Date   
Hornblower Mar. 15: 1 spectacular bird; 21 spectacular whales

Stan Walens
 

Went out with Jane Mygatt on the HB today. Conditions were relatively flat ocean but two messy a surface to see alcids.
Came upon a couple of feeding flocks over bait balls.

1 juvenile brown booby on buoy #4; an adult male about 3 miles west of the tip of Pt. Loma.

Total number of black-venteds was about 320.
1 common tern migrating north.
No other tubenoses, jaegers, interesting gulls, etc.
No alcids of any kind.

At about 10:30 we hit heavy fog, but communications with other whale-watching boats told us that there was a pod of 20 or so false killer whales about 2 miles north of our position.
We got there to find a flotilla of whale-watching boats. False killer whales were everywhere we looked.
In the pod was a single [real] killer whale, probably a mature female.
They all came within 50 yards of the boat,
Lots of bird activity nearby, but nothing new.
Watched that action for maybe 90 minutes or more.
Both species are rare enough in San Diego waters that the HB captain, despite going out many hundreds of times, had never seen either species before.

Around 12:15 we headed back toward the entrance to the harbor, and soon came out of the fog bank. Soon after we did, a light-morph wedge-tailed shearwater crossed right in front of the bow. I had it in view for 10-15 seconds, Jane for about a minute. We were in almost exactly the same location as when we saw the light-morph wedge-tailed shearwater several weeks ago. About 2 miles west and slightly south of the tip of Pt. Loma.

Stan Walens
San Diego

White-collared Seedeater

thomas meixner
 

For anyone who cares or is tracking them or just... 
I had a flock of 5 Seedeaters at Miramar Lake at the one mile marker on Jan. 26 and 1 female at the 3.5 mile marker today March 15

Tom Meixner

Swainson's Hawks Migration Report 3/14-3/15/2017

Hal Cohen
 

Today, March 15, 328 Swainson's Hawks migrated. On March 14, 155 migrated. The total number of migrant Swainson's Hawks from Feb 21-March 15 is 1,682. The number of Swainson's Hawks counted  is down from this time last season. We expect migration to pick up in the next few days. See the youtube at: https://youtu.be/g4YDFVojxWc

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

ALERT Reports of over 300 Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

Although I was not at the hawkwatch to see incoming hawks, a reliable report of 300 Swainson's Hawks was reported. I did see several hawks on trees and bushes a great distance from the evening site. Tomorrow if the wind stays calm, lift-off should take place again between 9 and 10am. Best viewing from Borrego Valley Rd 1.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive. The flowers are blooming in full force now and caterpillars are beginning to show up in several places. Beware of all the traffic in town because of the flowers.

Best,
Hal

results of 13 march san elijo monthly bird count

Robert Patton
 

Thanks to 13 participants for conducting the 13 Mar 2017 San Elijo Lagoon monthly bird count: Steve Brad (Nature Center); Barry Lundgren, Kathy Thorbjarnarson, Elizabeth Venrick (Pole Rd); Gail DeLalla, Jayne Lesley, Miles Pitcairn (CBS= Rios to freeway); Kathy Aldern, Chris Dong, Patti Koger (EBS = La Orilla to Sta Inez); Robert Patton (Beach, West Basin; EBNW = dike; EBNE = Escondido Cr; Cardiff Cove); Steve Perry, Edie Berendsen (EBE = Stonebridge Mesa).  

Fog limited visibility at times, including limiting offshore observations to within the surf zone.  Notable species included 5 white pelicans initially roosting south of Mira Costa then in flight over multiple locations, a Wilson’s snipe in the pond at the SE corner of La Orilla & El Camino Real, 4 common poorwill calling at Sta Helena pre-dawn, rough-winged swallows at multiple locations, a black-and-white warbler near the bench east of the nature center parking lot entrance, a Wilson’s warbler along the La Orilla trail, golden-crowned sparrows along both the Sta Helena & Rios trails, and a hooded oriole at the Rios trailhead.

107 species were recorded:  loon sp., pied-billed grebe, eared grebe, western grebe, American white pelican, brown pelican, double-crested cormorant, great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, black-crowned night-heron, green-winged teal, mallard, northern pintail, blue-winged teal, cinnamon teal, northern shoveler, gadwall, American wigeon, lesser scaup, bufflehead, red-breasted merganser, ruddy duck, osprey, white-tailed kite, northern harrier, Cooper’s hawk, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, California quail, Ridgway’s rail, Virginia rail, sora, American coot, black-bellied plover, snowy plover, semipalmated plover, killdeer, black-necked stilt, American avocet, greater yellowlegs, spotted sandpiper, willet, whimbrel, marbled godwit, ruddy turnstone, black turnstone, sanderling, western sandpiper, least sandpiper, long-billed dowitcher, Wilson’s snipe, ring-billed gull, California gull, western gull, royal tern, rock pigeon, mourning dove, common poorwill, white-throated swift, Anna’s hummingbird, Allen’s hummingbird, belted kingfisher, Nuttall’s woodpecker, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, black phoebe, Say’s phoebe, Cassin’s kingbird, tree swallow, rough-winged swallow, California scrub jay, American crow, common raven, bushtit, Bewick’s wren, house wren, marsh wren, ruby-crowned kinglet, California gnatcatcher, hermit thrush, wrentit, northern mockingbird, California thrasher, American pipit, cedar waxwing, European starling, Hutton’s vireo, orange-crowned warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, black-and-white warbler, common yellowthroat, Wilson’s warbler, spotted towhee, California towhee, Belding’s savannah sparrow, migrant savannah sparrow, song sparrow, golden-crowned sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, red-winged blackbird, western meadowlark, great-tailed grackle, hooded oriole, house finch, lesser goldfinch, house sparrow.

 

The next monthly bird count will be 10 Apr. 

R. Patton

San Diego, CA

Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

Today 35 hawks migrated. This evening over 100 hawks descended into the valley. That number is on the low side. See the youtube at https://youtu.be/e7vk2O3lIVs
Best viewing from 9-10am tomorrow on Borrego Valley Rd 1.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive and Henderson Canyon Rd. The hawks probably will cross Henderson Canyon Rd east of the flower fields. Traffic can be heavy in the area because of the flowers. 

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs


HETA and HAFL still around

phil Pryde
 

This morning (Monday) between 9:30 and 10:15 a.m. I was able to find both the Hepatic tanager and the Hammond’s Flycatcher in/near the yard of the Marston House in Balboa Park.  The tanager was high up in a tall Euc (?) on the canyon rim directly east of the Marston House;  the Hammond’s was in a large coast live oak about 100’ down the dirt trail that starts in the SE corner of the large lawn area south of the house. 

Eastern Phoebe at Whelan Lake

Denise Riddle
 

I led the field trip for the California Naturalist Class at Whelan Lake on Sunday, March 12th.  We re-found the Eastern Phoebe originally found on 3/4/17 on the easternmost finger of the lake.  Photo on the e-bird report http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35131562

 

Whelan Lake Bird Sanctuary is a private lake and you must call the caretaker and arrange to go in.  Info on bvaudubon.org website.

 

Denise Riddle

Oceanside

 

Re: Swainson's Hawks and terrible Borrego Springs traffic

Mark Stratton
 

I need to apologize for my lack of highway numbers, I said 111, not sure how I got that.  It was the S22 I was talking about.  I must have been tried from that drive.

Mark Stratton
North Park

On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 4:43 PM, Mark Stratton <zostropz@...> wrote:
Hi all,

Camille and I, hearing of the Wild Flower craze in Borrego, left early this morning so we could get in some Wild Flowers and then wait for the Swainson's Hawks to lift off.  Even early, it seemed every car on the road in Ramona, was headed to Borrego Springs.  Around 10 am (new time), the hawks finally lifted off with what looked to be over 100 birds and eventually, 95% of them formed one really large kettle.  Leaving Borrego was terrible.  It took almost 15 minutes just to get 1/2 way around Christmas Circle and then it was stop an go all the way back the the 111? The highway that goes up through Ranchita.  Going up the grade was better but the side coming down to Borrego was honestly backed all the way up to where it starts to flatten out on the top of the rocky mtn's.  We figured by what we saw, that is was probably about a 1 1/2 to 2 hour trip down the grade and past Christmas Circle.  We hit a ton of traffic trying to get back on the 79?, the highway that goes between Santa Ysabelle and Warner Springs.  Sorry about my Hwy numbers, I go by memory so don't remember the numbers very well.  We had to wait about 45 minutes in line just to make our left turn and then had to suffer through more traffic going through Ramona.  Everyone wants to see the Flowers.  There has been lot's of media coverage on the flowers so it may be crazy out there for a couple of weekends.  If you go, go very early and don't hang around any longer than you need to for seeing the Swainson's Hawks.  Nice spring day out there though.  Nothing unusual but all the birds were twitterpated.

Mark and Camille Stratton
North Park

bright M Vermilion Flycatcher at Torrey Pines State Park beachside

Charley Herzfeld
 

Sunday at 4:30 pm I was very surprised to find a bright male Vermilion Flycatcher perching and hawking for insects at Torrey Pines State Beach a little under 1 mile north of the Glider Port, west of the golf course.  I first spotted it flying above a heavily vegetated mostly flat section that runs north-south and sits about 20-30 feet above the beach.  Even at a distance, its brilliant red color was impossible to miss against the unusually bright green background of vegetation.  The bird occasionally swooped down to perch on shrubs (all native plants which are in an exceptional growth and bloom mode) about 8 feet high immediately adjacent to the beach.  I watched the bird for about 1/2 hour and was able to get as close as 20 feet.

