Date   
Re: Foothills birding Dec 27, Lewis' Woodpeckers, Golden Eagle

Robert Theriault
 



On Friday, December 28, 2018, 11:25:46 AM PST, Susan Smith via Groups.Io <seiurus@...> wrote:


Yesterday on a Lewis's Woodpecker Hunt with Mona Baumgartel and John DeBeer,  we were able to refind the Lewis's Woodpecker at the same rock outcropping along the road near 25739 Black Canyon Road, Santa Ysabel (first seen Dec 12), and also one of those recently  found my Bob Theriault and Mark Jorgensen along Grapevine Canyon Rd,  3/4 miles south of the intersection with hwy 22.  Nothing like a pink and green bird as beautiful as Lewis's WP around the holidays.  There was also an immature Golden Eagle perched in a tree along Mesa Grande  Road.  

Susan Smith 
Seiurus Biological  Consulting 
Del Mar, CA 
seiurus@...

--
Susan Smith
Seiurus Biological Consulting
Del Mar, CA

Something different for 2019: 5MR birding challenge

Justyn Stahl
 

Hats off to Nancy for an impressive run in 2018!

As the New Year approaches, I wanted to encourage folks to take on a new kind of challenge in 2019. In the spirit of both birding locally and exploring areas that may receive little to no coverage, I would encourage folks to adopt a 5-mile radius patch (5MR) in 2019. Maybe many of you are already avid 5MRers, but if not, please read on.

What is a 5MR? Well, you can read more about it here, from Jen Sanford, the creator:

Basically, it's a super yard list - the sum of all birds seen within 5 miles of your house. Not sure how to figure that out? This tool (https://www.mapdevelopers.com/draw-circle-tool.php) allows you to zoom into your home location, and then create a 5-mile radius circle. It's incredible what falls inside that circle. Like yard list rules, you can count birds outside the circle, as long as you are inside the circle.

For those of you who use eBird, it's best to set up a Patch (https://ebird.org/site/patch) of all the hotspots and personal locations you visit (you'll likely be creating new personal locations and visiting new hotspots regularly, so be sure to update your patch frequently). If you don't eBird (gasp!), that's fine, just use a notepad or Excel or whatever database you currently use.

Of course, you're free to continue with more traditional birding Big Years, but the 5MR challenge is more about exploring new areas and the excitement of finding new birds, and less about chasing (and/or missing) birds found by others.

Good luck,
Justyn Stahl
North Park

01 JANUARY 2019 SDFO PELAGIC

Barbara
 

Just a reminder that the San Diego Field Ornithologist New Year's Day Pelagic is only a couple days away. This is a six hour trip, sailing at 8 AM and returning around 2 PM. You can bring your own food or buy snacks on the boat.


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. You may also pay your 2019 dues at that time ($25 per person and $35 for a family). Non-members need to ante up $80.


If you have not yet paid for the boat, please bring your check (preferred method of payment) made out to SDFO or the correct amount of cash (I won't have change).

Please do not call the landing.

Hope to see you on the boat!

Barbara Carlson

Membership SDFO

Re: Something different for 2019: 5MR birding challenge

Nancy Christensen
 

I drew my circle, which includes several hotspots - Dos Picos, Collier Park, Rangeland Rd, etc. I’ll see what I can do! Maybe I can finally get a ZTHawk up here!


On Dec 30, 2018, at 10:56 AM, Justyn Stahl <justyn.stahl@...> wrote:

Hats off to Nancy for an impressive run in 2018!

As the New Year approaches, I wanted to encourage folks to take on a new kind of challenge in 2019. In the spirit of both birding locally and exploring areas that may receive little to no coverage, I would encourage folks to adopt a 5-mile radius patch (5MR) in 2019. Maybe many of you are already avid 5MRers, but if not, please read on.

What is a 5MR? Well, you can read more about it here, from Jen Sanford, the creator:

Basically, it's a super yard list - the sum of all birds seen within 5 miles of your house. Not sure how to figure that out? This tool (https://www.mapdevelopers.com/draw-circle-tool.php) allows you to zoom into your home location, and then create a 5-mile radius circle. It's incredible what falls inside that circle. Like yard list rules, you can count birds outside the circle, as long as you are inside the circle.

For those of you who use eBird, it's best to set up a Patch (https://ebird.org/site/patch) of all the hotspots and personal locations you visit (you'll likely be creating new personal locations and visiting new hotspots regularly, so be sure to update your patch frequently). If you don't eBird (gasp!), that's fine, just use a notepad or Excel or whatever database you currently use.

Of course, you're free to continue with more traditional birding Big Years, but the 5MR challenge is more about exploring new areas and the excitement of finding new birds, and less about chasing (and/or missing) birds found by others.

Good luck,
Justyn Stahl
North Park

Escondido Baltimore Oriole, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, W. Tanager

lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

A partial morning on 30 December spent in the Escondido CBC circle produced several birds of interest. And all the birds are either at or within just a block or so of Kit Carson Park. At least 1 calling WESTERN TANAGER was in oaks at the corner of Canyon Rd X Brook Canyon Road starting at 6:35 AM (until 7AM), at a nighttime winter-roost site that from 1-4 individuals have now used annually for something like 10 years, and probably more. The birds only roost there, so just after dawn, and probably just before dusk, are the times to look. Nearby, in white-flowered eucalyptus trees right across the street from 2956/2958 Canyon Road, an adult female or young male BALTIMORE ORIOLE was sneakliy feeding on blossoms between 7:15-7:26 AM. On the other side of the school property there in the early morning sun is great for lots of robin, waxing, and kingbird activity. There are also a bunch of pink-flowered eucs lining Canyon Road back toward Bear Canyon Road, which any self-respecting oriole could easily utilize as well. And in nearby Kit Carson Park proper, a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER was on the early-morning sunny edge of the riparian bordering the lawn and picnic tables just ca. 75 feet south of the tennis courts, at around 8:05 AM.  All these sites quiet down quite a bit a little later in the morning when there isn't the "sunny edge" concentrating effect.  (And yes, the tame, immature Snow Goose continues at and near Sand Lake in the park....)

--Paul Lehman,  San Diego

Pacific Loon at NTC Park

Edward Henry
 

Yesterday at about 4:30 pm this Pacific Loon was paddling up and down the finger of San Diego Bay adjacent to NTC Park at Liberty Station. The blurred smart phone photos were taken from the bridge.

Clay-colored Sparrow at Crown Point, 12/31

James Pawlicki
 

Around noon today (Monday, 12/31), a Clay-colored Sparrow was feeding on some spilled seed with a small flock of Savannah Sparrows and House Finches in the northernmost parking lot at Crown Point Park in Pacific Beach. A photo is in the eBird list below.


Also the long-staying and cooperative Tricolored Heron was foraging in the SD river just west of Robb Field later in the afternoon.


Jim Pawlicki
La Mesa, CA

Black-backed Lesser Goldfinch???

Mark Stratton
 

First of all, Happy New Years to everyone.  At our feeders, we have a Lesser Goldfinch that looks really similar to the pics I can find of a Black-backed form.  I don't think this is much of a big deal but thought I'd post it just in case.

Mark and Camille Stratton
North Park

Dos Picos Morning

Roger Uzun
 

In celebration of the 5 mile concept, I went birding this morning (Weds Jan 2) at Dos Picos Park in Ramona.  I didn't realize Virginia Rails were common there, it is listed as a common bird on the ebird list for that site.  I got some good shots of it as it worked on a fish that was left by some fisherman earlier.  Lots of other probably common, but uncommon to me, birds out and about including Gold-Crowned Sparrows and a Male purple finch at the water spigot.


I also birded around the house and down in Nestor/Hollister yesterday morning, Tuesday Jan 1st.  I did see the Vermilions, the Scarlet Tanager at Tesoro, but whiffed on the Scissor-Tailed, Thick-Billed or any of the Tropical Flycatchers down there.

Some photos from yesterday and today here - 



-Roger Uzun
Poway CA

Tesoro Grove Summer Tanager

dan jehl
 

The adult male Summer Tanager continued this afternoon in the willows and the eucalyptus above the willows at the western side of the creek at the entrance to the Tesoro Grove apartments in Nestor. Also seen was a single Western Tanager and a female Bullock’s Oriole in the same trees.

Dan Jehl
San Diego

Eurasian Wigeon, Mission Bay GC, 3 Jan 2019

Paul Chad
 

A (adult male) Eurasian Wigeon was mixed in with Americans, at the Mission Bay Golf Course today. Some Vermilion Flycatchers, presumably from the family group of last summer, are also still present.

Good Birding,

Paul Chad
University City

Probable Slaty-backed Gull on January 1st pelagic

Greg Gillson
 

Well, I’ve done it now.

 

I’ve convinced myself that a 2nd cycle gull I photographed offshore on the pelagic trip from San Diego is a Slaty-backed Gull. Or, perhaps it is a Slaty-backed x Herring, but how would one tell?

 

Perhaps others have photos of it too. I was trying to show a 1st cycle Herring Gull to other passengers, but this odd bird kept getting in my way….

 

9 photos and descriptions are added to the eBird trip list as “Larus (sp.)” which is true even if I botched the more specific ID.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51278848

 

 

Greg Gillson

 

 


--
Greg Gillson
Escondido, California 
sandiegogreg.blogspot.com

Orchard Oriole Tessoro Grove

Jeff Spaulding
 

For all the year listers I just had the Tessoro Grove Orchard Oriole working the Eucalyptus Trees along the northwest wall. The male Summer Tanager was also in the same area.
--
Jeff Spaulding
San Diego, CA

Re: Probable Slaty-backed Gull on January 1st pelagic

Justyn Stahl
 

Greg,

As best I can tell the Larus sp. is a Western Gull (as is the first Herring Gull photo). The eye color and all dark outer primaries are wrong for Slaty-backed among other things.

Justyn Stahl
San Clemente Island


On Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 9:28 PM Greg Gillson <greggillson@...> wrote:

Well, I’ve done it now.

 

I’ve convinced myself that a 2nd cycle gull I photographed offshore on the pelagic trip from San Diego is a Slaty-backed Gull. Or, perhaps it is a Slaty-backed x Herring, but how would one tell?

 

Perhaps others have photos of it too. I was trying to show a 1st cycle Herring Gull to other passengers, but this odd bird kept getting in my way….

 

9 photos and descriptions are added to the eBird trip list as “Larus (sp.)” which is true even if I botched the more specific ID.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51278848

 

 

Greg Gillson

 

 


--
Greg Gillson
Escondido, California 
sandiegogreg.blogspot.com

Vesper Sparrow at Town Center Community Park (Santee - Jan 5, 2018)

Eitan Altman
 

In the spirit of checking underbirded parks in my 5MR circle, I found a nice VESPER SPARROW this morning foraging on a grassy field with a mixed flock of Lark Sparrows and American Pipits. This spot is easily accessed from the parking lot at the east end of a Town Center Community Park in Santee, in a big grassy field just E of the soccer fields.

Eitan Altman
San Carlos

5MR Circle thoughts

Roger Uzun
 

I have been doing the 5 Mile Radius thing since the 1st of the year and it's a lot of fun.  It got me thinking where is the best address to get the most species in the county within a 5 mile Radius?

In my opinion it would be either in Chula Vista West of 805 like near 3rd ave and Oxford, or maybe in Mission Valley slightly west of 163 and near I-8.

With Chula Vista you would get Seacoast Dr, Nestor, Hollister, ,Poggi greenbelt, but you would be too far west for Otay Lakes.

With Mission Valley you would get Robb Field, Famosa Slough, Balboa Park etc.  

