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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Sunday July 29, 2018 pelagic scouting

Three of us did a small boat run west out of Mission Bay Sunday morning. Our target area the Thirty Mile Bank west of La Jolla.

Notable finds were two Black-footed Albatross both on the Thirty Mile Bank.

A rather bedraggled Northern Fulmar 5 miles off Mission Bay on the return.

Three Townsend's Storm-Petrels. I've not seen that number locally in whole seasons much less one day.

One Townsend's was about 15 miles west of La Jolla, One over the San Diego Trough approaching the Thirty Mile Bank, and the

last on the Bank at the southern end of our run. All photo I D.

Two separate Red Phalaropes were found today. Mostly in basic plumage with a few remaining  red feathers sides, face

and rump. Seems somewhat early for this species

Ten Craveri's Murrelets were seen all in pairs. None closer than the middle of the San Diego Trough.

One brief flyby Guadalupe Murrelet was also photographed, over the San Diego Trough.

We did find several smaller storm-petrel rafts on and near the Thirty Mile Bank in the same general area as those seen on July 1st.

One raft did have about 400 Black Storm-Petrels and was a mile in to L.A. Co.

Calm seas, good visibility, sea surface temperatures 72-76F.

see Gary Nunn's eBird post for photos and other details.

Complete list at sea;

Black-footed Albatross   2

Northern Fulmar   1

Pink-footed Shearwater   26

Sooty  Shearwater   9

Black-vented Shearwater   85

Leach's Storm-Petrel  chapmani  4

Townsend's Storm-Petrel   3

Ashy Storm-Petrel    75

Black Storm-Petrel   750

Brandt's Cormorant    1     Thirty Mile Bank.

Brown Pelican   12

Whimbrel    7    a single south bound flight

Red -necked Phalarope   45

Red Phalarope   2

Pomarine Jaeger   1

Guadalupe Murrelet  1

Craveri's Murrelet    10

small alcid sp.   1

Heermann's Gull   1

Western Gull    1   ( not a joke , Just one )

Elegant Tern   35


Black Turnstone  1   North Mission Bay Jetty



Minke Whale   1

Bottle-nosed Dolphin  (offshore type )  50+

Common Dolphin   125-150


The Aug. 19th. BVAS/Grande pelagic is full and has a waiting list. The Sept. 23rd trip has plenty of spaces right now but I expect

it to fill. I would suggest you not wait long, if you wish to go.

Call 619 222- 1144  or book on line at www.


Dave Povey






Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Baird's Sandpiper Ramona Pond

I checked the Ramona Pond this evening (on Hwy 78 near Magnolia). Only one shorebird present (two killdeer flew in while I was there). The sandpiper was on the far shore, which makes it tough for photography – I was unable to even see the bird through the lens. Distant scope views. Sandpiper with hooded appearance – face, neck and upper breast were buffy/tan. The face and neck were slightly paler than the breast, giving a banded appearance. Black legs – the bird was initially in some muck and I wasn’t sure about leg color, but it bathed and then stood on the shore and the legs were definitely black. The back was nearly uniform in color, though slightly scaled. What  I mean to say is, no braces, no rusty coloration on the back. The first feature that struck me was the very elongated look to this bird – a lot of extension behind the legs. My first thought was Baird’s because of that elongated appearance, and I spent 30 minutes trying to find some reason it wasn’t something else.


Tis the season to be looking for shorebirds. I’ve been checking Ramona Pond every 2 or 3 days, as well as Sand Lake at Kit Carson Park, and every other puddle in the back country. Checked Safari Park this week as well. Ramona Pond is not being filled and may be completely dry in another 2 weeks. Sand Lake looks like it could have some nice mud soon – might be good for Pectoral SP.


Nancy Christensen



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Black Tern at Big Laguna

Sunday morning, I hiked from Laguna Campground to Big Laguna and then a quick visit to Water of the Woods in the Laguna Mountains.  An adult breeding-plumaged Black Tern was seen at Big Laguna at about 0900.  The tern had a uniform black body with white under the tail and gray wings.  The bird was flying low over the lake and at one point caught a flying insect of some type.

Jeremiah Stock
Santee, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: TRV 7-28-18 – seedeater taxonomy

White-collared Seedeater was recently split into two species. The West Mexican form that occurs in San Diego as an escapee from the pet trade is now Cinnamon-rumped Seedeater. (As far as I know, all "White-collared Seedeaters" in San Diego refer to this taxon.) The more widespread form that occurs from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas south to Panama is now Morelet's Seedeater.
The eBird taxonomic update will begin in the second or third week in August, but in the meantime, if recording this bird in eBird, use White-collared Seedeater (Cinnamon-rumped).
Justyn Stahl
San Clemente Island

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

TRV 7-28-18

Trent Stanley and I birded several spots in the TRV this morning, 7-28-18.

In the river channel adjacent to the old sod farm there was a barn owl foraging (7a.m.).

At the stick pond and immediate vicinity there was female-type  white-collared seed eater as well as several blue grosbeaks and American goldfinches.  The pond had three green herons and two common gallinules.

The Community Garden area had more blue grosbeaks, many American goldfinches, the resident northern cardinal, two hooded orioles, at least one chat and an early male western tanager.

the Saturn ponds are so overgrown that it is difficult to view the water.  Someone needs to take a pair of garden shears and clear an observation port into the shrubbery along Saturn. There were pair of common ground doves in the trees.

Eric Kallen
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

La Jolla Cove, July 28

Massive northbound movement of black-vented shearwaters. About 7500/hour.
Nothing else of interest. Absolutely flat ocean. Absolutely no parking.

Stan Walens, SD
July 28, 2018; 9:00 am
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count – next Sunday, August 5th!

This is a reminder about the next San Dieguito monthly bird count. The August bird count is on the first Sunday in August – next Sunday, August 5th.  
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

Encinitas White-winged Dove (7/27/18)

Hi Birders,

A White-winged Dove was feeding with Mourning Doves in my backyard early this morning.
Good Birding,
Jimmy McMorran
Leucadia, CA

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

Community Gardens at TRV

I visited the Gardens this morning, 7-23-18. In a quick tour of the Gardens proper I found nothing particularily interesting, while the trail around the greater area had some birds worth looking at.

Several, apparently fledgling, chats.
Family group of Blue Grosbeaks
Family group of Hooded Orioles
Yellow Warbler (2)
Fledgling Common Yellowthroat being attended by an adult male
American Goldfinch(2)

The Gardens are perhaps the best spot in the county to find Painted Buntings, beginning in the middle of August.  Last year there were three seen there.

I later took a look at the TJ river adjacent to the old sod farms. This area is promising, but I saw nothing worthwhile.   By this time it was uncomfortably warm so I did not venture into the channel.  

The brush has been removed from most of the old sod farm.   No new agricultureal operations are apparent yet, but a new well is being drilled.  So it is likely that the area will be planted.  Hopefully, we will retain access.

Eric Kallen
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

South Bay Dunlin

Yesterday, July 18, I stopped by the ponds along the Salt Works in south San Diego to find large numbers (totaling about 1,000) of shorebirds in pond 22, unfortunately I only had my binoculars to look through the fence. Today (July 19) I brought my scope to find that the pond had been filled and most of the birds had moved on. Most interesting was the Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalaropes mixed with the Willets along the Western edge of the pond.
The next pond west has a small sandbar just over the dike, there were about 45 Willets, three Western Sandpipers and a Dunlin in winter plumage. The Dunlin was about 20% larger than the Westerns, slightly darker gray-brown and had a thicker droopy bill. I watched it for about three minutes before it and the Western Sandpipers flew off. This appears to be extremely early for a migrant, I wonder if it summered locally.

Dan Jehl
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports