Reddish Egret at Tijuana River mouth


An adult Reddish Egret was hunting fish from 8:30 onwards this morning at the river mouth. The Pacific Golden-Plover is still there among the Black-bellied Plovers (sleeker, smaller and brighter coloration). Did not see the Black Scoter female, but it should still be there or nearby.

Since I don't own a scope, I was wondering if there are some spots where shorebirds can reliably be viewed from a close distance (where only binoculars are necessary)? I've heard J & G street marshes are good for that.

Reed Ebbinghaus
La Jolla, CA 

Coronado Island – Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4pm 11/28/18

Gary Nunn

Just received photo from Dan Jehl of adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on the beach directly outside the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island.

This bird was observed there on Nov 26 and reported to iNaturalist previously.

Nice follow up, Dan!!

Gary Nunn
Pacific Beach

Common Goldeneye and Red-breasted Sapsucker

Marcie Mason

Wednesday, Nov 28, Char Glacy and I visited Lake Miramar and refound the adult male Common Goldeneye that had been previously reported in ebird.  It was across the lake from the launching ramp, and could be seen clearly with a scope.  ebird report with distant photos of the Goldeneye:

Next we went to Lake Poway to see what we could find.  Our best bird there was a Red-breasted Sapsucker, which we found on a small Liquid Amber tree in the NE section of the grassy area.  This is a very nice park – I don’t know why I never see bird reports from here.  We saw 31 species in 2 hours.  ebird report with a few photos:

Marcie Mason

Robin Extravaganza

Gary Grantham

This morning (11/29/18) there was a large flock of American Robins (50+) feeding on the figs from several large Ficus trees (Ficus benjamina) in South Scripps Ranch.  Also had a slightly smaller flock of Cedar Waxwings foraging on Brazilian Pepper Tree berries.

Gary Grantham
South Scripps Ranch

San Carlos Rec Center 11-30-18

Eric Kallen

I poked around the San Carlos Rec Center this morning. No purple finch.

Pin-tailed wydah 2, female and apparent immature.  Could have been as many as 4 birds.
American Pipit 20
Lark Sparrow
Townsend's Warbler
Western Bluebird 4

Earlier, I visited Villa La Jolla Park... did not see or hear the Hepatic Tanager reported by Alex.

Eric Kallen

Lesser Black-backed Gull continues, Friday seawatch

The adult Lesser Black-backed Gull continues late Friday morning (11-11:30AM) on the beach near the Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, per B. Carlson.  The bird was missed by multiple observers over a few hours during the early afternoon on Weds (before being seen around 4PM), but then it was missed altogether yesterday from at least between 2:45-4:45 PM--so clearly its occurrence at this site is rather unpredictable.

This morning's La Jolla seawatch in the wind was well attended by 10+ birders. A good flight of ca. 4000 southbound Surf Scoters was espied, accompanied by a single Long-tailed Duck and White-winged Scoter. The most unusual bird of the morning was a white-rumped storm-petrel seen briefly only by Gary N. Also observed were about 7 southbound Common Murres, only 1 or 2 Cassin's Auklets, over 20 Red Phalaropes, and a number of Parasitic Jaegers. A whopping 3 Black-vented Shearwaters were the only shearwaters...

--Paul Lehman,  San Diego

La Jolla Cove, Nov 30 afternoon

Stan Walens

Returned to the Cove for a few hours this afternoon. No other birders present.

Nothing unusual or noteworthy.

Number of scoters/hour was way down, but loon numbers had increased significantly, to about 5000/hour. Gull migration had slackened as well except for a continuing influx of Bonaparte’s gulls.

Stan Walens, San Diego
Nov 30, 2018; 8:20 pm

Lesser Black-backed Gull on Coronado

Stan Walens

Present at 10:00 am between lifeguard station 3C and the jetty before the bulldozer Clearing out kelp from the sand scared it off. No idea where it went
other people here now have been looking for it for the last hour as well

Stan Walens San Diego

11:15 AM December 1, 2018

Pinyon Jay in Eastlake - Mark Billings

Elizabeth Copper

Passing along:


Mark Billings reported finding a lone, quite vocal Pinyon Jay around 10:45 in Eastlake, generally in the vicinity of 795 Lakeshore Dr. The bird was moving around often perching in the top of spindly leafy trees.


Elizabeth Copper


Long-eared Owl in Borrego

Robert Theriault

Ann Keenan found a Long-eared Owl at the state park visitor center in Borrego Springs this morning. It is skittish, unlike the breeding season birds that sometimes are at Tamarisk Grove, so if you are looking for it, please avoid approaching it too closely - we want it to stay put! Seen in the palo verde trees around the amphitheater. Bob Theriault, Borrego. 

Lesser Black-backed Gull returned to beach

Tom Benson

Mark Stratton refound the Lesser Black-backed Gull on the jetty shortly before 1130, and it then made itself comfortable in front of lifeguard station 3C where it has been for the last 30 minutes or so. Still present as of noon, Dec 1.
Also, I had the continuing White-winged Scoter at Lake Murray, relatively close to shore between Cowles Point and San Carlos Point. No luck with the Little Stint.
Tom Benson 
San Bernardino, CA 

flock of white pelicans at batiquitos lagoon

Strathdee, Steffanie

Ten white pelicans flew in to Batiquitos lagoon this morning at about 10:45 AM. They are on the sandbar near the trailhead at the end of Gabbiano Lane in South Carlsbad. 


