Sunday 12-09-2018 half day pelagic

David Povey <dpovey@...>

Four of us ventured out of Mission Bay this morning. Overall bird numbers were low. One or two well seen and photographed Sooty Shearwaters were out of season. I believe there were two. Photos should prove one way or the other.

Both appeared to be in high plumage and healthy.

Bonaparte's Gull numbers were up from the Nov. 27 th. trip to the same area. Black-vented Shearwater, and Cassin's Auklet numbers were both down from that trip.

Most everthing well offshore, as in beyond 5 or six miles or more. That doesn't bode well for San Diego's count circle.

The North Mission Bay Jetty had a single Black Turnstone, and five Surfbirds. The return trip past the South Jetty had three Surfbirds.

A partial list from ocean;

Brant   30

American Wigeon   1

Surf Scoter    10

Pacific Loon    115  (most in two large flight groups)

Western Grebe   1

Sooty Shearwater   1 or 2

Black-vented Shearwater   450

Brown Booby    6

Brandt's Cormorant   8

Brown Pelican  16

Red Phalarope    16

Pomarine Jaeger    4

Cassin's Auklet   60

Bonaparte's Gull    535

Heermann's Gull    6

Western Gull    150

Herring Gull   1

California Gull   125

Royal Tern   1


We had a good size pod of offshore Bottle-nosed Dolphin west of Pacific Beach, and a very distance breeching whale on the Nine MIle Bank.


Dave Povey




next san elijo monthly bird count monday 10 december, rancho santa fe cbc saturday 22 dec

Robert Patton

The next San Elijo monthly bird count will be Monday 10 December.  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).

The Rancho Santa Fe area Christmas Bird Count will be Saturday 22 December.  Coverage areas are assigned ahead of time so please contact me if you’d like to participate.  There have been several cancellations so I encourage experienced birders willing to tackle a subarea on your own or willing to be joined by others to consider joining us this year.  Lunch is provided at the compilation at the San Elijo Nature Center that afternoon.
Robert Patton
San Diego, CA

Lake Murray continuing Palm Warbler, also Nashville and Tennessee Warblers

Jeremiah Stock

Went to Lake Murray late Sunday morning December 9 looking for previous reported ducks.  Was able to find 1 female Common Goldeneye and 1 female Canvasback; but did not see White-winged Scoter.  The large cottonwood trees immediately east of the boat launch facility had a host of warblers, including a Palm Warbler, which was reported on ebird recently.  There was also a Nashville Warbler and a Tennessee Warbler: small, short-tailed, mostly green warbler with white belly and undertail coverts.  Eyeline pattern similar to Orange-crowned; but more distinct.  Orange-crowned was in same tree allowing direct comparison.

Jeremiah Stock
Santee, CA

Re: Oceanside Observations

John Bardwell

Reddish Egret, Bonaparte’s Gull and Common Goldeneye still present as of 4pm this afternoon. No sign of the Loon.

The San Luis Rey river flows once again to the sea. 

John Bardwell

On Dec 7, 2018, at 1:48 PM, Kenneth Weaver <gnatcatcher@...> wrote:

I noted the following somewhat scarce birds for North County at the mouth of the San Luis Rey River this morning/early afternoon:
the continuing Reddish Egret, one Common Goldeneye, one Bonaparte's Gull, and one Red-throated Loon.  Hopefully, at least some
of these birds will hang around until the Oceanside CBC.  A fellow birder whose name I should have gotten also observed most if not
all of these species.  The river is still not flowing into the ocean, but may soon with the recent rainfall in the mountains.

Ken Weaver

possible Hermit Warbler

Christopher Adler

This morning I explored some of the canyons of Banker's Hill and Hillcrest, specifically
the Self-Realization Fellowship on 1st Ave., Maple Canyon, Spruce Canyon, and 
Marston Canyon. Of note were:

Self-Realization Fellowship: Red-breasted Sapsucker (stopped briefly on a palm tree
so I'm not sure where it is likely to be found)

Spruce Canyon: Summer Tanager (it could have been seen from the suspension bridge
although I was below in the canyon) 

N. Arroyo Dr. (by which one accesses Spruce Cyn.): possible Hermit Warbler, see below

Marston Canyon: Sharp-shinned Hawk

Just beyond the N. Arroyo Dr. private drive sign (a nicely painted wooden sign), I heard
a high thin chip which I traced to an extremely-hard-to-see warbler. I could never get a clear
look but what I could see what consistent with a female Hermit (clean white underparts, white
undertail coverts, white undertail with dark outer retrices, yellow wash on face, dark marks
around eye but I could never see the face side-on). It also sat completely still for many minutes.
This could be a tough bird to re-locate, since observing can only be done from the road
and there are quite a few large trees all around. The location is about halfway between 
the signed entrance for the private drive and W. Palm. St. (email me if you want more details).

Here's a photo of the Summer Tanager and of the possible Hermit Warbler, from 
below while it was sitting motionless for a while.

Christopher Adler
Allied Gardens

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Robb Field

phil Pryde

At Robb Field today at low tide around 1 p.m. there was nothing new (that I saw), but the Tricolored Heron was near the east end of the sand bar island, and a Lesser Yellowlegs was spotted in the multi-species shorebird flock on the sand bar. 

Phil Pryde, San Diego 

Orchard, Baltimore, Summer, T.K. and Scissor-tld evening roost

First off, a needed corrigendum:  Yesterday, I posted that my auto-correct changed by dark-lored White-crowned Sparrow to a Dark Lord White-crowned Sparrow, so I named the bird Darth Vader.  But I was severely reprimanded by a friend:  "Dude ... the DARK LORD is Voldemort in Harry Potter! Get your fiction trivia straight!!!!"

On Saturday morning, Dec 8th, I started at Nestor Park at first light and checked the kingbird roost in the southernmost, large sycamore tree in the park. The first Cassin's starting stirring at 6:23AM, and at 6:24 the TROPICAL KINGBIRD appeared. Four minutes later the SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (same bird that spends the day over at the Sunset ballfields area) also came out of hiding. But both birds were visible for less than 30 seconds and then magically disappeared and were not seen again. I would guess that a late-afternoon visit here (4PM+) would provide for more leisurely views. A returning male B-t Gray Warbler also likes these sycamore trees in the early AM. I was soon thereafter was joined by Guy M., and from 6:55-7:15AM we were treated to a fine showing of birds in the northern half of the row of pink-flowered eucalyptus at the north end of the park. Female ORCHARD ORIOLE, certainly the same dullish female that was here last winter. Very dull, washed-out female BALTIMORE ORIOLE (identified by its very plain facial pattern and the brightest color (which isn't saying too much) is on the breast rather than on the lower cheek or malar as in Bullock's; it traveled with a female Bullock's, which often chased the Baltimore). There were a total of 4 BULLOCK'S present--1 adult male, 1 young male, and 2 females. And we had the continuing, returning adult male SUMMER TANAGER. We missed the female Summer Tanager, the Western Tanagers, and the Wilson's Warbler and American Redstart. But then I heard that Trent S. and Eric K. arrived later and did find the redstart, which has gotten harder to find lately, and they also had a MYIARCHUS SP. FLYCATCHER, which is almost certainly the same bird that was seen here on just several occasions last winter but never truly pinned down as to what species it was. Eric got photos today, which we will study later on. Also in the morning, Guy had the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and 2 Vesper Sparrows, as usual, over at the Sunset ballfields. I added only a single lowly Yellow Warbler off Main Street near the I-5.

--Paul Lehman,  San Diego

Lesser Black-Backed here now.

Jeff Bray

Showed up at 9:35 am. Still Sitting on the beach between lifeguard station 2C and 3C as of 9:45a. 

Jeff Bray
Irvine, CA

Re: Little Stints present 8 Dec 0633

C K Staurovsky

I actually only saw the “easy” one... sorry for the plurality...

On Dec 8, 2018, at 06:44, C K Smith via Groups.Io <> wrote:

Little Stints present until 0642 when spooked by Northern Harrier.

Little Stints present 8 Dec 0633

C K Staurovsky

Little Stints present until 0642 when spooked by Northern Harrier.

Oceanside Observations

Kenneth Weaver

I noted the following somewhat scarce birds for North County at the mouth of the San Luis Rey River this morning/early afternoon:
the continuing Reddish Egret, one Common Goldeneye, one Bonaparte's Gull, and one Red-throated Loon.  Hopefully, at least some
of these birds will hang around until the Oceanside CBC.  A fellow birder whose name I should have gotten also observed most if not
all of these species.  The river is still not flowing into the ocean, but may soon with the recent rainfall in the mountains.

Ken Weaver

"Storm" Wigeon

Lesley Handa

Hi Folks,

I spotted a "Storm" Wigeon at noon today at the Sweetwater River. 

It was seen alone. Photo attached.

Lesley Handa

Little Stints, 7 Dec. 2018

Matt Sadowski

Both continue on pond 23 island off the end of 10th St. 

Matt Sadowski

Tennessee, Baltimore, 2 Hoodeds, Summer, dark-lored White-crowned

On Friday morning the 7th, I birded a number of spots in UTC in eastern La Jolla and had several reasonable birds. The best was a Tennessee Warbler that is in heavily blooming pink-flowered eucalyptus trees over the chain-link fence that forms the southeast boundary of Doyle Community Park, near the fenced-in dog run. The yellow-rumped warblers here are merciless in their chasing everything out of the trees so I would guess the Tennessee is going to have to be very sneaky to survive there. At the very western edge of Doyle Park in a flock of White-crowneds there is an adult dark-lored white-crowned sparrow, very rare along the coast. Presumably of the subspecies oriantha. By the way, my auto-spell-correct just changed dark-lored to Dark Lord, so I guess we can refer to this bird as Darth Vader....

Also this morning in UTC there is a full adult male Baltimore Oriole in the pink flowered eucalyptus tree at the corner of Camino Raposa and Camino Calma, which is off of Arriba Street a short block from the nice little Genesee Highlands HOA park. And there was a young male Summer Tanager in the park at the corner of Towne Center Drive and Renaissance Avenue.

Yesterday afternoon I finally saw the Lesser black-backed gull in Coronado, and as has been the case recently it was on the jetty in front of the hotel close to low tide.

On Wednesday the 5th, within a half-mile or so of the San Diego Mission I had a flock of four orioles which contained two Hooded Orioles, one of which was an adult male and one was a female, and two Bullock's; as well as a black-throated gray warbler which has returned to the same trees for at least five or six winters now, and a Red-naped Sapsucker.

-- Paul Lehman,. San Diego

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Lesser Black-back Gull

Mike Wittmer

still present south of life guard tower

Lesser Black-backed Gull at Coronado Del hotel still as of 12/7 8:30 to 9:15 am.

terry hurst

The Gull is still in area. Was hanging out and feeding at shore line between life station 2c and 3c.
Terry Hurst

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Morley Field 12-7-18

Eric Kallen

I looked around the ballfields at Morely Field this morning.  They are prepping for a national championship cross-country even this weekend, so access will be limited.

Wilson's Snipe - one bird associating with killdeer in the middle of the large fenced ballfield ( not the college field)
American Pipit
Lark Sparrow - one bird with the small mixed flock of western BBs, yellow-rumps and song sparrows.

Eric Kallen

[Possible/likely] rusty blackbird, Sports Arena Blvd.

Stan Walens

I was driving in the parking lot in front of the Target on Sports Arena Blvd this morning at about 11:30 when I spotted an ochre-colored blackbird in the midst of a small group of Brewer’s blackbirds on the side of the road in one of the little grassy areas.
My immediate sense was that it was a female rusty blackbird. All I could see of it in the few seconds I drove past it, besides the reddish coloration, was a pale eye, pale throat and pale supercilium.
But by the time I found a parking place and went back to look for the bird, the flock had moved to another part of the parking lot.

I did not have binoculars with me, but walked the parking lot for 30 minutes or so in the rain trying to re-find the bird.
The flock of somewhere between 60-90 blackbirds was very active.
A lot of the time they roosted on the roof of the Ross department store, but they flew all over the parking lot in that general area.
Traffic in the parking lot was heavy, and by a little after 12:00 the rain was coming down hard enough to make visibility terrible.

My suggestion, if you go to look for this bird, is to go early, before the stores open and the parking lot overflows with SUVs.

As you know, sometimes [rarely?] Brewer’s blackbirds can have a rusty plumage, and I did not have enough of a look at the bird to be sure it was not one of these unusual-plumaged Brewer’s blackbirds.

Stan Walens, San Diego
Dec 5, 2018; 2:25 pm

Balboa Park West side

Nathan French

I birded Balboa Park this morning for a couple hours before the rain came. Highlights included a continuing Taiga Merlin and a Summer Tanager near the Lawn Bowling area, and a Tropical Kingbird near the Chess Club. Also near the Chess Club was an angry man yelling homophobic slurs at me, and threatening to crack my skull, so be safe if you go looking for these birds. Here’s a link to the checklist:

Nathan French

NAB - Fall 2018

Guy McCaskie

County Coordinators/Contributors:

The Fall Season (1 August through 30 November 2018) 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 the current report). 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 30 December 2018. 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.