PLNU - Tennessee Warbler May 28, 2018

Gary Nunn

About 8am the Tennessee Warbler heard and seen again at Point Loma Nazarene University, Point Loma.

See earlier post for directions.

Gary Nunn,
Pacific Beach

Rose-breasted and Reddish

Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. there's a singing male rose-breasted grosbeak on Dupont about three houses west of Silver Gate. A sprinkling of Western migrants scattered both in the residential and at the Nazarene campus. But no sign of the Tennessee Warbler of yesterday. The young Reddish Egret continues this morning in the San Diego River channel near Robb Field, where also a lingering Brant.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

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Green-tailed Towhee and Dusky Flycatcher near Cuyamaca Peak.

Aaron Polichar

Hello all,

Today, 5/27/2018, I spent the day hiking and birding from Paso Picacho Campground to the Azalea Glen trail and Lookout Fire Road to Cuyamaca Peak. Along Lookout Road I saw a flycatcher that I couldn't identify, but heard two-note call, along with a "whit" call that I thought might be a Dusky Flycatcher. I recorded the call on the way back down, and played back sounds from the Sibley app, and the sound I heard sounded just like the recording of a Dusky Flycatcher male calling. I don't have the exact location, but I think it was about 1.5 miles down the road from the peak.

Also seen about 0.5 miles down from the peak was a Green-tailed Towhee, a bit past the intersection with the Conejos Trail.

I also saw a Fox Sparrow, quite a few Purple Martins, lots of Violet-green Swallows and Black-chinned Sparrows, plus several other expected species.

Here is the eBird list that has the Dusky Flycatcher and Green-tailed Towhee. I will add some recordings of the flycatcher to my eBird list when I am able:

Aaron Polichar
San Diego, CA

PLNU - Tennessee Warbler, May 27, 2018

Gary Nunn

This morning about 10am I found a TENNESSEE WARBLER singing at Point Loma Nazarene University. It was favoring an area just inside the main entrance on the right (parking area covered by solar panels). There is a gardeners potting shed near the east fence line, under a Ficus tree, and the Tennessee Warbler was singing from the canopy of the large pine tree just a few meters east of the potting shed. It also could be found in the tall cedar trees south side of the pine. Always a bit high in the canopy although I did manage to coax it down one time for a mugshot.

Gary Nunn,
Pacific Beach

coastal Bald Eagle, miscellanea

On Sunday, May 27, an imm BALD EAGLE is at Sweetwater Reservoir. Very rare along the coastal slope, and even much more so on this late-spring date. A lingering Am. White Pelican and 4 Eared Grebes as well. Two continuing breeding-plumaged DUNLIN are quite late at the saltworks pond at the end of 13th St. in Imperial Beach. Also 2 Ruddy Turnstones and the usual collection of basic-plumaged Marbled Godwits, Willets, and Short-billed Dowitchers that will summer locally. The Western Sandpiper count is down to 8 birds. Passerine migrants in the TRV today were the expected for the late-May date:  small numbers of W. Wood-Pewees, Warbling Vireos, and Yellow, Townsend's, and Wilson's Warblers. For the past two weeks there have been several Swainson's Thrushes singing away at several sites in the TRV between Dairy Mart ponds and the Bird-and-Butterfly Garden, so presumably all on territory--at the southern limit of the species' breeding range. Two or three Lawrence's Goldfinches continue in the B&B Garden as well.

--Paul Lehman,  San Diego

Flintkote 5-26-18

Eric Kallen

Trent Stanley & I birded Flintkote this morning.  Lots of common birds- nothing particularily interesting except the continuing Golden-Crowned Sparrow at the ranger's house.

Black-headed Grosbeak 5
Hooded Oriole m
California Gnatcatcher 2
California Thrasher 2 
Wilson's Warbler 2
Warbling Vireo 2
Chat 3 singing
WT Swift many
Ash-throated Fly 3
Western-wood Peewee
Pac Slope Fly

Eric Kallen

Point Loma silk oak, May 26

Sara Baase Mayers

This morning, May 26, roughly 9:40-10AM, the silk oak in the
Warner/Dupont alley on Point Loma had a Hermit Warbler, several
Townsend's, and an Orange-crowned.

Nearby, a Cooper's Hawk flew out of a yard with four hummingbirds in
close pursuit.

Sara Baase Mayers
Point Loma (San Diego)

San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count - next Sunday, June 3rd.

Jayne Lesley

This is a reminder that the next San Dieguito monthly bird count is on the first Sunday in June - next Sunday, June 3rd.   Everyone is welcome - interested, beginners, experienced. 

We will meet at the usual time and place: 7:30 AM at the south end of San Andres. (Turn right/south off of Via De La Valle, on the east side of I5. San Andres dead ends at the San Dieguito Lagoon.) We coordinate with park rangers to provide vests and access for the restricted areas. We'll divide into five groups to count the different areas.

We gather to tally our results at noon at the Del Mar Public Works parking lot/picnic tables off Jimmy Durante Rd.

Hope to see you next Sunday for another great day of birding.

Jayne Lesley (cell phone: 858-663-6568)

Possible first year male Summer Tanager at Stonewall mine Friday 05/25/2018

terry hurst

Hello all,

Today I spotted what I believe was a Summer Tanager on the west side of the road that leads up to the mine from highway 79. GPS coordinates: Google Maps

 It was found about midway from the highway up to where the road forks leading to the mine parking lot and the gate which leads into the horse group camp. Photo in this eBird list.

Was unable to get a good shot of the bird, because of the distance but I believe I took a shot good enough for a definitive ID. The bird had a large beak, no detectable wing bars that I could see,  red on the head and some red coming in other areas of the vent and breast which would eliminate the Western Tanager. I don't know what else this bird could possible be.

Terry Hurst

Dead hawks

Martha Wild

I sadly report that three red-shouldered hawks were found dead this week in East Switzer Canyon. The last one was seen by a children’s playgroup, and sat in a tree all day above where they were. The next day it was dead under the tree. The children found the others as well. It appears as if they all died from rat poison. One was definitely a juvenile, one an adult, the other unsure as mostly feathers were left, though there seemed to be a lot of very downy feathers, so maybe also a juvenile. The last few years I’ve birded this canyon and watched probably this very red-shoulder family raise a healthy brood each year - last year they had 3 strong young ones. There is a neighbor in the canyon who has a rat box outside there house that contains poison and the pre-school leaders are hoping to talk sense into this person and get it removed. They seem to feel that the dose isn’t enough to kill anything other than the rats. And it’s so stupid, the hawks do more to keep the rat population down than they are aware of, and without them they’ll have even more.

Any ideas on any action that could be taken to ban rat poison from being used in San Diego?


MIA chimney swift

Friday morning there was far less cloud cover, especially of the low drippy variety, compared to what the weather forecast called for, and as a result there were far fewer swallows and swifts in the TRV. We had three Vaux's still present, and distant looks at a soaring chateura, but certainly nothing overly intriguing, and the numbers are way down. Given that the forecast calls for increasing sunshine and warmer temperatures over the next few days, that will certainly not help at all in any swift searches until the weather becomes gloomy gray again.

At the bird and butterfly garden, the female hermit warbler continues as do four Townsend's warblers, one of which has an injured wing and is likely incapable of long-distance flight, so it will be interesting to see how long it continues there in the silk oaks. Two female Lawrence's Goldfinches continue as well.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

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Purple Martin flyover: Mt. Soledad 24MAY18

Tito Gonzalez

I observed 2 female-type coastal PURPLE MARTIN around noon today at Mt. Soledad.  Photos in ebird report.


Tito Gonzalez

Carlsbad, CA



Peregrine falcons, Torrey Pines


There are four babies this year. They started to fledge early this week. Only one of the four young birds is still in the nest/cave as of yesterday afternoon. I took photographs with Larry Moskovitz yesterday, including a juvenile which you can see here.
On the negative side, many of the last Torrey Pines near the cliff that were seemingly healthy last year have now died due to the borer beetle infestation.

Chimney Swift update.

David Povey

The Chimney Swift found by Paul Lehman was present in the Tijuana River Valley again this morning.

First seen briefly, and solo on west of Dairy Mart Road between the south and middle ponds. Then 15-20 mins.

later it gave longer, more satisfying looks on both sides of the  Dairy Mart Rd bridge over the river, for a number of observers.

The Chimney Swift there with a half dozen or so Vaux Swifts, and many swallows.  Very slightly larger, differing flight

style, and missing, damaged or molting some flight feathers, assisted in picking out this bird.


Other spots in the valley had a few late migrants. A female Western Tanager was in the Silk Oak at the park headquarters.

A female Hermit Warbler was in the Bird and Butterfly garden, as was Swanson's Thrush, several Townsend's Warblers

Yellow Warblers, and the like.  A male and female Lawrence's Goldfinches are still present. The female appeared to be

collecting nesting material.

Dave Povey


Rose-br Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Reddish Egret, miscellanea

Thursday morning, the 24th, a so-so number of migrants in residential Point Loma included a male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, on the move northward, near Silver Gate and Warner, and a singing SUMMER TANAGER on the PLNU campus. The "best" western migrant was a rather late male Black-throated Gray Warbler, which ties the late spring migrant date published in the SD Atlas. To give an idea of what's on the move now in late May, here are the other migrant totals:  W. Wood-Pewee: 3, Pac-slope Flycatcher: 1, Warbling Vireo: 4, Yellow Warbler: 10, Townsend's Warbler: 5, Wilson's Warbler: 5, Western Tanager: 5, Lazuli Bunting: 2 (getting a bit late).  Also today, there's a young REDDISH EGRET in the San Diego River channel adjacent to Sea World.