I also got to thinking about really prized birding areas like Portal AZ, Madera Canyon AZ etc. and realized I don't think you can get to really high bird counts without a coastline with sea birds.  I wonder if the SE AZ bird counts wouldn't be lower than the ones near the Pacific coastline here in the county.

If anyone more familiar with the County Bird population could give their opinion I'm sure a lot of us would find it interesting.

-Roger Uzun
Poway CA (Near Iron Mtn, 67 species in 5MR so far.)

TRV 1-5-18

Eric Kallen
 

Trent Stanley & I birded several spots in the TRV this morning, 1-5-18.

At the air field we found a flock of about 12 Black-bellied Plovers. There were two distinctively different plovers in the group. We suspect that they are Pacific Golden-plovers.  Not a great photo opportunity, but Trent got some pics that will probably tell the tale.

We visited the Mall in San Ysidro to check out the large doves, where might be lurking the spotted variety that was seen in the area in October.  We were surprised to find two new Vermilion Flys, an adult male and a female-type on the border fence behind the Ross clothing store.  We then drove over to the ballfields to check on that  flycatcher, and Nestor Park.  The two well-known birds were in their usual spots.

Photos included with my ebird report.  

Eric Kallen

San Diego Christmas Bird Count - land bird shortage?

Justyn Stahl
 

Birders,

 

Now that I have received and compiled all of the data for the 66th San Diego Christmas Bird Count, the final count stands at 216. Having already presented the highlights (https://groups.io/g/SanDiegoRegionBirding/message/9114), I wanted to dig into the data a bit and see if it reflected the general feeling that land bird numbers were down this year. In short, this answer is not really, most numbers of migratory land birds were in fact stable. A few were notably down, however. I’ve not gone into any intensive analyses or even corrected for observer effort, but simply compared 2018 numbers for select species to the 10-year average from 2008 to 2017. (My, how things have changed from the 1950s and 60s…) Below is a list of notable counts – high or low, or for select species, average. Take this all with a large shaker of salt…

 

Greater White-fronted Goose – A new high count this year with 27.

Ross’s Goose – A new high count this year with 3. (Note this species was reported initially as Snow Goose.)

Canvasback – Fourteen is a good count for recent years.

Ring-necked Duck – Just one reported in each of the last 3 years, with average of 14.

Nearly all waterfowl numbers were below 10-year averages, with Lesser Scaup and Northern Pintail at about one-third average.

California Quail – Just three, and while barely hanging on inside count circle, this species is a far cry from when it reached triple digits as late as the early 1990s.

Pacific Loon – News from up north suggests this species is perhaps in decline, and we registered just 59, with a 10-yr average of 320.

Black-vented Shearwater – Averaging 72, we only saw 4, although this species can simply move en masse offshore and outside the circle.

Double-crested Cormorant – About half normal.

American White Pelican – A new high count this year with 97.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron – A new high count of 11.

White-tailed Kite – Although historically down, our count of 11 this year was equal to recent average.

American Avocet – Just 33, a near low, with average 105.

Snowy Plover – Some good news, 232 was well above average of 194.

Ruddy Turnstone – Apparently in decline, we had 18 (half normal) while Black Turnstone remains stable.

Dunlin – About one-third recent average, with 103 on count day.

Short-billed Dowitcher – We counted 166, about 25% average.

Red Phalarope – Missed some years, we saw 45, average is 184.

Cassin’s Auklet – I guess I didn’t realize how big of a deal this was at the compilation: our 6 on count day was the first observation since 1990!

Heermann’s Gull – Recent multi-year breeding failure may have cause our recent steady decline since 2015. We observed 178 this year, with 10-year average of 545.

Eurasian Collared-Dove – Thankfully stable at 124.

Great Horned Owl – The first miss for this species since 2002, but hopefully due to lack of effort.

Allen’s Hummingbird – Assuming the majority of Selasphorus hummingbirds reported were Allen’s, 232 would be a new high count for this species in San Diego.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher- For two years in a row (new in 2017) we’ve recorded two individuals – having a known roost helps!

Loggerhead Shrike – This species is just hanging on with 3 (a far cry from the long-term average of 41, recent years’ average just 4.3), but generally in decline nationally.

White-breasted Nuthatch – An invasion year, with 15 being a very good count. Average is 2.8, and the high is 20.

Cactus Wren – Happy to report above average numbers with 13 inside the circle.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – A large count from the east edge of the circle along the Otay River pushed our total to 113, a new high count. Average is 37.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Above average numbers: 218 vs 166.

American Robin, American Pipit, and Cedar Waxwing all above average.

Orange-crowned Warbler – At average: 272 vs 277.

Nashville Warbler – Three was a new high count!

Yellow Warbler – Above average: 12 vs 9.

Palm Warbler – None known in days prior to count, and not found on the count, one made count week when found on December 16th in Manzanita Canyon. A shocking miss on count day, given what seemed to be the best fall on record for this species along the coast in southern California.

Yellow-rumped Warbler – This species was essentially at average: 3380 vs 3468.

Black-throated Gray – With 14 on count day, we set a new high count. Average is 7.

Townsend’s Warbler – With 77, we were at about 75% average.

Wilson’s Warbler – Average year, with 6 compared to 6.6.

Chipping Sparrow – Average year, with 34 compared to 33.6.

Lark Sparrow – Average year, with 7 compared to 8.8.

Dark-eyed Junco – Juncos were above average with 49 observed, compared to 34.

White-crowned Sparrows – Plentiful as always, apparently, with 1599 seen compared to recent years 1756.

Golden-crowned Sparrow – An average year is 8.9, we had 13.

Savannah, Song Sparrow, California Towhee – all about 75% average.

Summer Tanager – Essentially average, with 6 vs 6.5.

Western Tanager – A notable uptick, with 32 (a new high!), compared to average of 14 and past high of 25 (in 2014).

Brewer’s Blackbirds – Seemingly down, and actually down, 103 was half average.

Brown-headed Cowbird – An average year: 103 vs 104.

Bullock’s Orioles – Nearly a high (20), we saw 17, which was above average (9.9).

And last but not least…

Scaly-breasted Munia – Continuing to grow, we set a new high count with 89 this year. In 2017: 62. In 2016: 33.

 

And notable counts of non-countable exotics:

Red-masked Parakeet – While common in parts of the county, 7 in the count circle was a new high.

Black-throated Magpie-Jay – While some historically argued (surely no one still is?) that this species should be added to the State List, with a 2018 count of 8 and a historic high of 17, not doing so was the right decision.

Pin-tailed Whydah – Perhaps one to watch? New for the count, with just 3, but this species is popping up at a small number of parks in San Diego, and is already seemingly established in some parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties. This species presumably parasitizes munias, so its expansion with Scaly-breasted Munia makes sense.

 

Thanks again to all of the participants who make this long-term dataset more valuable each year.

 

Happy New Year,


Justyn Stahl

San Clemente Island

Mountain Bluebirds in Mission Bay area

dan jehl
 

This morning (Saturday, January 5th) there was a pair of Mountain Bluebirds at Hospitality Point in Mission Bay. The birds were flying between the Lifeguard Headquarters building and the native plant area. A pair of Western Bluebirds were frequently chasing them around.

Dan Jehl.
San Diego

Bald Eagle with wing tag #19

Sunil Bhavsar
 

Ed Henry and I spotted a Bald Eagle with Wing tag #19 sitting on a rock outcropping off Highway 78, at approximately 3:30 pm, west of Santa Ysabel. It then flew off in NE direction perching on a telephone pole, displacing a Ferruginous Hawk that was perched on that pole.

Can someone educate me on how to Track/ID or learn more about such tagged bald eagles? ... as in details on where/when this bird was tagged?

Sunil Bhavsar.