Steffanie Strathdee, PhD

Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences,

Harold Simon Professor, UCSD Department of Medicine

Co-Director, Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics


Tel: 858-822-1952

Assistant: Julie Lukehart:  858-246-2622 jlukehart@...

Twitter: @chngin_the_world





Hepatic Tanager continues at Villa La Jolla Park, 01 December


The female Hepatic Tanager continued along the northern edge of the park in the eucalyptus trees this morning. I first spotted her around 7:45 am, just after the out-of-town cyclist took off. (Sorry guy!). This is a returning bird first seen and reported by Alex Abela on 28 November. Shortly thereafter others arrived. but we could not re-find the HETA. The Red-breasted Sapsucker and the Bullock's Oriole were more cooperative.

Barbara Carlson
San Diego

Glaucous-winged Gull at Vacation Isle, continuing bird?

Jeremiah Stock

Mid-afternoon Saturday there was an adult Glaucous-winged Gull at the northeast tip of Vacation Isle in Mission Bay.  Large, pink-legged, dark-eyed gull with light gray mantle and wings uniformly the same color as mantle.  Based on ebird, looks like this may be a continuing bird; although there are have been no reports in the area since September 1.

Jeremiah Stock
Santee, CA

About the Lesser Black-backed Gull

Mark Stratton

I see that Charlie and Sam saw it on top of a building which is where I had it earlier and called to Tom Benson to report I just had it.  Anyhow, this is starting to look like it may be a spot it goes to.  The first tall building, maybe 6 to 8 stories high, south of the Hotel Del, is where I had it and where I think Charlie had it as well.  If you don't see it on the beach or on the Jetty, take a look up high.

Mark Stratton
North Park

Lesser B-B Gull and Red-breasted Sapsucker

Mark Stratton

Good evening,

I saw Tom Benson posted this earlier so I didn't rush out to post.  I had missed on the BB Gull earlier in the morning but headed back down around 10:45 or so.  I parked by the main life guard station and walked towards the Jetty in front of the Hotel Del.  Nothing special at first.  I saw Stan and Tanya and that had a brief sighting by the jetty so I continued there, but saw nothing but a couple of Surf Birds and Black Turnstones.  I went past the Jetty and saw a gull come in from around the first tall building south of the Del.  It circled a few times, and at one point, showed it's legs so it really caught my attention, then finally landed on the roof of this Hotel.  I called Tom Benson and shot him a couple of photo's which he blessed.  As Tom was walking my way, he re-found it on the beach and called me back so we got some great looks up close of this bird.  Thank you again Tom.  i have included a comfy laying down pic of the bird on my checklist.  If anyone needs to see additional detail, I have a pic of it up on the roof where you can see the yellow legs.

Earlier, we met John Bruin and Ter Hurst up at Westernhills Park to get the Red-breasted Sapsucker.  While we were watching it, a second one appeared and all 4 of us, (Camille too), saw both birds at the same time.

Mark Stratton
North Park

Lesser Black-backed Gull -Coronado


The Lesser Black-backed gull continues on the backside of the previously mentioned red roof on the SE portion of Hotel Del Coronado.

Tom Ford-Hutchinson
San Diego, CA

Two Little Stints in saltworks pond 23

Matt Sadowski

Today (12/2) I was checking on "the" Little Stint on the pond 23 island in saltworks. At the north end of the island amongst Ring-billed Gulls I photographed a more uniformly plumaged Little Stint that showed browner and longer tertials and less contrasty wing coverts than the relatively "easy-to-see" contrasty Little Stint. With the longer and browner tertials and less contrasty wing coverts this bird will probably be near impossible to pick out from the bike path. The contrasty Little Stint that is often foraging on the south section of the island was in the same pond but briefly roosting in the far SE corner and then foraging along the E shore of the pond. I'm not sure how the viewing from the bike path is for this new SE location for the "easy" stint but it obviously likes the long island in the SW corner of the pond and will hopefully continue to appear there. It wouldn't be the first time it left the island to fly to harder-to-scope areas in the pond.

This more uniform stint is probably the same bird that I and two others photographed on 11/20 (I had my suspicions then) and is also probably the same bird Charlie Jackson photographed over a month ago on the 10/20 Audubon walk. That would make it the 2nd county record. The contrasty stint I found on 11/16 that everyone is able to pick out from the bike path would be the 3rd county record.

Photos later.

Matt Sadowski
La Mesa

Harris’s Hawk -escaped?


I forgot to mention in my previous post that Steve Sosensky found a Harris’s Hawk this morning on the roof of the Hotel Del Coronado with bands on both legs. While the bird lacked jesses, the bands were not consistent with USGS-looking bands. Presumably this is an escaped falconry bird. Something to be mindful of if you see a Harris’s Hawk in the area or happen to have lost one recently.

Tom Ford-Hutchinson
San Diego, CA

Lake Murray / Balboa Park, ho hum....

Christopher Adler

This afternoon (12/2) at 3pm, the White-winged Scoter was visible on Lake Murray,
viewed from Cowles Point on the north side of the lake. Views were somewhat distant,
but it was readily identifiable through binoculars by the blocky head, thick-based bill,
and two white splotches on the face. It stayed away from shore, and loosely associated
with some scaup and Redheads. 

Early this AM, on the western side of Balboa Park, the big fruiting fig between the dog
park and Balboa Dr., south of El Prado, was very birdy but of note were only three
Western Tanagers. 

Christopher Adler
Allied Gardens

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