Weather was heavily overcast, foggy, breezy and about 58 degrees.

Charley Herzfeld
University City

Today 209 Swainson's Migrated From Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

The time change confused folks today. The hawks began to kettle up at 9:30am.instead of the usual time (around 8:30a). The 75 hawks observed this evening will probably depart the valley between 9 and 10am.tomorrow (Monday) Hopefully the traffic problems created by hundreds of flower folks will subside during the week. Yes, the flowers are spectacular and yes caterpillars are starting to thin them out. The Swainson's Hawks are evidently feeding on the caterpillars and not roosting in traditional sites. Tomorrow they will most likely kettle up east of Borrego Valley Rd. 

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

Swainson's Hawks and terrible Borrego Springs traffic

Mark Stratton
 

Hi all,

Camille and I, hearing of the Wild Flower craze in Borrego, left early this morning so we could get in some Wild Flowers and then wait for the Swainson's Hawks to lift off.  Even early, it seemed every car on the road in Ramona, was headed to Borrego Springs.  Around 10 am (new time), the hawks finally lifted off with what looked to be over 100 birds and eventually, 95% of them formed one really large kettle.  Leaving Borrego was terrible.  It took almost 15 minutes just to get 1/2 way around Christmas Circle and then it was stop an go all the way back the the 111? The highway that goes up through Ranchita.  Going up the grade was better but the side coming down to Borrego was honestly backed all the way up to where it starts to flatten out on the top of the rocky mtn's.  We figured by what we saw, that is was probably about a 1 1/2 to 2 hour trip down the grade and past Christmas Circle.  We hit a ton of traffic trying to get back on the 79?, the highway that goes between Santa Ysabelle and Warner Springs.  Sorry about my Hwy numbers, I go by memory so don't remember the numbers very well.  We had to wait about 45 minutes in line just to make our left turn and then had to suffer through more traffic going through Ramona.  Everyone wants to see the Flowers.  There has been lot's of media coverage on the flowers so it may be crazy out there for a couple of weekends.  If you go, go very early and don't hang around any longer than you need to for seeing the Swainson's Hawks.  Nice spring day out there though.  Nothing unusual but all the birds were twitterpated.

Mark and Camille Stratton
North Park

March 11, 2017 mini Pelagic

David Povey
 

Tom Blackman, Peter Ginsburg, Bruce Rideout and I  did a short pelagic run out of San Diego Bay to the Nine Mile Bank.

We found conditions and bird life very similar to the SDAS Bird Festival Pelagics (Feb. 24, 25, 26). We did have patchy fog

in the morning with visibility down, at times, to 1/4 to 1/2 nautical mile. We did check Ballast Point and Zuniga Jetty.

The following is a sample of species and numbers;

Brant  35  (bay and Jetty)

Surf Scoter  28  (bay & jetty)

Eared Grebe  12  (bay and jetty)

Western Grebe   400  (single flock, Coronado side of Zuniga Jetty)

N. Fulmar   2

Black-vented Shearwater   225

Brown Booby   3 (one adult male, others poorly seen to age or sex due to the fog)

Black Turnstone  5 (Zuniga Jetty)

Scripps's Murrelet    6   (3  pairs)

Cassin's Auklet  2

Rhinoceros Auklet   1

Bonaparte's Gull   195

Heermann's Gull    7  (numbers way down)

Western Gull   75

California Gull   150

Herring Gull    4

COMMON TERN    2  (1-adult, 1-juvy) very early migrants or wintering birds???

Royal Tern   8   (inside the bay)

Elegant Tern   4 (inside the bay)

 

Dave Povey

Dulzura

 

p.s reminder;  The March's SDFO meeting is on WEDNESDAY the 23rd. not the usual third Tuesday of the month.

 

 

 

Around 100 Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs

Hal Cohen
 

This evening around 100 Swainson's Hawks dropped into mesquite dunes to the east of the evening site. Flowers are everywhere now with caterpillars beginning to show up along with a few thousand visitors. Traffic jams coming into Borrego tomorrow might inhibit folks from coming out for the hawks. With migration tomorrow we will pass the 1,000 mark for Swainson's Hawks for the season. Expect lift-off tomorrow between 9 and 10am with the time change. Best place for viewing will probably be from the evening dune 1.8 mlles north of Palm Canyon Drive on Borrego Valley Rd. or check in with the counters on Di Giorgio Rd south of Henderson Canyon Rd.

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

Youth Scholarship Opportunity for the 42nd Annual WFO Conference, Pueblo, CO. August 16-20, 2017

Frances Oliver
 

Western Field Ornithologists is pleased to announce the availability of a youth scholarship for the WFO 2017 Conference to be held in Pueblo, CO. on August 16-20, 2017. The scholarship is open to youths between the ages of 12 and 22, with six scholarships for youths in Grades 6 through 12, and two scholarships for collegiate youths working towards a Bachelor’s degree. 

 

The annual WFO conference is a four day event that includes scientific presentations, workshops, field trips, experts’ sounds and visual identification panels, and social activities.  The conference offers the opportunity for motivated youths to meet those who earn their living and/or volunteer in field ornithology, bird conservation, biology and other distinguished fields.  

 

For further details about the scholarship, please visit http://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/scholarship.php.  The scholarship application may be downloaded  https://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/docs/2017/WFO-2017_Conference-Youth_Scholarship_Application.pdf

 

Additional details about the conference and registration is available at http://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/conference.php

 

The application deadline is April 5, 2017, so don't delay, send in your application today!

 

Frances Oliver

WFO Outreach Coordinator & Board Member

next san elijo monthly bird count monday 13 march

Robert Patton
 

Please spread the word –

San Elijo Lagoon monthly bird count

Monday March 13th (& 2nd Monday of each month, rain or shine)

Meet at the north end of Rios Ave in Solana Beach at 7:30 am

(from I-5, exit Lomas Santa Fe Dr & head west, turn north on Rios Ave which is just east of Highway 101 & the railroad tracks)

Bring a lunch or pick up one nearby & we’ll meet to compile at noon at the nature center (SE of intersection of Manchester Ave & San Elijo Ave)

Thanks!

R. Patton

San Diego, CA

Swainson's Hawks in Borrego Springs This Evening

Hal Cohen
 

This evening we had anywhere from 75-125 hawks drop into the Date Farm and Roadrunner Club. Today we had 115 migrate. So we figure that our number this evening will exceed 100 tomorrow. We will experience a calm hot morning tomorrow. Lift-off from the Date Farm and Roadrunner Club will most likely occur between 8 and 9am. Because flying ants are present in great numbers, the hawks might remain in the valley for a long period-perhaps an hour or more. Also, many caterpillars have been seen in Coyote Canyon. Within the next few days we will be inundated with caterpillars. 

Best views from the evening site-1.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive on Borrego Valley Rd; Di Giorgio Rd at Big Horn and at the alternate count site just south of Henderson Canyon Rd on Di Giorgio Rd. I will be counting from the alternate site. You can start there and we can suggest best sites for viewing. 

Hal Cohen-Borrego Springs

Re: Possible hooded warblers inn Tecolote Canyon

Steve Sosensky
 

I agree with  Eitan. The white alula is diagnostic for OCWA.

Good birding,
Steve Sosensky

On Mar 8, 2017, at 2:40 PM, "Eitan Altman eitanaltman@... [SanDiegoRegionBirding]" <SanDiegoRegionBirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

These are Orange-crowned Warblers with sticky sap on their face

On Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 2:34 PM, tuckrus@... [SanDiegoRegionBirding] <SanDiegoRegionBirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

I chased the prospective hooded warblers reported this morning by Miles Pitcairn.  I believe I found the birds he found, and I managed a couple of ID photos.  But the pattern of black on the head doesn't quite match that of any warbler I can think of, including hooded.  So what have we got here? Molting hooded?  Orange crowned with especially bad euc face?  Hoping for the former, of course.  Checklist with explicit directions and the two photos here:


http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35048713




Re: Possible hooded warblers inn Tecolote Canyon

Eitan Altman
 

These are Orange-crowned Warblers with sticky sap on their face

On Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 2:34 PM, tuckrus@... [SanDiegoRegionBirding] <SanDiegoRegionBirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

I chased the prospective hooded warblers reported this morning by Miles Pitcairn.  I believe I found the birds he found, and I managed a couple of ID photos.  But the pattern of black on the head doesn't quite match that of any warbler I can think of, including hooded.  So what have we got here? Molting hooded?  Orange crowned with especially bad euc face?  Hoping for the former, of course.  Checklist with explicit directions and the two photos here:


http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35048713


I await refereeing.


Cheers,  Tuck Russell

San Diego



Possible hooded warblers inn Tecolote Canyon

Tuck Russell
 

I chased the prospective hooded warblers reported this morning by Miles Pitcairn.  I believe I found the birds he found, and I managed a couple of ID photos.  But the pattern of black on the head doesn't quite match that of any warbler I can think of, including hooded.  So what have we got here? Molting hooded?  Orange crowned with especially bad euc face?  Hoping for the former, of course.  Checklist with explicit directions and the two photos here:


http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35048713


I await refereeing.


Cheers,  Tuck Russell

San Diego