San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count - February 2nd 2020

Jayne Lesley

This is a reminder about the next San Dieguito monthly bird count. The February 2020 bird count is on the first Sunday - next Sunday, February 2nd.  
We are already off to a good start in 2020, with 115 species last month. We have finished ten years of collecting bird data at the San Dieguito Lagoon since the competition of the Restoration project.  A milestone!

Everyone is welcome - interested, beginners, visitors, experienced birders.

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)

Good birding on the San Diego Whale Watcher today

Tom Baxter

It was a good crowd onboard the 12:00 noon trip this afternoon out of Mission Bay, but the birding was pretty enjoyable. In addition to good numbers of Pacific White-sided Dolphin, Common Dolphin and 4 Gray Whales, there were close views of many seabirds.


2 SOOTY SHEARWATER (so long as they were not Short-tailed........ I'm fine with going with Sooty but I wouldn't know any better)

1 BROWN BOOBY seen briefly but well (this was my personal highlight although I sadly missed my photo op)

1 very distant Booby sp. of the 'all brown' variety. The good birds always have to be the hard ones I guess.




50 or so PACIFIC LOON & 1 possible Immature RED-THROATED LOON

Good birding,
Tom Baxter
Cape May, NJ

Tom Baxter

Orchard Oriole at Robb Field 01/25/2020

dan jehl

This morning, Saturday, January 25, the orchard oriole was seen again at Robb Field. this immature male was first reported by Martin and Kroger on January 7. A hummingbird feeder has been hung in the small pine tree at the north end of the west Robb Field parking Lot, this is where the bird has be frequenting. It moves around between most of the small trees in the area. This is near the grass where the Rusty Blackbird was seen in December.

Dan Jehl
San Diego


Tom Blackman

At least 50 Canvasbacks on the East Lindo Lake today.  (01.24.2020)


Thomas A. Blackman




North Claremont Community Park BUOR

Patti Koger

An early morning walk around NCCP by Sue Smith, Gretchen Nell and I gleaned a full adult male BULLOCK’S ORIOLE moving about in eucalyptus tree tops near the tennis courts along with the continuing HEPATIC TANAGER. The BUOR was very vocal: intermittent chattering and calling, and one brief partial song. The continuing WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was foraging with WCSP on the ground east of the tennis courts, canyonward from the sewer manhole cover.

Patti Koger
Cardiff by the Sea

GC Kinglets, Pine Siskins

Nancy Christensen

I spent the morning today at Palomar State Park. The area around the entrance was the birdiest part of the park today. The Golden-crowned Kinglets seen last fall continued in the same large oak tree near the entrance (where you pay the fee), foraging in the clumps of mistletoe. A huge flock of Pine Siskins was in the area, 60 birds at least. When I arrived they were perched in a bush, and several groups of 10-15 flew off, and still left dozens behind. The group regathered on the ground right at the ranger’s building before I left the area, and it really was an impressive group of birds. I looked in vain for any other finches in the flock.

The pond and nature trail had fewer birds. A few scatted siskins, robins, chickadees, etc. I was NOT able to find the Pacific Wren along the nature trail. I heard just one crossbill fly over.


The nature trail is passable, although there is a fallen tree near the beginning. The water level is low enough to cross the stream, but rocks may be icy. The trail has sections where snow has melted and refrozen and is extremely slippery. In the campground there was a Tom Turkey that was very aggressive, repeatedly attacking me when my back was turned. I walked backward for almost 1/3 mile before he got bored with me.


Nancy Christensen



Harry on Thursday

phil Pryde

    I spent the morning at Harry Griffen Park looking for the previously reported PLVI, BUOR, BWWA, and RBSA.  0 for 4.  (Major league baseball players go 0 for 4 and get paid $30,000,000.  Something’s wrong here.)  However there were at least 2 Vesper Sparrows, a Townsends Warbler, and lots of Chippy Sparrows.  
    For parrot lovers, a flock of about 15 to 20 noisy psittacines flew over at a distance, and I went to the natural vegetation part of the park to see if I could locate them. Thanks to a schoolgirl on a field trip (kudos to her teacher) who was staring at a tree, there was a group of 4 Mitred Parakeets just over my head ecstatically plucking some kind of small black berries off a 15-foot high tree right in front of us. They stayed in that tree snarfing berries not more than 10 feet away from us the whole time I was there.  I didn’t attempt to locate the rest of the flock, so I don’t know if the entire flock was Mitred or not. If it was, it was certainly the most of that species I’ve seen inland in one flock.  
Phil Pryde

Griffen Park PLVI, BUOR, BWWA

Kat Wendel

This morning Jan. 21 at Harry Griffen park in La Mesa, I had the good fortune of seeing a pair of Bullock's orioles,  the wintering Black-and-white warbler and a Plumbeous Vireo, all of them in the trees south of dog park area. also of note,  a red- breasted sapsucker is wintering here although I didn't see it this morning.
Kat Wendel
in La Mesa

“Eurasian” Green-winged (Common) Teal at J St, 1/20

James Pawlicki

Dean DiTommaso located the male “Common Teal” amongst a large flock of GWTE this afternoon (Monday, 1/20) at J St Marina in Chula Vista. The bird was still present (but occasionally out of view) on the low tide mudflats at 1350.

Jim Pawlicki
La Mesa

Late report of P Golden-plover 1/14

Tom Baxter

Hi all, apologies for the late post. On January 14th I observed a 1st cy Pacific Golden-plover on the bayside of the Imperial Beach inlet (Tijuana River mouth) at sun down. It was tightly associating with a group of about 14 Black-bellied Plovers. 

I just got around to putting the photos on ebird tonight. This was the location of the bird (32.5543719, -117.1272498)

New to the list here, Tom Baxter from Cape May, NJ

Tom Baxter

Re: Vesper Sparrows

Jim Roberts GMAIL

I visited the Barnett Ranch Preserve at 1:30 PM today (1/18/20) and found only 2 sparrows in the area described by Iris.  Fortunately, they were both VESPER SPARROWS (outer white tail feathers and white eye-rings).


Earlier in the day the HARRIS’S HAWK was seen and heard along Montecito Way, north of Montecito Road (Ramona).


                                         Jim Roberts

                                      University City


From: <> On Behalf Of Iris Kilpatrick
Sent: Tuesday, December 24, 2019 6:11 PM
To: SanDiegoRegionBirding <>
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Vesper Sparrows


Today I spent several hours at Barnett Ranch Preserve (located in Ramona off San Vicente Road) attempting to count the largest flock of Vesper Sparrows I’ve ever seen! They are mixed in with large flocks of Savannah and Lark Sparrows.  They are easy to pick out but hard to photograph in groups because of the vegetation they creep in and out of.  I spotted a group of three on my right and another group of three on my left at the same time so I saw six at one time but I’m sure the count is higher than that. I can usually count birds from taking photographs in succession but this was not possible due to the habitat. I did not make an eBird report because it’s a record number at that location for this time of year and I want the count to be verified and accurate.  So I’m putting this shout out to the group. 

After parking your car in the parking lot at Barnett Ranch, walk up Deviney Lane (the paved road) 0.2 miles to where it insects the Valley View Trail, a very wide dirt trail.  Do not hike any further!  At that intersection there is a closed pasture gate and a large rock pile in the pasture. The pasture is not part of the preserve. The sparrows forage along Deviney Lane and often land on the barbed wire fencing, the fence posts or on the rock pile where they are easy to photograph.  I got great photos. Counting them is another matter entirely.

Later I walked the entire loop (the Rattlesnake trail) looking for the male and female Harrier that hunt in the meadows there and found both of them.  A few days ago I came upon a small group of California Quail drinking at the pond.

Iris Kilpatrick
Ramona, CA


SDFO Meeting Tuesday Jan 21

Nancy Christensen

SDFO Event – January 21, 2020 at 6:00 pm is the next meeting of San Diego Field Ornithologists.


TUESDAY, January 21, at 6:00 p.m. NEW MEETING LOCATION!

SDFO can no longer meet at the San Diego Foundation Building in Liberty Station. For January and February we will be meeting at the Pacific Beach/Taylor Library Community Room, 4275 Cass St., San Diego.

Directions: From I-5 south or north, take the Balboa/Garnet exit. Follow Garnet until it turns into Grand Ave. Turn left on Dawes St., then right onto Thomas Ave. From I-8 west, take the W. Mission Bay Dr. offramp. Continue north onto Ingraham St. Turn left on Reed Ave. Parking is either on Thomas Ave. or Reed Ave.


Program: “The Decline of North American Avifauna,” by Hank Ingersoll.


Everyone is welcome! Please come join us!


Nancy Christensen



Santee Lakes Neotropic Cormorant

Janice Nordenberg

The Neotropic Cormorant was seen at 1:30 this afternoon in the southwest corner of Lake 1 swimming with 80+ Double-crested Cormorants. It was easily identified by it's smaller size, darker body and white tufts on the sides of its head.

Jan Nordenberg
San Diego

Lark Bunting in Jacumba

Nancy Christensen

Russ and I took a drive out to Jacumba today (Sat Jan 18th). We found the continuing Lark Bunting in the empty lots at the very east end of Brawley Ave. This is about 20 yards north of where it was being seen in December. You can reached these unfenced lots from town or by walking up the dirt road that edges the old agricultural fields.

Greater Pewee continues on the west side of Balboa Park

Mel Senac

The Greater Pewee made an appearance at 9:20 AM this morning, Saturday 1/18/20. I was ready to give up when it suddenly appeared in a Euc along the canyon edge near the restrooms. This is south of the Magnolia grove along the sidewalk. It then flew to the large Euc in the middle of the grass near the tall Star Pines . It was not present in this location for the first hour. In looking at previous checklists this bird appears to make an appearance in this location between 9:00 AM and 1:00PM.
In other news, the Neotropic Cormorant was at the roost on the power lines over the SD River off Friars Rd. I arrived at 7:05 AM- scanned the flock ( scope recommended) and found the Cormorant at 7:10 AM. At 7:17 AM the roosting flock all departed. Perhaps headed to Santee Lakes?
Mel Senac
San Diego

Wedge-tailed shearwater, La Jolla Cove, Jan 18

Stan Walens

At about 8:30 a.m. today, I watched an unseasonal dark-morph wedge-tailed shearwater flying south along the outside of the kelp line, coming out of the Cove and heading southwards.
Bigger than sooty/short-tailed. Lackadaisical flight on long, bent pointed wings, long tail, dark brown on top and uniform gingery-brown on underwings in the bright sunlight.
Did not see it again before I left at 9:15.

Would not report it except that my previous experience with wedge-tailed shearwaters at the Cove is that they may make large circuits around the Cove, head south, and then come back, and repeat the circuit, so worth watching for today and maybe tomorrow, both in the Cove itself and along the outside of the kelp line.

Thousands of birds in a feeding frenzy several miles offshore, so there’s obviously food out there to attract birds.

Stan Walens, San Diego
January 18, 2020; 9:55 am

[OrangeCountyBirding] WATA

Pete Gordon


You asked about a Wandering Tattler last week.  Thid one is in Corona del Mar.

Pete Gordon
Foothill Ranch 

From: <> on behalf of Don Hoechlin via Groups.Io <Quixdimnd@...>
Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 8:59 AM
Subject: [OrangeCountyBirding] WATA

The wandering tattler is present on the jetty at Corona del Mar
State Beach. It is working along the rocks by the cement wall walkway.
Don Hoechlin

Red-breasted Nuthatch, Buddy Todd Park, Oceanside

Dave Batzler

Yesterday morning I arrived the park to find two birders (Elisabeth & Andy Gause) looking at an unknown bird, which turned out to be a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH.  Spending a little more time on my own, I found three Mountain Chickadee's in the pine trees just west of the main parking lot.
Best regards, 
Dave Batzler
Carlsbad, CA

Neotropic Cormorant

David Povey

The Neotropic Cormorant was on it's roosting wires over the San Diego River at the west end of Vandever Ave at 4:50 this evening. Yes, there is enough light to see it at that time of the evening.   A scope helps. This bird must be well traveled if seen near Mission Valley Center, Lake Murray, and Santee Lakes. 
Nice to know it comes back to roost at this spot, so could be counted on there very early, and late in the day.
Dave Povey

Eastern phoebe

Nancy Christensen

The Eastern Phoebe continued this morning in Penasquitos Canyon Preserve east. I parked in Penasquitos Creek Park and walked east along trail that parallels Park Village Dr. At closest approach to the homes that border the area, the Phoebe dropped down onto the trail very close to me. I am under the impression it came from the yards of the houses. My camera immediately died (cold battery) and by the time I got done thrashing it, the Phoebe had disappeared, although I could hear it chipping up near the houses. After I poked around for awhile I saw it hawking for insects over the vernal pool which is right there. Truly if I hadn’t known the bird was there I would not have been able to ID it as the views were very brief and it perched out of view. There were several golden-crowned Sparrows in the area as well.