Lesser Black-backed Gull at Coronado jetty

Larry Edwards

On Sunday, Dec. 16, birding with Janis Cadwallader (my wife), we observed the Lesser Black-backed Gull on the jetty opposite the Hotel del Coronado, from 11:25 a.m. to 11:40 a.m., at low tide. Yellow legs, yellow bill with oval red spot near the tip, red gape and red eye ring visible at times, depending on head movement and angle of the sun, brown streaking on head and neck, with greater intensity around the eye; dark-gray back.

We did not see the bird when we first arrived at the jetty, just after 10 a.m., so we continued northward on the beach toward the main tower, where a group of gulls and terns were resting on the sand. We did not see the Lesser Black-backed Gull among them. We then returned to the jetty, and the Lesser Black-backed Gull had flown in and was standing on one of the tallest rocks, about mid-jetty. It was still there when we left, seemingly unconcerned about the homo sapiens climbing on the rocks of the jetty. One other birder (Richard) joined us while we there.

Photos on eBird:
Larry Edwards
San Diego, CA

Gull ID help needed

Roger Uzun

Can anyone ID the gull on the left side of this photo from Lindo Lake in Lakeside on Dec 17, 2018?  I think it's probably a Herring Gull but I'm not sure.

-Roger Uzun

Re: Gull ID help needed

Brennan Mulrooney

California Gull. I find that leg color (deathly gray/green) on immature Cal Gulls is the easiest field mark to use for a quick ID. And with immature gulls, a quick ID is all I am interested in. 

Brennan Mulrooney 
Santee, CA

On Dec 18, 2018, at 6:31 AM, Roger Uzun <rogeruzun@...> wrote:

Can anyone ID the gull on the left side of this photo from Lindo Lake in Lakeside on Dec 17, 2018?  I think it's probably a Herring Gull but I'm not sure.

-Roger Uzun

Brennan Mulrooney
Santee, CA

Costa Rica recommendations

Carl Ebeling

I'm interested in recommendations for birding guide(s) or tours in northwestern Costa Rica, specifically around Monteverde and Santa Elena, and at Parque Nacional Palo Verde. 

Respond (off list, please) to Carl.Ebeling[at]  Thanks in advance!

Sunset ball fields and Nestor

Catherine Zinsky

Quick check at each location before going to work.  No Vesper Sparrow or Vermillion Flycatcher at Sunset, but did see the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and Plumbeous Vireo, as well as the continuing Ground Dove.

At Nestor had a brief glimpse of the American Redstart.  No Orioles, but did have nice views of the Summer Tanager.  

Live in beauty....


Competitive Obedience Toolbox:

OTCH Sporting Fields Summer Solstice, UDX 9, OGM ("Dax", as in "Dax of the Long Tongue" aka 'Sir Lickalot'))
GCH OTCH Sporting Field's Quantum Leap UDX5, OGM  ('Devon'  aka "Monkey")   
Ch. Shorewind Spellbound's Dragon Rider , BN  ("Echo", aka  "Speed Bump")
Ch. OTCH Trumagik Step Aside, UDX 20, OGM   (2002 - 2015)
Ch Borderfame Soul Train, UDX, OM 3  (2006-2018)

Hooded Orioles this week?

Roger Uzun

Has anyone seen any wintering hooded orioles around the county this week?  Or even last week?

-Roger Uzun

La Jolla Cove Tuesday morning 12/18

Sally M. Gall

Two wandering tattlers were a pleasant surprise. The surf was in such a pother that even the sea lions weren't surfing. The Brandt's cormorants have their white nuptial feathers and blue throats and are guarding nest sites. Brown Pelicans are getting their breeding plumage, and the numbers seem low, so many may have already left for the Coronados? Usual turnstones, snowy egrets, black phoebes, gulls of all ages - Western juveniles especially noisily begging - double-crested cormorants, etc. Didn't see our resident osprey, and also no peregrines, thus pigeons all over the place.

Stan, were there good birds yesterday coming in with the wind and waves?
Sally M. Gall
La Jolla

Anza-Borrego CBC 12-16-2018

Robert Theriault

Here are the bare-bones close to what the final results will be report.

Bird Species reported: 118
Counters in the field: 90
Weather: pleasant

Unexpected species (not on the checklist):
Greater White-fronted Goose
Plumbeous Vireo
Lazuli Bunting
Summer Tanager
Bullock's Oriole

Unusual subspecies:
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Slate-colored Junco

Difficult to Identify:
Sagebrush Sparrow
Bell's Sparrow (subspecies canescens)

Very difficult to find residents:
Crissal Thrasher
LeConte's Thrasher

Thanks, Bob Theriault - Borrego Springs

Bald eagle at Lower Otay Lake 12-19-18

David Povey

There was an adult Bald Eagle at the north end of Lower Otay Lake about 1 p.m. today.

Not many gulls on the lake, maybe 60-70 or so. None close to the launch ramp docks area.

Saw pair of Western Grebes dancing.

Dave Povey


SDFO New Year's Day Pelagic 2019


Holiday greetings!

Just a reminder that the San Diego Field Ornithologist New Year's Day Pelagic is Tuesday, Jan 1, 2019. This is a six hour trip, sailing at 8 AM and returning around 2 PM.

The trip departs from H&M Landing in San Diego Bay. It's recommended you arrive about 7:15 AM. Cost for members and their guest is currently $45.00 and you may also pay your 2019 dues at that time ($25 per person and $35 for a family).

Please send me your check. If you don't have my mailing address, please contact me offline by replying to this email.  I will take reservations in the order they come in to me. 

Please do not call the landing.

Cheers and good birding!

Barbara Carlson

Membership SDFO

Rancho Santa Fe area Christmas Bird Count Saturday 22 December

Robert Patton

This may be a bit off topic, but if you've been waiting for a response regarding the RSF CBC, please check your spam or junk email folders (thank you Paul C. for being the first to point out the problem).
We can still use experienced birders if you're at a loss as to how to spend Saturday morning...
In count week run up to the CBC, up to 4 barn swallows, a Caspian tern, & parasitic jaeger were observed at Cardiff State Beach yesterday & today.
Robert Patton
San Diego, CA

American Redstart at Lake Hodges

Lisa Ruby

There is an adult male American Redstart off the Bernardo Bay trail at Lake Hodges. Same area as last year. Not far from West Bernardo Drive. Bouncing crazily through willows and oaks on both sides of the trail. 

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs

Chestnut-sided Warbler @ Batiquitos Continues 21DEC2018

Tito Gonzalez

I observed the CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER found by Nancy C. at Batiquitos Lagoon on 23NOV2018 this afternoon, 21DEC2018, at the same location. It was observed high in the Eucs (not the easiest viewing) next to golf course about 20-30 yards west of marker #17. The bird appears to be wintering and would a good bird for upcoming Oceanside/Carlsbad CBC. ID photo is in the following ebird report.


Tito Gonzalez

Carlsbad, CA

Clark's Nutcracker -- Big Laguna Lake

Larry Edwards

I birded at Big Laguna Lake and the surrounding area this morning and early afternoon. I hiked in from the end of Los Huecos Road, adjacent to the Laguna Campground. Not real birdy, but the highlight turned out to be four (possibly five) Clark's Nutcrackers foraging low in the pines and on the ground along the trail on the east side of the lake. The lake was practically deserted, with only a handful of buffleheads, which out numbered the coots. Los Rasalies Pond was equally deserted, with only three species (4 birds) present, and Little Laguna Lake lay completely dry. Plenty of Acorn Woodpeckers, Ravens, and blackbirds -- Red-winged and Brewer's. Also heard a coyote's mournful call north of the big lake. Not a single Yellow-rumped Warbler or White-crowned Sparrow to be found, although I saw Golden-crowned Sparrows above the north end big lake, beyond where I saw the nutcrackers.
Photos of the Clark's Nutcrackers on eBird (The Nutcracker Suite):

Larry Edwards
San Diego, CA

Mission Bay Nelson's Sparrow

Jim Roberts GMAIL

At 9:45 AM this morning (12/22/18) a NELSON’S SPARROW (probably the previously reported bird) popped up in a bush along the chain-link fence north of the viewing platform

At Kendall Frost Marsh for a couple minutes.


                            Jim Roberts

                                University City

Tricolored heron at Famosa Slough again

Robert Nickel

Saw tricolored heron this morning at Famosa Slough around 10:30. Assuming it is the same one that has been popping up periodically in the area since November. Seen in the reeds on the Famosa St. side near the corner with Rialto. Photo included in eBird checklist at
Robert Nickel
Point Loma

