Date   
Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

Today 1,248 Swainson's Hawks migrated from Borrego Springs. They were gone by 8am. This evening over 500 SW's are in town. They are located a few miles from watch points. Tomorrow if the wind dies down they will leave between 8 and 9:30am. If it is windy like today they will take off around 7am. The forecast is for diminishing wind in the morning (we hope). You might want to first go to the watch site on Di Giorgio Rd just south of Henderson Canyon Rd. This is the alternate watch site. From there you can decide where to position yourself for better views. The wind speed and direction will determine the direction of flight. Our season total is now 10,503 Swainson's Hawks. Our previous high season was 8,917 in 2016. There still are caterpillars and flowers in the valley. This means lots of folks here so there will be traffic coming into town as the day progresses. 

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

Long-eared Owl

mikewittmer0582@...
 

Went looking for the owl.  Was joined by Justyn Stahl and another several other birders looking for the owl in the previously mentioned location.  No luck.  Justyn found the bird along the northern edge of campsite # 8 facing the roadway about 25 feet up.  (adjacent to my car-go figure)  Regardless, owl found and seemed content to stay in one spot.

continuing Blackburnian Warbler and Painted Redstart

Paul Lehman
 

On Saturday morning, the 25th, in the Mission Bay area both the Vacation Isle dull female BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER and the long-staying Crown Point PAINTED REDSTART continue. The redstart will probably depart for the season soon, whereas the Blackburnian is still rather worn and will likely need to complete its early-spring molt before it migrates. The latter bird was a royal pain to see well today, moving about quickly and staying mostly hidden for a good percent of the time. Directions given in previous posts.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego

San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count - next Sunday, April 2nd

Jayne Lesley
 

This is a reminder that the April 2017 San Dieguito Lagoon monthly bird count is next Sunday, April 2nd.  Everyone is welcome. 

We will meet at 7:30 AM at the south end of San Andres Dr. (Turn right/south off of Via de la Valle when heading east from Hwy 5.  San Andres dead ends at the lagoon).  We divide into groups to count 5 areas, and coordinate with park rangers to provide vests and access for restricted areas.  

We gather to tally our results at noon at the Del Mar Public Works parking lot/picnic tables.  (Turn west off of Jimmy Durante Rd. just south of the Fairgrounds and bridge crossing the San Dieguito River.) Bring water and a snack or lunch.

Hope to see you next Sunday at the count! 

Jayne Lesley  (cell phone: 858-663-6568)  (e-mail: jaynelesley@...)

Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

If anyone is coming down for the weekend be aware, flower folks will be here in droves. Alternate routes into town include 78 and S2 both lead to S3 at Tamarisk Grove and into town. S22 could be backed up the Montezuma Grade. 

Today (Friday March 24) we had 162 migrant Swainson's Hawks. This evening we had well over 300 SW's drop into town. They are roosting in the same area to the east of Borrego Valley Rd. Today folks got great looks of kettles from Henderson Canyon Rd. You might want to check into the watch site on Di Giorgio Rd south of Henderson Canyon Rd. Hopefully the predicted wind for tomorrow (Saturday March 25) 10+ in the morning will not develop. If so, the hawks will fly early. If we have light wind the hawks will leave anywhere from 8-9am.

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

Long-eared Owl

phil Pryde
 

     Update for all Long-eared Owl hunters.  Another birder from Orange County and I looked for him (her?) in the area around cabin 18 at Tamarisk Grove today also without success.  So in desperation (as you know, men only ask for directions when desperate) I asked the ranger on duty if the owl had ever been reported from any perch other than around cabin 18.  He made a suggestion, and bingo, there it was! 
     So if you can’t locate it in the area from cabin 18 to cabin 21, try in the tamarisk tree(s) behind the chain link enclosure that protects a large gas cylinder that’s located behind (south of) the restroom building.  And don’t get warbler neck looking for him - he wasn’t more than maybe 12 feet above the ground.  Cute little dude (unless you’re a field mouse). 
     Bonus: while looking for the owl near cabin 18 I saw my FOS Ash-throated Flycatcher. 
     P.S.:  Don’t even think of going into the town of Borrego Springs the next two days!  
 
Phil Pryde 
San Diego 

Borrego and Tamarisk Grove

Catherine Zinsky
 

Went to view the wild flowers today and stopped at Tamarisk Grove to hopefully see the Long-eared Owl.  It wasn't meant to be:-(  Even stopped to try again on our way back from Borrego Springs, but no luck.  THere were quite a few disappointed birders milling around beside myself.  Thank heavens the flowers compensated!

Some highlights were:
Costa Hummingbird
Lincoln Sparrow
Scott's Oriole
White-winged Dove
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Verdin
FOS Warbling Vireo

Some photos on my flicker below.

Happy birding!

--
Waggin' tails,

Catherine


Author of "Attitude + Attention =Teamwork!
                           Seven Steps to Success"
Available thru www.gettoready.net

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Ch Borderfame Soul Train UDX, OM ('Kellan the Felon' a.k.a. 'Sir Barkalot')
OTCH Sporting Fields Summer Solstice, UDX 9, OGM ("Dax", as in "Dax of the Long Tongue" aka 'Sir Lickalot'))
Ch. OTCH Sporting Field's Quantum Leap UDX2, OM3  ('Devon' as in 'Devon the Usurper'  aka "Monkey")   
Ch. OTCH Trumagik Step Aside, UDX 20, OGM   (2002 - 2015)
Shorewind Spellbound's Dragon Rider  ("Echo")
 
 

La Jolla: Ancient Murrelets & Black Scoter

Paul Lehman
 

A Friday early-morning seawatch at La Jolla produced a group of 3 ANCIENT MURRELETS flying north out at the limit of identifiability. This continues the small offshore influx of this species that began back in about late February. The other highlight was a drake BLACK SCOTER. A total of ca. 400 Black-vented Shearwaters is good for late March, but it hopefully is not a sign that current breeding conditions to the south are mediocre.

--Paul Lehman, San Diego

Again More Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

Today (Thursday 3/23/17) 192 Swainson's Hawks migrated. This time directly over the watch site. High but good views. This evening 75+ SW's dropped into town. Tomorrow (Friday 2/24/17) we should see lighter wind so migration out of town should take place between 8 and 9:30am. We reached a landmark today as totals for the season hit 9,081 Swainson's Hawks. This number shatters the best season's total (2016) of 8,917 SW's. With 23 days left for the season, it conceivable that we could reach 10,000 Swainson's Hawks. Check with the watch site tomorrow morning to find the best place to view the hawks. The alternate site is located just south of Henderson Canyon Rd. on Di Giorgio Rd. 

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

Where to find Yellow-Headed Blackbirds

Roger Uzun
 

I headed out to Borrego Springs Mon/Tues of this week hoping to see the Yellow-Headed Blackbird that had been reported at the holding ponds south of town, no luck..

Does anyone know of a good spot in the county where I could reliably find a male yellow-headed blackbird to get photos/video?  If not in San Diego County perhaps somewhere reliable in Imperial County?

I did manage to see some Swainson's Hawks kettling and feeding in the fields, and the wildflowers are really vibrant this year out there.


-Roger Uzun

Short video of Anza-Borrego hawks/wildflowers  -




Re: Long-eared Owl at Tamarisk Grove

Nancy Christensen
 

This checklists has photos of the owl from both Mel and myself: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35359936

 

Taken while there with Sara and Keith. We spoke to the ranger and he said the owl had been there are least 2 weeks (so throughout the flower frenzy when the campground was full). Someone else has told me that it has been posted on the sightings board since the bird festival, so closer to a month. I guess that teaches us all to read that sightings board each and every time!

 

Nancy Christensen

Ramona

 

From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@... [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@...] On Behalf Of Sara Mayers sarabirding@... [SanDiegoRegionBirding]
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 9:24 PM
To: SanDiegoRegionBirding@...
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Long-eared Owl at Tamarisk Grove

 

 

After an absence of several years (as well as I know), there is now
a Long-eared Owl in the Tamarisk Grove Campground in Anza Borrego State
Park. Our group (alerted by a notice on the whiteboard at the ranger
booth) saw this slim, elegant bird, with its long tufts blowing in the
heavy wind, at midday today. It was in a tamarisk just behind the
picnic table at Cabin 18. A camper told us it had been in the same
tree for a few days.

Several bighorn sheep were on the hillside across the road from the
campground.

Early in the morning we had looked for Lucy's Warblers in the
mesquite bosque but did not see or hear any.

=====================
Sara Baase Mayers
Point Loma (San Diego)
sarabirding@...
======================

Black and White Warbler and Tropical Kingbird continue at Famosa Slough

Andy Rathbone
 

The wintering Black & White Warbler was back foraging in the pine tree at the foot of Mentone this morning. The Tropical Kingbird was on the telephone wires just north of the pine tree. No sign of the Plumbeous Vireo.


http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35377095


Andy Rathbone

Point Loma


Long-eared Owl at Tamarisk Grove

Sara Baase Mayers
 

After an absence of several years (as well as I know), there is now
a Long-eared Owl in the Tamarisk Grove Campground in Anza Borrego State
Park. Our group (alerted by a notice on the whiteboard at the ranger
booth) saw this slim, elegant bird, with its long tufts blowing in the
heavy wind, at midday today. It was in a tamarisk just behind the
picnic table at Cabin 18. A camper told us it had been in the same
tree for a few days.

Several bighorn sheep were on the hillside across the road from the
campground.

Early in the morning we had looked for Lucy's Warblers in the
mesquite bosque but did not see or hear any.

=====================
Sara Baase Mayers
Point Loma (San Diego)
sarabirding@...
======================

Swainson's Hwks Migration Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

Today Wednesday March 22 only 45 SW's migrated. However this evening (3/22) we counted 135 SW's that stayed over for a second day and another arriving 75 for around 200 now in town (March 22). Unfortunately it is hard to predict when they may take off tomorrow with windy conditions predicted. With a lull in the wind tomorrow they may wait until 9 or 10am to depart. Also, we don't know what direction they may take. If you are in town you can go to the alternate count site for directions. This site is 200 yards south of Henderson Canyon Rd on Di Giorgio Rd. 

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

Pigeon Guillemot

thomas meixner
 

Went to La Jolla cove this afternoon (3/22) between 1:30 and 3:00pm and the only bird of note was a breeding plumaged Pigeon Guillomt just outside the kelp beds. I finally saw my nemesis bird and 443rd county species. 
There were only 5 black-vents seen. 
I also had one each of Wandering Tattler, Black Turnstone and Surfbird. All were in alternate plumage.

Tom Meixner

Costa Rica birds

Vic Warren
 

This is off track, but Laurel and I spent a week in Costa Rica in early March. Incredible birding! The country, only about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined, has more than 900 birds. In a week with guides, we spotted 127 species, 89 of them life birds. If you're interested in looking at more info, go to my website at vicwarren.com and look for the post, Pura Vida for the birds. Hope you enjoy it.


Good birding,

Vic Warren and Laurel Scott

Mission Valley

late report - Wed 3/15/17 - heard Canyon Wren in canyon immediately s of Glider Port

Charley Herzfeld
 

Sorry for the lateness, but I heard a Canyon Wren call repeatedly around sunset in the canyon immediately south of the Glider Port at Torrey Pines City Park.  This is an unusual location for this bird.

Charley Herzfeld
University City

Re: Pipit confusion (answered)

JackDaynes
 

Greetings, and thanks for the responses I got. There was no confident conclusion, so I called Phil Unitt just now. I'd hoped to stay out of his hair, as I know he and the team are up to their necks in Mammal Atlas doings, but Phil (generous as usual) believes:

My bird is molting out of winter plumage and into breeding plumage. This conclusion seems most likely, as the head seems to have elements of both. We don't often see the breeding (alternate) plumage in these birds in San Diego. Phil also explained the subspecies nomenclature to me. Sibley's "Darker" adults would be Anthus rubescens rubescens, and the "Paler" adults Anthus rubescens alticola.

So much to learn, so little time!
-- 
-- Jack --
==================================

Wildlife Photography with
Emphasis on Birds
==================================
858-442-1907
Poway, California (San Diego Co.)
N 32° 57'  W 117° 04'
At 508' Elevation
==================================

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More Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

Around 125 Swainson's Hawks are now in Borrego Springs. Tomorrow barring rain and wind the hawks will probably depart between 9 and 10am. Best viewing has been on Henderson Canyon Rd. to the east just after the flower fields. We could possible reach the 9,000 mark for hawks tomorrow. 

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

Pipit confusion

JackDaynes
 

Greetings,

I photographed a Killdeer and an American Pipit at Poway Community Park Tuesday morning. After reviewing the images I was confused by the pipit. The bird I photographed matched nothing I saw in Sibley’s Guide (p. 421 of the big book). There the guide shows two variants for Asia and Two for North America. A non-breeding and a breeding plumage is shown for each of the North American subjects, yet my bird matches neither of these. The bird most closely seems to match the “Darker” variant, yet the illustration calls for “bold” or “heavy” streaking on the breast. Yet my bird showed scant spotting, barely suggesting streaks. Is this an “age” thing? A “seasonal” thing? Or?

In the gallery linked below, excepting the bird on the landscape bark, is the same individual.

http://shadetreeimaging.com/2017-03-21-poway-community-park/

Can anyone help me understand this observation?
TIA,

--
-- Jack --
==================================
<http://shadeTreeImaging.com/>
Wildlife Photography with
Emphasis on Birds
==================================
858-442-1907
Poway, California (San Diego Co.)
N 32° 57' W 117° 04'
At 508' Elevation
==================================