Brown Boobies continue to be seen in the early morning scoping offshore from the south end of Seacoast Dr. in Imperial Beach, where there were also a couple lingering Parasitic Jaegers a few days ago. At least 2, maybe 3, pairs of Yellow-crowned Night-Herons nesting in the I.B. Sports Park. A total of 70 W. Sandpipers yesterday at the saltworks pond at the end of 13th St. is a good total for this late in the month. Several Redheads at San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar are at the site where nesting has taken place several of the past years, but lower water levels this year due to inadequate rainfall may mean poor success. And speaking of "lingering" waterfowl...there aren't many! Some late stuff at scattered coastal sites the past week includes a single "Black" Brant, 1 Northern Shoveler, and several American Wigeon. There may still be a Bufflehead at Robb Field.  But not a good lingering duckie showing this season.

--Paul Lehman,  San Diego

Chestnut-sided Warbler in Anza-Borrego Desert May 23, 2018

Britta Lee Shain

At 9:10AM this morning there was an adult male Chestnut-sided Warbler bathing at a water feature in our backyard in Vallecito (south end of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park). 4 Photos and checklist at

Other sightings today included female Tricolored Blackbird, female Blue Grosbeak, Willow Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, along with 6 or 7 Yellow Warblers, a couple of Wilson's, Orange-crowneds, Warbling Vireos, male and female Townsend's, Bullock's Orioles, Western Tanagers and a pair of nesting Hooded Orioles. (This is not a complete list).

On May 21st, in the morning, we had a visit from an adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. He stayed through the day, until dusk, but did not return the next day:

And, on May 2nd, we had our first ever Hermit Warbler at this location. 1 photo adult male :

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings ... :)

Britta Lee Shain
Vallecito (South end of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park)

White-winged Scoter and Lawrence's Goldfinches on Wednesday, 23 May


Other birds of note this morning, 23 May:  After seeing two Bank Swallows and the Chimney Swift with 8+ Vaux's Swifts, four of us continued to the Bird and Butterfly Garden. One getting-late migrant  female Hermit Warbler was seen there along with three Lawrence's Goldfinches. Small numbers of Townsend's Warblers and Western Tanagers continue widespread.

Nancy Christensen and I continued to the coast to look for the female White-winged Scoter that Paul Lehman reported last week. We found it in the dwindling flock of Surf Scoter ( today's count was ~75, down from 150 last week) approximately 1/2 mile north of Camp Surf. Camp Surf is accessed at the very northern end of Seacoast Drive and Carnation Avenue.

Good birding,
Barbara Carlson

Black Swifts at Mt Soledad

Brennan Mulrooney

John Sterling and I just had a group of 5 Black Swifts fly low past us at Mt Soledad. We were on the south side the cross and the birds flew through the saddle on the west side.

Brennan Mulrooney
Santee, CA

Brennan Mulrooney
Santee, CA

More on Chimney Swift

At 8 a.m. the apparent ChimneySwift headed north from the bridge where a number of vauxs Swifts continue, and was last seen foraging over the general area of the middle Dairy Mart Pond and the main, large pond,  but swallows and swifts are working this whole area so it may well stay somewhere locally. Clearly one wants low overcast and cool conditions to keep the birds down low and in the area, as once the sun comes out and it warms up the birds should disperse. Anyone who wants to try for this bird it also would be recommended to do so only very early and late in the day as your chances are better at that time than during midday. One other character to look for is the bird tends to soar more than the vauxs swifts, as well as having somewhat  slower flaps. There may be even more than eight Vaux's Swifts around, which is a large number to still be present on the 23rd.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

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Apparent Chimney Swift in TRV

There is an apparent ChimneySwift mixed in with about 8 Vaux's Swifts at 7:30-7:45 a.m. Feeding back and forth through the willows between the south end of the defunct sod farm and the Monument Road / Dairy Mart Road bridge in the Tijuana River Valley. Also check over the river channel itself. One needs to carefully study the Vaux's Swifts and pick out the one bird that is slightly larger, slightly longer and larger winged, and consistently slower flapping. Also perhaps shows a little more wear to the flight feathers then almost all of the Vaux's. It is fairly easy to continually get on the same bird time and time again once you get the search image down.

Also early this morning there were two Bank Swallows at the main Dairy Mart Pond but they disappeared after a while.

Paul Lehman and group, San Diego

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