breasted x Red-Naped Sapsucker. Extensive red on the breast, head and face, but also plenty of black and white on the cheeks. Other birders were present and obtained plenty of good photos. Perhaps someone can examine those photos and provide a positive identification. GPS for Red-breasted Sapsucker here: 32.832019,-117.197273

David Trissel
San Diego, CA


CBC Scouting - Chula Vista Bayfront

Jay Desgrosellier
 

Spent the morning (12/13) scouting with Nick Barber for the upcoming SD CBC. Highlights include the continuing TRICOLORED HERON, REDDISH EGRET, and 2 adult male EURASIAN WIGEON on the mudflats looking north from Bayside Park, as well as a BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER and a continuing HERMIT WARBLER in the north-central portion of Friendship Park.

Also of note was a NASHVILLE WARBLER along D st., BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS along J st. and in Friendship Park, and PINE SISKINS in both Memorial and Friendship Parks.

Good Birding!

Jay Desgrosellier
San Diego, CA


Juv. LBBG, Lower Otay, 12/13

Matt Sadowski
 

There is a juv. Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lower Otay Reservoir (15:20). It's visible from the boat launch but is out in the water on the far side of the lake near a solar panel float to the SE. Seen bathing showing white at bases of rects. Size of a CAGU with an all black bill, whitish head and breast, dark around eye, and coarse markings on neck and breast.

Matt Sadowski


weekend miscellanea, incl. new Cackling, Plumbeous, 3 more Nashvilles

lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

On Sunday the 13th, while birding in Imperial Beach, a northbound flock of a dozen Canada Geese flew over which included 1 Cackling Goose. A check of the South McCoy Trail at the Tijuana Estuary during the very high tide produced a very good total of 60 Belding's Savannah Sparrows, but zero Nelson's and not even a single Large-billed Savannah. The female Costa's Hummingbird continues southeast of the Visitor Center, and I had a single-scan total of TEN Yellow-crowned Night-Herons out in the marsh (from Seacoast Drive). A Turkey Vulture flying over the upper Silver Strand is actually pretty rare for that outercoast area. I then did some landbirding along the Silver Strand and had TWO separate Nashville Warblers, which combined with a new Nashville yesterday at the upper section of Nestor Park brings the two-day total to four new Nashvilles in the county. (Yes, I can count, using my fingers, one by one....the fourth one is the Sadowski-reported bird yesterday east of Mission Bay.) And in Coronado today, a new Plumbeous Vireo was along the NASNI fence at Coronado X 8th--the Ruddy Ground Dove / Cassin's Sparrow spot.

Also seen yesterday, the 12th, 2 Cattle Egrets continue roosting at night with the egret flock on the west end of the main Dairy Mart Pond, present only very early (and presumably also late) in the day. This species is now very rare in winter in coastal San Diego County. A female Vermilion Flycatcher continues at Larsen Field in San Ysidro, as do the two males to the south of Nestor Park. A Bullock's Oriole and 1-2 Western Tanagers were at the upper end of Sunnyslope Park. A concentration of 6 Phainopeplas off Tocayo Ave. in Nestor is a large number for so close to the coast.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego


Nashville Warbler, Summer Tanager, Linda Vista Park, 12/12

Matt Sadowski
 

Jim Pawlicki and I birded Linda Vista Community Park today. There was a Nashville Warbler (JP) and imm. male Summer Tanager (MS) in eucs E/NE of the tennis courts. Across the road (NW of Genesee & Osler) there was a "Thick-billed" Fox Sparrow (JP) along the canyon edge.

Matt Sadowski


Red-footed booby present this morning at the bait barge

dmichaelray@...
 

Apologies for the late report, but the red-footed booby was on the bart barge closest to Point Loma, furthest from the harbor channel, this morning at about 9:30am. He was perched on the wire and allowed great looks from our boat. 

Cheers
Mike and Tera


American Redstart Kit Carson Park

Ryan Andrews
 

I just found a male American Redstart at Sand Lake in Kit Carson Park while feeding the ducks bird seed with my girlfriend. I first heard it calling then tracked it down between the two cement culverts that are over the creek inflows into the lake. Unfortunately I only had my phone but it came within 8ft of us so I have many identifiable phone pics. 


Also had three Canvasback on the pond, a Green Heron sneaking along the creek by the redstart, and a Townsends and Myrtle Warbler came in to pishing as well. 


Ryan Andrews
Valley Center


Clairemont Rec Center - Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

David Trissel
 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker seen and photographed well by two others today at 9:00 in the same tree I saw it on Thursday. It likes a small tree on the east side that is just west of the three large pines that are next to Genessee Avenue. There are some sap lines that it monitors right in the middle of the tree. Exact GPS is here: 32.832483,-117.195272

Dusky-capped Flycatcher was seen at 9:40 in the trees and bushes (very low) just east of the tennis courts. We looked and listened all morning for the call and didn’t hear it; then it dropped out of the tree in front of us (Dave Povey and me) and moved around low in the trees and bushes on the edge of the downslope. It then vocalized but the distinctive plaintive "pee-ur" call is pretty quiet and you probably wouldn’t hear it unless it was within 20-30 yards (or we are old and can’t hear worth a darn). Exact GPS is here: 32.832117,-117.196417

David Trissel
San Diego, CA


Guajome Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Gjon Hazard
 

Details on eBird 


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Gjon Hazard 
Encinitas 


Common Goldeneye Lake Murray

Christopher Adler
 

This morning there was a female Common Goldeneye in Alvarado Bay at 
Lake Murray. 

I saw the Canvasback, and the Vermilion Flycatcher in the process of being well-photographed. 

Did not see Horned Grebe or Cape May Warbler. 

eBird report with photo of Goldeneye:

Christopher Adler
Allied Gardens

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..... ..... ..... ..... christopher adler
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Fri 11 Dec - Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Paul Chad
 

Just FYI, still present at N Clairemont RecCtr, seen about 11:00 today. Moved a bit, but first found in 'bee tree' (as described in eBird) just down into the canyon SE of tennis courts. It's soft call was heard only when the bird got closer.

Paul Chad
University City


SD Pelagic – Flesh-footed, Short-tailed, other birds, 11 Dec 2020

Gary Nunn
 

Nancy Christensen, Dan Jehl, Peter Ginsberg, and myself ventured offshore today to the Nine Mile Bank on the lookout for winter seabirds in the area.  Sea conditions were OK and the medium-long interval swell settled out during the day creating nice running conditions.  We started the morning running to the Mexico border at the bottom of the Nine Mile Bank and from there ventured northwest to the upper part of the bank approximately west of Mission Bay.  We did take a long jog west into the San Diego Trough also, following a slick line, which was productive for birds as well as garbage. In total 65 NM traveled at sea.

Coming back across to the top of the Nine Mile Bank we came across a concentration of Black-vented Shearwaters (2000+), Common Dolphin, and a few Humpback Whales, the birds in great gyrating feeding flocks.  Here we found the clear highlight of our day a FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER in the first shearwater raft we pulled up to.  Also in the Black-vented rafts about eight dark shearwaters, two SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER on nice close photos, and no doubt others that slipped away may have been this species.

We also had quick looks at two SCRIPPS'S MURRELET as well as four RHINOCEROS AUKLET out on the slick line extending into the trough west of the bank.

RED-FOOTED BOOBY was firmly planted on the Bait Barge as we came back to Harbor Island.

--
Gary Nunn
Pacific Beach


Am. Redstart, et al. (Dec 11th)

Aedyn Loefke
 

The adult male American Redstart (found by Rodney Gast and Desiree Balderama on the 8th) continued this morning (Dec 11th) at the far Southern end of the Bessemer Path along La Playa Cove near Shelter Island. 
eBird checklist with photos and coordinates below.

To echo Paul's post form earlier, the McCown's/Thick-billed Longspur continues in the dog run on Fiesta Island. Thanks to Paul for directing us to the bird. Photos and coordinates also in an eBird checklist below.

As also noted by Paul, the Ross's Geese also continue on the West side of the Leisure Lagoon peninsula.
Only a single DC Cormorant at De Anza Cove, no Neotropic.

An early afternoon search of the North Clairmont Recreation Area failed to turn up the Dusky-capped Flycatcher or the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.


Happy Birding!

  --Aedyn & Trysten Loefke
Valley Center


Crown Point longspur

Jim Roberts GMAIL
 

This morning (12/11/20) at 10, Gary's LAPLAND LONGSPUR continued on the "longspur lawn" at Crown Point along with a bright pink-billed bird that I'm assuming was a whydah.

                          Jim Roberts
                         University City


McCown's/Thick-billed Longspur, Summer Tanager

lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

On Friday the 11th, the female-type McCowns / Thick-billed Longspur continues on Fiesta Island at the dog run, this morning in the southeast corner of the run. There are multiple subgroups of Horned Larks present scattered about and totaling at least 80 birds, and the longspur was with the largest group today. Also this morning, a new, female Summer Tanager was on the eastern section of Vacation Isle, also in Mission Bay. Nearby, an adult Yellow crowned Night-heron continues, unusual for this area in winter. The two Ross's Geese continue along the east shore Mission Bay. And there were almost 70 Double crested Cormorants in De Anza Cove, but no Neotropic.

Paul Lehman, San Diego


Zone-tailed Hawk in Valley Center, some north county notes

Ryan Andrews
 

During a 10 minute gap between online finals, I had an adult Zone-tailed Hawk fly over my yard in Valley Center, now the third time I've seen one in town but the first in the yard and the first I've photographed. I imagine all my sightings pertain to the San Pasqual Valley birds. Pics here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77316272

Some other minor notes in north county include a Horned Grebe on Lake Wohlford on December 6th, my first there. Also on the 6th, I had a Pelagic Cormorant foraging in the west basin of Agua Hedionda Lagoon which I think is the first time I've seen one along the north county coastline that wasn't flying by. I also had an incredibly out of place Marsh Wren in a tiny reed patch ON the beach of Carlsbad State Beach (just below Juniper Ave). There's a few very small pools of freshwater with reeds growing right along the seawall and it was moving between two of them. 

Ryan Andrews 
Valley Center


another Clay-colored, Cackling Goose SUBspecies

lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

On 10 Dec, a Clay-colored Sparrow continues at the upper end of Santee Lakes, the SIXTH Clay-colored reported in the county since the beginning of this month (almost all continuing birds from Nov). This particular bird has been present since 16 Nov and frequents the RV camping area, along the nice stream that runs through it, between sites numbered in the 130s-150s on one side of the creek and from 170s-180s on the other side, with a flock of about 15 Chippings. The small Cackling Goose continues with the coots at the north end of Lake #5, and the SUBspecific identity of this bird is somewhat clouded, perhaps. It is indeed very small and very small/stubby billed, although the breast is not especially dark, so whether it is an actual minima or not seems unresolved. What makes this situation even more confusing is that there was a small Cackling Goose here in October which had a nice white neck ring, which minima does not show (but Aleutian does), but now the/a bird at the same spot since November has NO neck ring! Many birds start off with no neck ring and then slowly gain one as the season progresses, but the opposite shouldn't happen! Most Cackling Geese in the county are Aleutian Cacklings, whereas minima is thought to be only a casual visitor. A Common Goldeneye flew over Mast Park earlier this morning, seemingly headed for Santee Lakes.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego


UC Painted redstart

Jim Roberts GMAIL
 

This afternoon (12/10/20) at 12:45 the PAINTED REDSTART continued in the tipu trees at Stanley Middle School.

Jim Roberts
University City


Red-footed Booby - Bait Barge

lindsay willrick
 

Booby update: 

 

Stan and I perched at the northeastern edge of the FRNC for 45 minutes this morning and finally got a good look at the red-footed booby down on the bait barge. It magically appeared on a wire after scoping for a good 30 minutes. Details and some scope photos in our ebird list:  

 

https://ebird.org/checklist/S77307667

 

Lindsay Willrick 

Golden Hill, San Diego 




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