Harris's Sparrow, Red Crossbills
On Jan 8th, the good news is that there is an immature Harris's Sparrow in the Jacumba area. The bad news is it is near a "touchy" part of town, where a couple homeowners were "nervous" about me walking their street with binoculars and asked me to "go somewhere else." So, I think it best if we do not turn a slug of (camera-wielding) birders loose on the area. Also, the entire Jacumba area is full of White-crowned Sparrow flocks, totaling some 400 birds today. So it would be a needle in a haystack to go try to find it without further info, and it would likely cause angst amongst a certain, suspicious percent of the town's population to have birders just wander around. Therefore, I'd like to attempt to restrict the number of folks potentially going by asking those to contact me privately ONLY if they need HASP as a county/state/life bird (NOT just a year bird), and who are truly interested in searching for a bird that might be difficult to re-find if the particular White-crowned flock it was in moves around a bunch and mixes up with the many other sparrow flocks in the area! I did not have anything else rare there today. Photos of the Harris's are posted in my eBird report.
Also today, there were 3 Red Crossbills in residential Pine Valley. Hanging out in large Jeffrey Pines with a good number of cones near the intersection of Pine Boulevard and Rocky Pass. If they aren't there, then drive around town looking for similar cone-laden pines. Most of the pines around town currently have few or no cones.
A disappointing check of western Balboa Park yesterday morning yielded just 2 continuing Western Tanagers. I MIGHT well have heard the Dusky-capped Flycatcher found there on the CBC call just once along the west edge of the dog run, just south of the Prado bridge--but I waited to hear it just one more time.....to no avail.
--Paul Lehman, San Diego