Re: Little Stint, 4/21

Matt Sadowski

Forgot to mention that it is in full alternate plumage now. The cap and auriculars are brighter red than the breast. White throat and dark markings confined to the breast band. No markings on the flanks, unlike WESA. Broad white fringes to lower scaps, split supercilium, short bill, etc. It appears it has now made peace with the WESAs, so that behavioral clue is no longer useful.

Matt Sadowski

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021, 2:03 PM Matt Sadowski via <> wrote:
For those that missed the LIST this morning it showed up on the island off 10th around 13:20 and is still here with six WESA. Mid-day but visibility might not be that bad from the bike path with the overcast. Beware of LESA which was also present, although earlier.

Matt Sadowski

Little Stint, 4/21

Matt Sadowski

For those that missed the LIST this morning it showed up on the island off 10th around 13:20 and is still here with six WESA. Mid-day but visibility might not be that bad from the bike path with the overcast. Beware of LESA which was also present, although earlier.

Matt Sadowski

La Jolla Cove: Lubricious Black Oystercatchers, Surfbirds, Glaucous-winged Gull

Stan Walens

Four of us were at La Jolla Cove early this morning participating in the Swarovski-organized birding-around-the-world streaming event.
Highlights included 4 black oystercatchers. Two of them were observed repeatedly copulating on the rocks beneath my bench. They then flew east past Goldfish Point, towards the not-visible-from-the-Coast-Walk cobble beach, which as I mentioned in a previous email likely provides the best habitat for oystercatcher scrapes. Another pair, both adults, flew in from the south later, and they, too, headed east of Goldfish Point.

Also present at first light was a flock of 14 Surfbirds on the rocks beneath my bench. And a very bleached and worn just beginning to enter second-cycle Glaucous-winged Gull has been present for the past 2 days on the cliffs between Goldfish Point and the Brandt’s cormorant nests.

Stan Walens, San Diego
April 21, 2021; 9:40 am

Re: Lake Hodges poss. Cave Swallow

Jeff Spaulding

I heard back this morning that the bird in question appears to be a Northern Rough-winged Swallow. The wings are too long and the pattern is off. Oh well, I guess the Cave Swallows are hiding elsewhere.
Jeff Spaulding
San Diego, CA

FRNC Townsends Solitaire continues

The Townsend's Solitaire at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery on Point Loma continues on Wednesday morning. Still rat g berries in the cedar trees on both sides of the Lincoln Gettysburg Address monument next to the caretaker's house and bathrooms. See my post back on Sunday for more details. When not in those trees the bird either goes about a hundred feet south into the large broad eucalyptus or it goes about 60 ft to the north into the first large cedar tree that direction. The bird certainly can hide for periods of time as well. And remember that the rest of the cemetery is off limits to birding between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

Lake Hodges poss. Cave Swallow

Jeff Spaulding

I saw a photo this evening on iNaturalist that I thought looked good for a Cave Swallow. I had hoped to hear back from some others on the ID but also wanted to get the word out. It was located under the I-15 bridge the morning of the 20th.
Jeff Spaulding
San Diego, CA

Little Stint, dark-lored White-crowned Sparrows, miscellanea

On Tuesday the 20th, the Little Stint continues on its favorite salt works island off 10th St. For the past number of days, it seems that between 9AM-10AM has been fairly reliable, and the bird continues to really like the 'inside' (west edge) of the island's 'elbow,' where it regularly chases off any Western Sandpiper that comes too close. Doesn't seem to matter how many other shorebirds are present. The adult Reddish Egret continues on the J Street mudflats. And there were a very surprising THREE dark-lored White-crowned Sparrows (presumably subspecies oriantha): two in the TRV community gardens and one along Leon Avenue. Following the record numbers this past fall and winter in the county, this spring has started off well, too.

Yesterday, the 19th, the Tricolored Heron continued off Robb Field, where also up to 4 Gull-billed Terns are present for at least the third spring in a row (normally this species is rare north of San Diego Bay). Two interesting records, in the sense of "late" dates, included two apparent migrant American Robins over Mount Soledad and two wintering Chipping Sparrows still present near Montgomery Field (migrant Chippies are standard fare right now, but lingering winterers may be slightly late).

--Paul Lehman, San Diego

Calliope Hummingbird

Mike Wittmer

Calliope Hummingbird currently at Presidio Park spot

mike wittmer

Townsend’s Solitaire today

Cheryl Carlton

At Wilderness Gardens County Preserve just about 3 miles east of Pala Casino on SR 76. He seemed to be eating red pepper berries. 

All four in our group saw this bird. 

Pics available. 

Cheryl Carlton

Sent from my iphone  

Re: Gulls 4/19

Matt Sadowski

...and the west basin of Batiquitos Lagoon off of the Navigator Circle trail produced three alternate-plumaged Cattle Egrets trying to blend with the Elegant Tern flock.

Matt Sadowski

On Mon, Apr 19, 2021, 2:49 PM Geoff Veith <veithlaw@...> wrote:
I stayed at San Elijo until 1:15. Dave Trissel arrived around 1:30. Not sure how long he stayed. No luck. I assume the bird was headed north. 

On Apr 19, 2021, at 2:42 PM, Matt Sadowski <mattsadowski78@...> wrote:

A check of Penasquitos and San Dieguito Lagoon mouths did not produce the Franklin's Gull reported earlier at San Elijo. At Penasquitos there were single 1st-cycle Mew and Glaucous-winged Gulls (both very bleached and worn) as well as an adult Herring Gull. The San Dieguito mouth gull flock was uninteresting.

Two Canada Geese at Penasquitos might be summering (attempting to breed?). A pair on south SD Bay has been breeding for a few years now, so far unsuccessfully.

Any word from San Elijo or farther north?

Matt Sadowski

Gulls 4/19

Matt Sadowski

A check of Penasquitos and San Dieguito Lagoon mouths did not produce the Franklin's Gull reported earlier at San Elijo. At Penasquitos there were single 1st-cycle Mew and Glaucous-winged Gulls (both very bleached and worn) as well as an adult Herring Gull. The San Dieguito mouth gull flock was uninteresting.

Two Canada Geese at Penasquitos might be summering (attempting to breed?). A pair on south SD Bay has been breeding for a few years now, so far unsuccessfully.

Any word from San Elijo or farther north?

Matt Sadowski

Franklin Gull San Elijo Rios Ave

Geoff Veith

I just had a lone Franklin’s Gull Circle the lagoon just east of the Rio Ave entrance at about noon. It then flew west-south west beyond the south ridge of the lagoon. I took the trail toward the railroad tracks to the west but could not relocate. I was able to rule out Bonaparte’s and Laughing gulls based on wing tips; the bird I saw had distinct black wingtips with white outer edges.

Geoff Veith
Solana Beach.

Swainson's Hawks at French Valley Wildlife Area, Temecula

Hal Cohen

Yesterday evenlng at least 40 Swainson''s Hawks were foraging over the grasslands. 
Hal Cohen
Borrego Springs 

Safari Park 4/18

Kenneth Weaver

The Neotropic Cormorant continues at the Safari Park.  Noted near the boardwalk
at the lower flamingo exhibit, the bird later swam to the spit at
the east end of the lake.

A distant ibis on the same spit lacking the typical white face was possibly
the previously-reported Glossy, but the distance was too great for certainty.

A female Vermilion Flycatcher in a eucalyptus grove west of the African
elephant exhibit aggessively drove a Cassin’s Kingbird away, possibly
indicating a nearby nest.

Heron/ibis nests observed at the park (no’s in parentheses) included:

Snowy Egret (15), Cattle Egret (15), Black-crowned Night-Heron (5), White-
faced Ibis (11).  Nests are still being built and this is not a complete inventory,
but these numbers are much lower than in past years.  I saw no young, but
some night-herons had already produced young in March.

Ken Weaver

San Diego county big day 4/17/2021 (long)

Logan Kahle

Hi all,

Yesterday, April 17th, Todd "God Beasterla" Easterla, Gary "Inspector Gadget" Nunn, Dessi "lil Stud" and John "There It Is" Sterling and myself conducted a San Diego Big Day, working off the route Todd, Sterling and others ran in 2005 but with some important modifications. Scouting was limited and not done by all members, our route was rather last minute and scrapped together, and Gary was our only San Diego resident so we came in a little shorthanded but nonetheless ended with an incredible day tallying 229 species between midnight and midnight. A big thank you to Paul Lehman for his invaluable insights for towards specific locations for individual species.

We started at midnight positioned at San Elijo Lagoon on the Stonebridge Trail for Rails and Bittern. As hoped, quickly the AMERICAN BITTERN and a few RIDGWAY'S RAILS sounded off. We had to reposition ourselves on the trail, but we also managed to eek out a SORA and VIRGINIA RAIL elsewhere in the marsh. Gary had a new thermal imagery camera allowing us to see ducks in the marsh and rodents in the fields in pitch blackness. It ended up not mattering for the day total, but it sure was fun! As we left the area, a couple COMMON POORWILLS and a GREAT HORNED OWL called.

Heading south we decided to try for some waterbirds at Lindo Lake. In the glow of the streetlights and with the help of some additional lighting we managed to see the WOOD DUCKS, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE and AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS all present the day before. On the shore of the lake, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were hunting away.

Rising up the mountains, we went for a Saw-whet Dessi had staked out. As we go to the spot, it was COLD! About 30ºF. After the half mile or so walk we stopped and tooted. Sure enough, a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL piped up. Wahoo! Dessi had pinned down a Hooded Merganser in a small pond a bit farther down the trail, so we hiked another half mile or so to the pond. We scanned with the thermal camera and with a spotlight but alas, just a bunch of RING-NECKED DUCKS and a few PIED-BILLED GREBES.

Proceeding North, we stopped at a pullout where a Spotted Owl had been sounding off the previous night. After a few quick minutes, the SPOTTED OWL called. We tried for Screech-Owl briefly to no avail, so we backtracked up the road. There, after a weirdly long wait of 10 or so minutes, two WESTERN SCREECH-OWLS called back. Was weird to see how scarce this normally abundant raptor was at this location. While waiting, a BARN OWL flew over.

Proceeding down into the desert, we looked for Long-eared Owls with no success.

We positioned ourselves by 5:30 at the Borrego Springs WTP. The previous day, numerous migrants and a singing Crissal Thrasher had been seen. First thing though, a LESSER NIGHTHAWK was calling away over the ponds. Sure enough, at 5:45, the CRISSAL THRASHER piped up. We tried for Le Conte's nearby, absent in scouting, but failed. As we proceeded to the mesquites, a number of desert birds like PHAINOPEPLA, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, VERDIN and BLACK-THROATED SPARROW graced our ears. A single LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE teed up east of the ponds, and in the trees we found NASHVILLE and MACGILLIVRAYS WARBLERS along with a couple BREWER'S SPARROWS--our only of the day! Migrants were scarce and we decided to move on.

Heading on to Roadrunner Club, we shifted our focus to migrants. Going to a stakeout bush Todd had been two days previous we were amazed and relieved to find the RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD still present in the flowering Palo Verde among COSTA'S, ANNA'S and BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRDS. We walked up a little ways and found the displaying VERMILLION FLYCATCHER I'd found the previous day. Nearby, some kek calls alerted us to a calling COOPER'S HAWK. While common in San Diego county, accipiters are often challenging big day birds. We ended up seeing 4 on the day, but often you see 0! In a little Tamarisk Grove Gary spotted a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET...our only one of the day! We'd had none in scouting and basically written it off as a likely possibility.  Starting to look through migrants more intensely we added BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, WESTERN TANAGER, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK. In a backyard feeder a BLUE GROSBEAK sounded off, and Dessi pulled out a sitting female CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD. We were set on Hummingbirds, often a challenging group of birds on big days. As we were driving we came to an abrupt stop--there was a PRAIRIE FALCON teed up on a snag above us! We were jumping up and down, as this was a bird we'd barely had in scouting and were certain we'd miss. Amazingly, we ended up having four this day!

Heading north to De Anza Golf Course where Dessi and I had had good numbers of migrants we wracked up a few more things like LINCOLN'S SPARROW and MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER. We'd had Kingfisher the day before, and felt rather antsy about it. We looked around. Nothing. I started playing Kingfisher. Nothing. Then, the BELTED KINGFISHER flew into the pond right in front of us! Score!!

As we were going back south we realize we hadn't seen a ground-dove somehow. So, we stopped at roadrunner club again. After a short stop, sure enough, a COMMON GROUND-DOVE sounded off. Also a continuing female Wood Duck in a nearby pond.

Continuing on to our last stop in Borrego Springs, Todd had gone to a known Burrowing Owl location. We all spread out into the desert. Couldnt find it. We wandered, started to get anxious. Still nothing. Then as we were walking back to the car, the BURROWING OWL picked up. Wahoo! Out of Borrego Springs just a bit before 9.

Our next stop was Tamarisk Grove. While the Long-eared Owls seem to have cleared out, we quickly added the hoped-for LATTER-BACKED WOODPECKER, along with a bonus HERMIT THRUSH hopping around on the path. On the scrubby slope to the north, a few of us saw some SCOTT'S ORIOLES flying around--one we hadn't scouted enough to find! Phew!

Continuing up canyon we quickly added CANYON WREN, CACTUS WREN and ROCK WREN--the wren slam! We continued up the road to a place I'd had Swainson's Hawk and Purple Martin the previous day and I thought looked good to Scott's, which we still needed to clean up. Shortly after stopping, a Scott's piped up, and we eventually did see a SWAINSON'S HAWK soaring over a distant ridge.

Climbing in to the mountains Todd had found some nice feeders in Julian. We quickly added montane/oaky birds like ACORN WOODPECKER, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, BUSHTIT, STELLER'S JAY, AMERICAN ROBIN, PINE SISKIN along with several CASSIN'S FINCHES, ubiquitous this year. While driving down to Lake Cuyamaca we had our eyes peeled for Turkey. We'd had difficulty with them in scouting, and this area seemed about as good as we got. As hoped for, after a little while we spotted some male WILD TURKEYS displaying on the hillside.

Continuing to Lake Cuyamaca we started off at the north end. Birds like WESTERN MEADOWLARK and LARK SPARROW were new day birds, and all over! As we drove south Gary saw a Flicker fly by the car. "We shouldn't worry about that one, we'll see plenty" I said. And that was the only one we had our day--evidence of the insufficient scouting. We tromped out in the marsh a little for snipe but alas, none there. We went up to an area Todd had found Martins and, after a short wait, a group of PURPLE MARTINS was seen flying around over the ridge. Back down to the lake, we scoped the south end marshes and gladly found the lingering CANVASBACKS and REDHEAD. Much to our delight, the CACKLING GOOSE was still in with the Canadas...sweet! We left still needing Chipping Sparrow, which had been easiest at Cuyamaca.

Heading into the higher Lagunas we stopped at a spot Dessi had had migrants. It was short and sweet, as we found an eye-level HERMIT WARBLER and a HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER. Rolling on we overshot Laguna Campground and had to backtrack...but it was worth it! We easily added PYGMY NUTHATCH, and a freak PURPLE FINCH started to sing. While we were tromping around looking for a Hairy Woodpecker Dessi had scouted, we saw a bird fly up into a big pine--a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE! Always awesome when you find good birds on a big day.

Heading south towards Kitchen Creek we pulled off at a place I'd had Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the afternoon the day before. BG Gnatcatcher was one they missed on the 2005 day, so I knew to pay special attention to exactly where they were. While easy in the morning, the Gnatcatchers up there are tricky in the afternoon. Nonetheless, a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER called back to us after a little while, but only a couple of us were able to hear it. All the while, a chorus of BLACK-CHINNED SPARROWS serenaded us.

Heading south to Kitchen Creek rd we headed directly to the place I'd found Gray Vireo the previous morning. After a short wait, the GRAY VIREO piped up, and a few MOUNTAIN QUAIL sounded off in the distance. We tried to clean up Gnatcatcher up the road but were unsuccessful, but did see a RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW in the process.

Heading west, we stopped at a staked out GOLDEN EAGLE nest spot, and quickly saw the bird sitting quietly on its nest while its mate circled the adjacent cliffs. At a nearby overpass, our team eagerly added WHITE-THROATED SWIFT.

Continuing downslope, we opted to try for a staked-out Lewis's Woodpecker in Cleveland NF. It was a cool spot, and seemed like a really shot at Chipping Sparrow too, so we decided to give it a try. As we were walking up to the spot a moment of horror hit me. We needed junco. We needed junco!!! Occasionally on big days you straight-up forget birds you need and dont even look for them. Well, we'd done that. And now we were out of the mountains. I couldn't believe it. Gary answered my desperate pleas and remarked that juncos are at this same spot. Now we just go to find them! The CHIPPING SPARROWS and LEWIS'S WOODPECKER came quickly but Junco didn't. Were we going to miss it?? We split up to cover more area. No junco. Eventually someone called out they had a couple of DARK-EYED JUNCOS and everyone was able to get on them before they bailed. They were our only ones of the day!

We proceeded downslope to Lake Murray, quickly adding dozens of common coastal birds like WESTERN GREBE, ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD, WESTERN GULL, and CASSIN'S KINGBIRD. We walked up to the staked out tree and the CAPE MAY WARBLER was calling away. Eventually we got to see it as well, which was fortunate as some of the team couldn't hear the ultra-high-frequency call! Nearby, we found the staked out WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE and added several VAUX'S SWIFTS. It was time to hit the coast.

We pulled up to Robb Field and it was a zoo. We'd been warned about this by everyone we'd asked about doing a San Diego day...the coast will be hell, particularly Mission Bay and La Jolla. But we ignored them. Again...poor planing. So after being in traffic for about 5 minutes we got out and scanned the mudflats. New birds here came like wildfire. The TRICOLORED HERON was right by the bikeway, a LITTLE BLUE HERON and a REDDISH EGRET shared the flats with a flock of BLACK SKIMMERS, ELEGANT, ROYAL, CASPIAN, FORSTER'S and GULL-BILLED TERNS, a mixed group of shorebirds included LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS, DUNLIN, and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS while a LONG-BILLED CURLEW amidst several WHIMBREL, WILLETS and MARBLED GODWITS. Scoping the channel nearby we had a single RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.

Feeling good and somewhat ahead of schedule we headed to the beach nearby. The traffic was horrendous and there were no parking spaces so we had to leave the car and John a hundred yards away while the rest of us scanned the jetty. As hoped, the SURFBIRDS were on the jetty, and other birds like BRANT'S CORMORANTS and HEERMANN'S GULLS were also welcome additions. We all rotated places so we got to see the bird while keeping someone in the car.

Going up channel to sea world drive we quickly found BLUE-WINGED TEAL and CINNAMON TEAL and a few dowitchers were on the close channel. We spooked a group and both LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER called among them.

Heading up Mission Bay we checked Vacation Isle. We quickly located the RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH but couldn't find either the Townsend's or Grace's John saw the previous day. Hitting Kendall Frost added nothing new, and the hoped for ducks were all out of view.

Heading down to J st we had great luck with shorebirds, adding RUDDY TURNSTONE and RED KNOT. We repositioned to scan the channel and found the flock of LESSER SCAUP with only one GREATER SCAUP today. But all you need is one! Scanning the back channel we added a fluke CLARK'S GREBE, saving us a trip to Lake Hodges.

We still needed Harrier and were getting a bit stressed about it. We stopped by the Imperial Beach Sports Park, quickly seeing a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON in one of the ornamental trees. We went on to the Visitor Center to scan for harrier or peregrine. Nada. We kept looking. Some Yellow-crowns picked up but still no harrier. After a few minutes a distant group of shorebirds picked up. Then the close ones. Right after, an adult male NORTHERN HARRIER flew almost directly overhead.

We then headed to the Imperial Beach Pier for our only seawatching of the day. Scouting had been bad but I assumed with five sets of eyes we'd do better than one had...and we did! We quickly added SURF SCOTER, BROWN BOOBY, COMMON and PACIFIC LOON, a SANDERING on the beach and a POMARINE JAEGER harassing terns.

Heading back to the TRV to the Bird and Butterfly Garden we still needed large numbers of riparian birds. In short order, we picked up RED-SHOULDERED HAWK and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. Walking through the garden, a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER called and the LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES were exactly where Paul had told me they're nesting. A HUTTON'S VIREO came in along the creek and we heard multiple singing BELL'S VIREOS. Chats, singing abundantly in the morning, were nowhere to be heard, and we hadn't seen a Downy Woodpecker yet either. We decided to walk over to the bridge. Gary came out of the riparian saying he'd heard a Downy drumming. Damn. We went up to the bridge and played. Nothing. We pished. Nothing. Then, after a brief while, the DOWNY WOODPECKER flew in silently. Awesome. At the bridge we eventually managed to coax out a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

Going towards Dairy Mart Dessi yelled out a WHITE-TAILED KITE as it cruised over the road. We reached Dairy Mart with only a few birds in mind. Pretty quickly we added COMMON GALLINULE calling in the pond. NORTHERN SHOVELERS were scattered around the pond, and after a second a group of GREEN-WINGED TEAL flew in with some shovelers. We were off.

We blasted north to Ramona for the end of the day. The first stop was the region around Wild Animal Park, and as we pulled up CATTLE EGRETS and WHITE-FACED IBIS were quickly seen flying around. There were American Pipits scattered around, a bird we'd worried about before we had them in the morning! Going to the San Pasqual Battlefield, we managed to find a single CALIFORNIA GNATCATCHER and a flyover MERLIN.

We quickly stopped in Ramona for a staked out Hooded Merganser that had apparently departed overnight. Then it was off to Rangeland road. We stopped briefly and listened at the north end of the road. You could hear the chorus of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS going off. Lesser Nighthawks swirled over the grasslands, a suiting sunset for the day.

With it now totally dark, we headed to Mission Trails to try for Grasshopper Sparrow and Least Bittern. We tried for quite a while, but missed both. Our last idea was to try for Rocky shorebirds at La Jolla. It seemed like a complete crapshoot, as I have never done it before, but it seemed worth a shot.

We pulled up to La Jolla at 10:10PM. Getting out of the car there at night with abundant Western Gulls around us was a surreal feeling. Within 5 minutes, a WANDERING TATTLER called on from the shore. Todd and I were walking a bit ahead of the group and I nearly stepped on a huge California Sea Lion in the trail! Glad we noticed in time! Continuing a bit farther down we managed to coax a single BLACK TURNSTONE into vocalizing. Farther down the beach, the BLACK OYSTERCATCHER group was going nuts and serenaded us for the next while.

We went back to Gary's place and Todd, Dessi and I stayed up til midnight trying to listen for Swainson's Thrush flight calls but didn't succeed.

All things considered, our luck was absolutely spectacular on this day, and the list of birds we got by the skin of our teeth was huge. Many of the birds we ended up missing were due to lack of scouting and local experience by most of the team. Subsequent well scouted San Diego Big Days with good weather, not on a weekend, and great scouting could very likely break this record.

We had a number of major misses by the end of the day: Red-throated Loon, Pelagic Cormorant, Green HeronLeast Bittern, Horned Grebe, Least Tern (too early), Snowy Plover, Wilson's Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Red-crowned Parrot, Hairy Woodpecker, Swainson's Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Townsend's Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, and Scaly-breasted Munia.

It was a great day and I'd like to thank all of my teammates for their fantastic work and energy during the crazy 24 hour blitz. We may not have been prepared, but we had luck!

Good birding,

Logan Kahle
San Francisco, CA

A great new [almost] yard bird

Stan Walens

Stefani and I went for a walk yesterday to look for a possible vermilion flycatcher she’d seen in a nearby park. We live on the crest-line of a hill just south of Railroad Canyon, just north of Marion Bear Park, west of Route 805. It’s great for watching soaring hawks.

We’d walked about 250 yards east from our house when we looked up to see a pair of zone-tailed hawks circling above us, then streaming east. Time was 12:15 pm.

They'd probably flown right over our house just before we spotted them. But the “official” rules of yard birds are the bird has to be seen in your yard, or in the looser, Canadian-league, rules, from your yard. So we cannot count them as yard birds.

However, the sighting indicates that there are indeed two zone-tailed hawks in the greater La Jolla, University City, Rte. 52 area, Miramar and Miramar-adjacent area.

Stan Walens, San Diego
April 18, 2021; 4:37 pm

Mount Soledad tomorrow? (and miscellanea)

It looks like the weather conditions might be good for a morning flight tomorrow morning, Monday, up on the top of Mount Soledad. So, if anyone is interested in giving it a try, tomorrow is probably better than randomly picking just any day! Jay D. and I plan on being there. And the rest of next week does NOT look very good. Jay had a good morning up there today (see his eBird list), and I had a good morning on Point Loma (including multiple Hammond's Flycatchers and particularly good numbers of Bullock's Orioles, Nashville Warblers, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and Lazuli Buntings).

In other news, on 16 April at Santee Lakes, I had the continuing male Greater Scaup on Lake 4, a wayward Acorn Woodpecker at Lakes 5/6 (not seen since), a male Yellow-headed Blackbird along the east side of Lake 6 in the southern campground (still present today), still a few Pine Siskins, and 50 Vaux's Swifts. On 17 April, 13 Wilson's Phalaropes continued in the saltworks at the end of 13th St., and Dave Povey reported the continuing LITTLE STINT at the end of 10th, flying in at around 9:15AM. Least Terns and Blue Grosbeaks had returned.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego

Our San Diego big day record

John Sterling

More details to come but we had 229 species breaking our old record of 217 set in 2005. With Gary Nunn, Todd Easterla, Logan Kahle and Dessi Sieburth. Amazing day with a few disappointing misses of scouted species but plenty of surprises. We had the magic going from midnight to 11:10 pm.
John Sterling
530 908-3836
26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695

Re: Presidio Calliope

David Trissel

Still present between 7:00 and 8:30.

David Trissel
San Diego, CA

On Apr 17, 2021, at 9:15 AM, Nathan French <nathanfrenchphotography@...> wrote:

Calliope found by Justyn earlier has continued to make occasional visits for a few observers to the Pride of Madeiras and oaks just behind them (32.7571508, -117.1922709) Last seen around 9:10 am. 

Nathan French 

On Apr 17, 2021, at 9:00 AM, Justyn Stahl <justyn.stahl@...> wrote:

For those of you who love maps coordinates to 7 decimal places:

(32.7572105, -117.1922043)

This is near the bathroom on Cosoy Way where the Golden-winged Warbler was a few years ago.

Bird was seen again at 0830.


On Sat, Apr 17, 2021 at 7:44 AM Justyn Stahl <justyn.stahl@...> wrote:
This morning (17 Apr), a second-year male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD is coming to a patch of pride of Madeira every 20 minutes or so in the NE corner of the upper area. Also a female Black-chinned and a male Rufous.

Justyn Stahl
North Park 

Townsends Solitaire on Point Loma

Sunday morning there's been a good flight of migrants along the coast both at Point Loma and at Mount Soledad. A Townsends Solitaire is hanging out near the caretaker's house at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. For those who may have forgotten, we birders are not allowed to go birding in the cemetery near the grave plots after 8 in the morning and before 5:00. However this site is okay because it's right near the caretaker's house, which is on the east side of the cemetery in the middle. Park outside near that entrance and walk in and as you walk in the East gate you are facing east straight at a large monument to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. There are single cedar trees on each side of the monument that have lots of little berries and the Solitaire is foraging in those trees. Sometimes it's perched in the open and sometimes it buries itself. When it's not there it goes south 100+ ft or more to the one obvious broad eucalyptus tree that's due south. And it sits quietly in that tree and actually calls a fair amount. Please do not wander around the rest of the cemetery except during the permitted birding hours.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

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