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Monthly Archives: May 2018

Apparent Chimney Swift in TRV

There is an apparent ChimneySwift mixed in with about 8 Vaux's Swifts at 7:30-7:45 a.m. Feeding back and forth through the willows between the south end of the defunct sod farm and the Monument Road / Dairy Mart Road bridge in the Tijuana River Valley. Also check over the river channel itself. One needs to carefully study the Vaux's Swifts and pick out the one bird that is slightly larger, slightly longer and larger winged, and consistently slower flapping. Also perhaps shows a little more wear to the flight feathers then almost all of the Vaux's. It is fairly easy to continually get on the same bird time and time again once you get the search image down.

Also early this morning there were two Bank Swallows at the main Dairy Mart Pond but they disappeared after a while.

Paul Lehman and group, San Diego

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Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: Northern Parula, res Point Loma

Barb Carlson, Nancy Christensen, and Eric Kallen and I saw it in this same silk oak later in the morning at about 11:30 or so, then soon after that at about 12 15, we spotted it feeding in Chinese elms in front of 3725 Dupont (the street parallel to and  just south of the silk oak alley)  
Sue smith, Del Mar
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——– Original message ——–
From: Justyn Stahl <justyn.stahl@…>
Date: 5/22/18 10:37 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: SanDiegoRegionBirding <>
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Northern Parula, res Point Loma

A female Northern Parula has been regularly returning to a silk oak in an alley between Warner and DuPont. 22 May
Justyn Stahl

Susan Smith
Seiurus Biological Consulting
Del Mar, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: predator corvids

Arlene and all,


Excerpts from The Birds of North America online account for American Crow. From this it seems that preying on full-sized (not young) passerines is limited but well known. Probably the same for ravens but I didn’t check the account for them. I’d be curious how far the crow flew with the sparrow.  


Omnivorous. Wide variety of invertebrates (terrestrial and intertidal marine); amphibians; reptiles; small birds and mammals


Carries food to nest in antelingual pouch at base of throat. Transports larger food items in bill (e.g., clams, Bayer 1984c ; American Robin [Turdus migratorius ] nestling; CC) or occasionally in feet


 Pursues small birds, such as European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris ; Cuccia 1984) and House Sparrow (Passer domesticus ; Putnam 1992) in flight, to catch and kill them.


Takes eggs and/or nestlings of a wide variety of birds, such as Common Loon (Gavia immer ; McIntyre 1977a); ground-nesting ducks (Kalmbach 1937b); Least Tern (Brunton 1997); Pinyon Jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus ; Marzluff 1985); Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica ; Verbeek 1973b); American Robin (CC); and Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis ; Wheelwright et al. 1997). 


Geoff Rogers

San Diego, CA


Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

predator corvids

Hi all,
While pumping gas this morning I saw a crow attack a house sparrow in the street and fly off with it. Years ago I saw a raven take a White-crowned Sparrow. Is it pretty normal for these corvids to act like raptors? Is it a new behavior or has it been around for a while? Thanks!
Arlene Arnold
San Diego
May 22, 2018

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Singing Ovenbird, Pt Loma

An Ovenbird was just heard singing and then seen on the ground in the yard of 3646 Rosecroft Ln in Pt Loma. 22 May
Justyn Stahl/Brennan Mulrooney/Michael Hilchey

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Bank swallow and calliope hummingbird

On Monday morning the 21st, a Bank Swallow is hanging out at the main Dairy Mart pond, where there continue to be 6 lingering Vaux's Swifts overhead. The female Calliope Hummingbird continues its late-lingering ways at the Bird and Butterfly Garden at the huge bush with the pale blue flowers and adjacent blooming bottle brush.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

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Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

May 20 San Diego pelagic trip: Manx Shearwater, B-f Albatross

The May 20th San Diego 12-hour pelagic trip sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society aboard "Grande" out to the 9-Mile and 30-Mile Banks was highlighted by a MANX SHEARWATER, Black-footed Albatross, and good numbers of several offshore species. Unfortunately the Manx was a quick fly-by at moderate distance at the 30-Mile Bank and was identified only through study of the photos taken. The B-f Albatross put on a good show behind the boat, also at the 30-Mile. A Common Murre a few miles offshore was in alternate plumage and getting late. The large numbers of Scripps's Murrelets were made up almost entirely of pairs, but with zero chicks seen. Three Brown Boobies, scattered. Pacific Loons were still migrating northward. A few migrant passerines landed on the boat. Offshore totals for most (select) species seen included:

Black-footed Albatross:  1

Northern Fulmar:  1

Pink-footed Shearwater:  22

Sooty Shearwater:  700


Black-vented Shearwater:  24

Ashy Storm-Petrel:  7

Black Storm-Petrel:  250

Brown Booby:  3

Pacific Loon:  25

Red-necked Phalarope:  70

Common Murre:  1

Scripps's Murrelet:  120

Cassin's Auklet:  25

Sabine's Gull:  10

Heermann's Gull:  1

Least Tern:  25

Elegant Tern:  450

Pacific-slope Flycatcher:  1

Warbling Vireo:  3

Townsend's Warbler:  4

Wilson's Warbler:  4

Fin Whale:  2 or 3

There will be another late-spring trip–also 12 hours–on June 10th, still with available space. See for details.

–Paul Lehman and 6 other trip leaders,  San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

FRNC & Mt. Soledad – Black Swifts more info & photos, May 20, 2018

Some further additional notes here on BLACK SWIFT sightings today from Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma and Mt. Soledad, La Jolla.
120 Black Swifts seen today!
I almost quit Fort Rosecrans this morning after a very dull and chilly morning birding from 6:30am and seeing very few birds.  A cool south breeze was gently blowing and low thick marine layer kept the temps down.  Then at 9am I spotted a BANK SWALLOW with the resident Barn Swallow flock feeding over the Ficus trees which are fruiting, one or two trees heavily so, and seem to have a good supply of flying insects nearby.  Nice!  This was just east of the Committal Shelter on east side.  Then 7 PURPLE MARTIN came flying by me heading south towards the point!  I managed to snag some poor photos and thought they might return but only saw another single bird about 90 minutes later.  Then just as that was happening I spied the first BLACK SWIFT at 9:10am.  Then followed singles at 9:16am, and 9:28am.  Then small groups started appearing 3-5 strong, with a maximum size group of 12 birds.  Total count was 39 individuals in just under 2 hours.  All birds approaching from the south and right over or visible from the highway.  Viewed from the highway just south of the Committal Shelter.
I left the cemetery just after 11am for a lunch date with my family in La Jolla but got a call on the way that plans had changed and a delay!  No problem so I stopped at Mt. Soledad of course.  As soon as I walked up to the area around the cross I looked straight up and had 10 BLACK SWIFT circling overhead at 11:58am!  They did this for a minute before climbing very quickly in elevation and disappeared north.  I waited around and had another single bird pass east to west.
After lunch I was driving by Mt. Soledad on way home and of course stopped again!  Within a few minutes a flock of very low flying 15 BLACK SWIFT went by east to west.  Waiting some more and I suddenly heard unmistakable swift chittering calls.  There were no swifts in sight anywhere then suddenly a flock of 40-50 just cruising low up the east side of Mt. Soledad and right overhead calling.  It was pretty amazing to see filling the sky overhead with swifts and watching them arcing over the top of the hill chasing each other!  I was a bit paralyzed just seeing so many at once but did shoot off some frames getting a photo with 14 in the frame at once as they left going west!  Then a longer wait and another group of 15 at 3:39pm.  At least 70 in total this session.  These groups all passing east to west, slightly obliquely coming in from same or just lower height than Mt. Soledad, rising over the peak or sliding by at eyeball level on the north or south sides.
I put lots of photos in the three eBird checklists here:
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
Mt. Soledad afternoon (14 bird frame here!)
One of those days birding you never forget!

Gary Nunn
you can find me on twitter,

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports