more Clay-coloreds and misc. & the value of birding neighborhood/community parks

The most recent additions to the Clay-colored Sparrow "onslaught" this fall and winter were the two birds found a week ago by Justyn S. at Park De La Cruz/Cherokee Point Community Park, which is very near to where highways 15 & 805 cross. These two birds continued this morning at around 7:30 AM, with a flock of Chippings that totals about 20 Spizella in all. Most of the main park area is a large ball field, rimmed with tipus, and the sparrows started there, but then later worked north. The joined "two" parks have a fair number of tipu trees worth a periodic check.

This fall and winter has further driven home the point, and that was already made apparent the past few years, that a slug of the smaller Neighborhood/Community/HOA parks scattered all over the county can be quite good at turning up interesting birds--even when 3/4 of the land of many of them is taken up by ball fields or other types of lawns. It doesn't seem to take much to host a rare sparrow or warbler or finch. Clay-coloreds really seem to like these sorts of small parks, with or without Chippings to flock with.

During the past few days, an additional continuing Clay-colored continues on private property in Tierrasanta, where there has also been a continuing White-throated Sparrow. A Western Tanager continues at Old Trolley Barn Park in North Park. And continuing the unfortunate private property theme, a returning (for second year), continuing Hepatic Tanager is in Del Mar. (Thank goodness for the public bird at North Clairemont COMMUNITY Park!)

--Paul Lehman, San Diego