preliminary results of Rancho Santa Fe Christmas Bird Count Sat 22 Dec 2018

Robert Patton

Thanks to all who participated in today's Rancho Santa Fe area Christmas Bird Count.  Preliminary results indicate 187 species recorded (plus 3 subspecies, a hybrid, & 2 additional species seen count week but not on the day of the count), below our previous maximum count of 202 species but above our average of 174.
I'll leave it to those who found rarities to post descriptions or corrections (post-compilation continuation of birding added to the list & several have already been posted to eBird), but notable species reported (pending review) included cackling geese in Fairbanks Ranch pastures & San Dieguito Resevoir, a wood duck in Poway, male Eurasian wigeon at San Elijo Lagoon to the SE of Ocean Cove & Manchester Ave, a hybrid American-Eurasian wigeon at San Dieguito Lagoon, canvasback & hooded mergansers at multiple locations, common goldeneye in Poway & Lake Miramar, a horned grebe in San Dieguito Lagoon, a brown booby off Cardiff, a Buller's shearwater off Torrey Pines, least bittern at San Dieguito Resevoir & Lake Miramar, an adult reddish egret & adult yellow-crowned night-heron near the Del Mar Public Works facility at San Dieguito Lagoon, a juvenile reddish egret at San Elijo Lagoon just east of the remnant dunes on the east side of Highway 101, a zone-tailed hawk over Felicita Park, red phalarope off Torrey Pines, first cycle glaucous-winged gull at Lake Miramar, Caspian tern & Cassin's auklet off Torrey Pines, pomarine & parasitic jaegers off Torrey Pines & Cardiff, red-naped sapsucker in Harmony Grove, a Pacific-slope flycatcher at SD Botanical Gardens, barn swallows at Torrey Pines & San Dieguito Lagoon, mountain chickadees in Harmony Grove & Encinitas, red-breasted nuthatch at Harmony Grove, yellow warblers in Encinitas & Felicita Park, myrtle yellow-rumped warblers in Encinitas & Penasquitos Canyon, palm warbler & northern waterthrush in San Dieguito river valley, hermit warbler at SD Botanical Garden, American redstart at Lake Hodges Bernardo Bay trail, painted redstart in Encinitas, Wilson's warblers at SD Botanical Gardens & Olivenhain, western tanagers in Encinitas, SD Botanical Gardens, & Penasquitos Canyon, green-tailed towhee in a private yard in Cardiff, brief glimpses of a Nelson's sparrow at San Elijo Lagoon at the NW end of the little peninsula NW of Rios Ave (area posted as closed due to construction & group had permission to access but noted with no construction on weekend that multiple other walkers/joggers were in area), large-billed savannah sparrow along utility access road NW of Rios Ave (currently closed to public), Harris' sparrow at private yard in Saber Springs, white-throated sparrow in Olivenhain, orchard oriole at SD Botanical Gardens, Bullock's orioles at SD Botanical Gardens & in Sun Valley area of Solana Beach/Rancho, purple finches at Hilltop Park in Rancho Penasquitos, escapee pin-tailed whydah in Penasquitos Canyon.  (I apologize for any mistakes or omissions). 
Thanks again to all who participated & congratulations on a successful count.
Happy holidays & happy birding!
Robert Patton
San Diego, CA

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on Sunset Ave. in Nestor

Edward Henry

Sunil Bhavsar and I photographed the bird yesterday at 11:02 a.m. on Sunset Avenue in Nestor. It had been flying around for about an hour but tended to return to the cable by the road. 

Some Rancho Santa Fe CBC rarities in Encinitas, Dec 22, 2018

Susan Smith

Yesterday, our intrepid RSF CBC subgroup (myself, Gretchen Nell, Rita Campbell and Manolo Turner) covered the San Diego Botanic Garden and adjacent areas, Crest Drive neighborhood, and Seeman Dr, in Bird Breeding squares K7 and L7.  Unusual finds included up to 5 Western Tanagers (perhaps more), 1 wintering Pacific Slope Flycatcher, 1 Wilson's Warbler, and 1 Bullocks Oriole in the San Diego Botanic Garden,  an adult male Hermit Warbler in a pine at the corner of Crest Drive and Torrey Drive, a first winter male Orchard Oriole on a private drive across from the Botanic Garden, and a Painted Redstart along Seeman Ave, refound by Manolo in late afternoon.   We tried for many hours to relocate the continuing Grace's Warbler along Crest Ave, but were unsuccessful, although we did get it for the Count Period.  Extensive construction and activity by earth-moving trucks in the area that it was found previously, may have caused this bird to move elsewhere.   Sue Smith, Del Mar
Susan Smith
Seiurus Biological Consulting
Del Mar, CA

Nelson's Sparrow at Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve

Charlene Glacy

The Nelson's Sparrow was observed for about 15 minutes this morning around 10:45 am along Crown Point Dr. not far from the platform.  Also seen prior to the Nelson's Sparrow was a Northern Waterthrush.

Happy Holidays,
Char Glacy
San Diego