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Monthly Archives: June 2018

La Jolla – black-and-white booby, Common Murres, June 30, 2018

I spent about 2.5 hours seawatching this morning at La Jolla starting around 7:30am.  Joined about 8am by Justyn Stahl and we managed to stick it out until about 10am when the sun came out and viewing conditions deteriorated.  The nice heavy cloud cover marine layer made it easy on the eyes and not so much distortion earlier.
At 8:15am I spotted a very distant black-and-white booby making some half-hearted plunge dives near a pod of dolphin.  It was southwest of our position, probably a mile or further away.  With the distance a bit hard to see details of the extent of black in the flight feathers or any underwing marks.  I think Masked/Nazca on size, black trailing edge to wing, solid appearance and with recent reports seems most likely.
Also four adult Common Murre in alternate plumage flying south including a nice group of three together close in over the kelp outer edge.

Gary Nunn
you can find me on twitter, @garybnunn

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

2 coastal Bald Eagles, 2 Reddish, more arriving/summer shorebirds, Scissor-tailed

On Saturday, June 30th, visiting birder Bill Tweit and I poked around south San Diego Bay and Sweetwater Reservoir. Best birds were 2 BALD EAGLES at the upper end of Sweetwater Reservoir–casual near the coast in summer–one adult and one one-year-old. The young bird is presumably the same bird I saw back there on 27 May. On south San Diego Bay, a presumably new, adult REDDISH EGRET was at Emory Cove. (Also, the one-year-old-type bird with reddish head and neck but very dull and splotchy body & wing plumage continues as of June 28th at the San Diego River mouth.) A summering BRANT was off the end of J Street/Marina Parkway. Returning shorebirds included 5 bright alternate Short-billed Dowitchers and 8 Red-necked Phalaropes, whereas over-summering birds included 18 basic Red Knots, 45 basic Short-billed Dowitchers, and 60 basic Black-bellied Plovers. Four active nests of Yellow-crowned Night-Herons at the Sports Park. Still 40 Surf Scoters off Camp Surf.

Bill continued north and saw the continuing, returning SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER at Twin Trails Regional Park; but like others have reported, there didn't seem to be any indication of nesting.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Returning shorebirds at San Elijo Lagoon.

Hi Birders,
It was nice to see obvious newly arrived (19) Semipalmated Plovers, and two alternate Western Sandpipers at the lagoon this a.m.
Please bring on the vagrant shorebirds.
Good Birding,
Jimmy McMorran
Leucadia, CA

Good Birding,
Jimmy McMorran,
Leucadia, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

La Jolla – Pigeon Guillemot and Common Murre

A very quiet morning (29 June) at La Jolla, with just one Black-vented Shearwater seen from 745-930. Then at ~930, Dan Jehl picked up a mixed pair of southbound alcids that proved to be a COMMON MURRE with a PIGEON GUILLEMOT, the latter dropping into the water outside the kelp for about 10 minutes before being flushed by a kayaker and continuing south.

Justyn Stahl
North Park/San Clemente Island

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Black Skimmers Feeding etc

Thanks to Dan Jehl for pointing me to the jetty just north of Imperial Beach and South of Coronado Cays off of the Silver Strand for Black Skimmers.  A trio of Skimmers started coming around every 10 mins or so doing a wide circle around that area of the bay just after low tide.  

Also present was the American Flamingo, a Reddish Egret, and a number of common shorebirds (Forster's Terns, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Whimbrels, Long Billed Curlews, Marbled Godwits).  Also Savannah Sparrows.
The Skimmers fed actively from about 4PM until 5:30PM when they roosted on the middle island just south of the Jetty.  Low Tide was at 3:36 PM.
-Roger Uzun
Poway CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Black Skimmers daytime feeding

Now that it's summer I imagine the Black Skimmers are feeding more frequently, and I'm hopeful that I can find some feeding in the daytime either down in Imperial Beach or perhaps off J St in Chula Vista.  Most of the year they seem to feed only at night around here.

Has anyone seen any black skimmers engaging in long feeding sessions somewhere you can get close-ish views of them to take photos/video?  
Does anyone know if they feed at specific times or if they follow the tides in areas like IB and Chula Vista?
-Roger Uzun
Poway CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count – NEXT Sunday, July 8th.

This is a reminder about the next San Dieguito monthly bird count. The July bird count is on the SECOND Sunday in JULY – next Sunday, July 8th.  It is postponed until the second Sunday to avoid conflict with SD County Fair. 
Everyone is welcome – interested, beginners, experienced. 

We will meet at the usual time and place: 7:30 AM at the south end of San Andres. (Turn right/south off of Via De La Valle, on the east side of I5. San Andres dead ends at the San Dieguito Lagoon.) We coordinate with park rangers to provide vests and access for the restricted areas. We'll divide into five groups to count the different areas.

We gather to tally our results at noon at the Del Mar Public Works parking lot/picnic tables off Jimmy Durante Rd.

Hope to see you next Sunday for another great day of birding.

Jayne Lesley (cell phone: 858-663-6568)

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: the "infamous" Indigo Bunting, and a boring Pacific Loon


First off, welcome back. Secondly, thanks so much for bringing up the putative INBU again, as calm is highly overrated. I like your idea of an ice-cream scooper being the culprit, especially as vanilla was clearly involved. I haven't seen Nancy's photos, but one of Eric Kallen's does show a discrete slash of downy gray feathers across the lower belly, indicative of some missing feathers. Apart from that, I don't think your theory explains the bulk of the vanilla feathers. Plus, the presence of blue-centered undertail coverts with white fringes is odd in and of itself. (BTW, any opinion you'd like to share about Trump, while you're at it?).
Jim Pike

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

the "infamous" Indigo Bunting, and a boring Pacific Loon

First off, the only bird to mention during the last couple days' of my own brief birding was a June 26th northbound (basic-plumaged) Pacific Loon at La Jolla. At this rate, that bird should be arriving on the breeding grounds sometime during Summer 2019….

I was out of town for much of the "Indigo Bunting #1 debate." The plumage did indeed seem odd to me for a pure Indigo, BUT then I saw Nancy Christensen's couple fine photos from a couple or so days ago, attached to her eBird report. Perhaps I am misinterpreting what I am seeing in the photos, but it almost looks like the bird may have had some sort of traumatic event and had its entire belly section of feathers scooped out with an ice-cream scooper. And then just some those missing feathers were replaced by abnormal white feathers. It does happen sometimes that replaced feathers, following some sort of trauma, are not the correct color. Am I totally off-base? But it sure looks like a semi-crater in the bird's vent region compared to all the feathering above and to the sides of there.  If I am totally off-base on this, please let me know (gently or privately!).

–Paul Lehman,  San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: Two Reddish Egrets at Robb Field Saturday morning

Update on Sunday afternoon,

We birded at Robb Field and Old Sea World Drive about 3 pm on Sunday. The juvie Reddish Egret was just upriver from the bridge at the west end of Old Sea World. No sign of the adult, but also of interest were two Yellow-crowned
Night Herons farther upriver, and at the east end of the road at Friars, we saw a White-tailed Kite. It still had its buffy chest and cap, which Sibley says disappears at about five weeks. At Robb Field, almost all the waders are gone. No Willets, Marbled
Godwits or peeps. But there were 8 or 9 Long-billed Curlews and a flock of a dozen or so Black Skimmers on the bare sand bank. By the way, we've never seen the river so low. It looked very different from its normal level.

Good birding,

Vic Warren and Laurel Scott

Mission Valley

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports