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Monthly Archives: June 2018

summer&migrant shorebirds, boobies, Y-c Night-Heron nests

On Monday the 25th, Barbara Carlson and I checked for summer shorebirds at somewhat less-than-optimal tide times around South San Diego Bay. The results were a mediocre showing of over-summering and early-returning shorebirds. Hundreds of Willets are already back (the many ones in alternate plumage, in contrast to the many ones in basic plumage that over-summered locally), as are perhaps some of the Long-billed Curlews and many Marbled Godwits present. A flock of 17 Western Sandpipers contained 2 birds in alternate plumage, so those couple may or may not be returning migrants (some alternate birds sometimes over-summer anyway). Could find only 7 basic-plumaged, summering Short-billed Dowitchers (very low), a dozen summering Semipalmated Plovers, a couple Greater Yellowlegs, and only very small numbers of basic Black-bellied Plovers. The only "uncommon" summering shorebird we found was a single Ruddy Turnstone, present since back in May. There is a good-sized-for-summer flock of 40 Surf Scoters off Camp Surf, but no other species of scoters was with them.

Three Brown Boobies were seen well off the beach at the south end of Seacoast Drive (scope necessary). No surprise.

And lastly, there are at least 3, and probably 4, active Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nests in the I.B. Sports Park, all with mid-to-large-sized young in the nests. (There are also several Black-crowned Night-Heron nests with young.)

–Paul Lehman,  San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Continuing Indigo Bunting at Paso Picacho, 06/23

The most recent Indigo Bunting was easily heard, then seen, this morning, once I found the correct trails. This is the all-blue Indigo Bunting found by Chris Smith on 06/19. From the parking lot at Paso Picacho, I hiked out on the Azalea Glen trail, and found the bird by turning right onto the CA Riding and Hiking Trail. It was singing probably w/i .2 mile from that junction. If one continues on the Azalea Glen trail, there is soon (after the junction) a nice water spot for critters.
Upon retracing my steps back to the parking lot, I encountered the other one, with its white-belly, the "he-who-shall-not-be-named" one as there is no consensus. It flew in to my playing the CA Lazuli Bunting recording I have on my phone…. I hadn't realized it wasn't over by the group campground bathrooms….
Barbara Carlson
San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Two Reddish Egrets at Robb Field Saturday morning

There was a first year and an adult Reddish Egret at Robb Field early Saturday morning June 23, 2018.  Seen foraging in the same area for a while.  First year bird is definitely continuing, not sure if adult has been documented recently.

Jeremiah Stock
Santee, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

TRV 6-21-18

TRV 6-21-18
birds worth mentioning:

Community Gardens
Northern Cardinal
Yellow-breasted Chat 2
Black-headed Grosbeak 
American Goldfinch 
Yellow Warbler – several

Black-throated Magpie Jay – 4 Along Hollister between the river crossing and Monument Rd.

Dairy Mart Pond (main pond)
Bell's Vireo -several singing
Yellow Warbler – ditto
Least Bittern- across from the blind, in the tules at the waterline.

Eric Kallen
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: Encinitas Black-vented Shearwater Show! (6/20/18)

I forgot to add that I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't 5000-8000+ Black-vented Shearwaters today.  probably more? Hard too estimate numbers in these types of situations. Regardless, it was a big day for this species.

Thanks again,
Jimmy McMorran,
Leucadia, CA  

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Encinitas Black-vented Shearwater Show! (6/20/18)

Hi Birders,

I was simply amazed for this time of year to witness the numbers of Black-vented Shearwaters that were present off the coast of Encinitas this morning and into the early afternoon.Several rafts of many hundreds,  one raft contained 1000+ birds, while many, many, many more were flying. This was all from Cardiff State Beach and Fletcher Cove, in Solana Beach. Later, I headed up to the bluffs of Leucadia, and witnessed thousands flying north. More than likely many of the flocks I had seen earlier in the day in Cardiff, but a non-stop stream no matter where you looked.
I did four 10-minute/one-minute counts during my seawatch at this location in Leucadia. The lowest per-minute was 93, with the highest being 204 in one minute.  I do not believe these birds were circling, but a massive movement.
Just wanted to share, and curious if anybody seawatched from La Jolla and saw any numbers of Black-vents there? I feel like they were all up off the coast of Encinitas! 
Good Birding,
Jimmy McMorran
Leucadia, CA  

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

Additional INDIGO Bunting at Paso Picacho 19 June 2018

An additional INDIGO BUNTING male, singing on a different territory from the original bird found by Eve Martin (it remains and actively singing as previously posted) was discovered 19 June 2018. Territory is roughly 1/2 mile NW as the bird flies from original bird in heavier brush, steeper terrain of the lower Azelea Glen trail and the CA Riding and Hiking trail junction.
Photos here:

and more photos of original bird here:

Chris Smith
San Diego County
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: fall Pelagic trip

Hello all.

Last night at the San Diego Field Ornithologist meeting I stated that there were only 8 spots left on the Sept. 23rd BVAS /Grande pelagic.

Obviously the H & M Landing computer has a kafuffle of some sort, as this morning the number of spaces left had increased to 12.

The corrected number of spots is now over 40. Hopefully H & M can get this all cleaned up. Thank you to those who let me know .

My apologies for sounding the alarm. I do expect this trip to fill but as of now plenty of spaces are now available.

Sorry, I hope this caused no one any problems.

Dave Povey



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

2 exotic/escapee birds

In the interest of documenting escapee species:

On Sunday, June 17 and briefly on Monday June 18, I had an unusual goldfinch/siskin type bird at our nyger-seed feeders. Could not tell what it was, a weird lesser goldfinch or something else. Posted some fuzzy photos to birdingsandiego listserv and Millie Basden pointed me in the right direction. It is a yellow-bellied siskin, from Colombia and environs [at first I thought it was a yellow-rumped siskin but during the Monday return I was able to see that the critical characteristics pointed towards yellow-bellied].
The bird was unusual in that most of the back feathers were white, though some black feathers were present. Still molting in? or, as Gjon Hazard suggested, that birds in captivity can show some phenotypic variability.

Also, 2 months ago a birding friend I know from the Hornblower trips sent me a photo of an adult male red-headed bunting, seen on private property in a garden in east San Diego for one day. These used to be very popular in the pet trade, but I don’t know how many are around in cages now, since their population has dropped so dramatically in the wild.

Stan Walens, San Diego
June 19, 2018; 7:30 a.m.
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports


WFO is looking forward to having you join us in Ventura for this year’s conference. We have an excellent lineup of workshops and field trips, including two, all-day pelagic trips to Santa Cruz Island (for Island Scrub-Jay) and pelagic waters beyond. The banquet's keynote speaker is David Ainley, of H.T. Harvey & Associates, whose address will be: “Population dynamics of seabirds in response to their prey, in the Gulf of the Farallones, 1980s to the present.” The plenary speaker at the Science Sessions will be Paul Collins from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. You'll enjoy hearing and seeing Nathan Pieplow's sound quiz and Ed Harper’s photographic quiz. Meeting this year’s group of enthusiastic Youth Scholars is always heartwarming and fun!

To register please click on the button on the WFO page at: 

Or register by using this url:

WFO Member 

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports