Join/Renew (2024 Dues)

Monthly Archives: August 2018

Summer Tanager @ Zoo

For the past two days, 8/29 & 8/30 I've been hearing a Summer Tanager calling around the eastern half of the Elephant Odyssey area. This morning around 8 AM, in the Sabertooth Grill outdoor dining area I saw it, a brilliant red male. This is probably the same returning bird that I photographed on 9/15/2017.
Potato quality cell phone pic today…

Trent R. Stanley
PO BOX 3666
SAN DIEGO CA USA  92163-1666

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Tijuana River Mouth – juv Masked/Nazca Booby, 29 Aug 2018

I walked down to the Tijuana River Mouth yesterday morning 29 Aug 2018, in the early AM, hoping to encounter some shorebirds but not many seen.
At the river mouth a juvenile Reddish Egret running around in the surf catching fish fry.
Also a couple getting late Least Tern there.  And I did spy a small Snowy Plover chick in the roped off area, along with a couple adults so they are still pushing out youngsters there too. A Belted Kingfisher, sitting on some driftwood in the estuary, my first migrant of this species.
I noticed a large feeding concentration of gulls and terns out towards the Coronado Islands and quickly got on to several Brown Booby in the mix including a nice adult male with the white dusted head characteristic of the NW Mexico "brewsteri" form. While watching these a slightly larger, stockier, more gannet like, dark brown and white juvenile MASKED/NAZCA BOOBY appeared. It had more extensive white on the underwing compared to the Brown Boobies with white also on the underwing primary coverts. The dark colored head sock also did not reach the lower chest. On the nape the dark head sock merging with the completely dark brown back and upperparts. There may have been a hint of white marbling on the nape. Hard to be certain at the distance but did not look to have a prominent white collar at all.  If anyone else sees it closer or gets photographs please post!

Gary Nunn
you can find me on twitter,

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Franklin's gull & continuing Baird's sandpipers South San Diego Bay 29 Aug 2018

This morning just before 10:00, Janne Torres & I observed 4 Baird's sandpipers & 2 large-billed savannah sparrows in SE saltpond 20 (looking north from the Bayshore bikepath from just east of the 2nd bridge east of 13th St in Imperial Beach).  There was also a juvenile Franklin's gull adjacent to other gulls & terns roosting on the flats in the east central portion of the pond – it then flew off to the west.  My understanding is that between now & Monday, saltworks staff are likely to begin the monthly re-filling of the pond with water.  We were unable to re-find a semipalmated sandpiper (ie. needle) among the thousands of westerns, least, & phalaropes (ie. haystack).  Numbers of elegant terns in the area had dropped significantly since last weekend.
Robert Patton
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

La Jolla Cove, August 29, 2018

I’ve been at the Cove for about an hour. There has been a massive influx of black vented shearwaters coming up from the south. Possibly 4000 to 5000. Hard to count because they are swarming everywhere. Hundreds Circling around the New Seaforth. Five parasitic and three pomarine jaegers. One light morph northern fulmar. No sign yet of the Manx shearwater that was present last week.

Stan Walens, San Diego
August 29, 2018; 2:30 pm
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Lake Henshaw – Baird's, Solitary, & other weekend birds, 25–26 Aug, 2018

Apologies for the late reporting.
On Saturday August 25, 2018 I walked to the back of Lake Henshaw in search of shorebirds.  In the near, to highway, southeast corner a good collection of peeps with 200+ total flock mixed Western, Least, and Red-necked Phalaropes together.  In this flock also 10 BAIRD'S SANDPIPER preening and feeding.  About 1.5 hours later, in the north side of the lake I encountered another group of 5 Baird's Sandpiper. Unsure if birds had moved in the interim.
I hiked to the back of the lake, about 3.25 miles, and in the muddy cow muck and mire there, in addition to many curious cows, found two SOLITARY SANDPIPER loosely associating with one another.  I first heard them calling in distance, loud far carrying "peet-weet", and picked them up in fast high flight when they dropped into the back of the muddy area. Bold thick white eye rings, all dark upperparts in flight, greenish legs and base to bill.
Other shorebirds around the lake included one Long-billed Curlew, scarce here, three Long-billed Dowitcher flyby emitting "peek"calls, two Semipalmated Plover, and three Wilson's Snipe.  Also two Willow Flycatcher and a couple Purple Martin.
Some photos in eBird checklist here
On Sunday August 26, 2018 I took a look around Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma in the early morning hours. Signs of migration happening but only ones and twos of expected species.  A calling male MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, occasionally showing itself outside the plants, was nice in the plumeria/cape honeysuckle inside the admin house walled garden on the east side. And two White-breasted Nuthatch together in "the dip" easy to find by their "yeah, yeah" calling.

Gary Nunn
you can find me on twitter,

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Surf scoter in Penasquitos Lagoon, 8/27 6.45pm

A male was seen and photographed from Carmel Valley Road, under the railroad bridge crossing over the channel. Probably 1 of 2 birds noted by Sue Smith on Aug 1st

Steve Perry
Solana Beach

Steve Perry
Solana Beach, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Painted/Lazuli Bunting non-report

Headed down to the Dairy Mart Ponds to check out the overgrown southernmost pond and general area.  I saw tons of Scaly Breasted Munia, Lesser Goldfinch, more than 1 Cooper's hawk, a Juvenile Peregrine falcon, house finches, red-winged blackbirds, Western Kingbirds, Allen's and Anna's Hummingbirds but no Buntings of any kind.  There were constant Cooper's / Peregrine flyovers of the area, and a Cooper's perched in the middle most of the time..that may have kept a lot of birds in the brush.

I was really hoping to see  a male Lazuli, I still don't have a photo of a male Lazuli Bunting in 2018, and I've seen the Indigo Bunting near Lake Cuyamaca and even went to the Tucson area, yet to see a single Lazuli this year.
I then went to the community gardens.  I didn't see any sort of buntings there either.  I didn't arrive until 10 AM or so, so I was a bit late.  It was pretty active with Lesser Goldfinches, Song Sparrows, the greater roadrunner was up on the fences, many Western Kingbirds, an Ash-Throated Flycatcher and Blue Grosbeaks (female types).
I ended the morning in the ballfields off sunset where I saw a male Vermilion and a Juvenile both actively hunting in the eastern ballfields.  The Male in the eastern most and in the center yellow flowering trees, the immature in the next field west of him.
Lots of activity but no rare birds.
-Roger Uzun

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Dairy Mart Rd. promising habitat

Hey all,

While showing a friend from Vancouver around today, we walked by the far south pond in the dairy mart loop (south of the stick pond, where the LTDU was this past winter, apx: 32.5550156, -117.0650527) and I was surprised to see the pond completely covered in seeding sedges, cocklebur, and various other seeding plants. There was tons of goldfinches, munias, House Finches, Song Sparrows, and a few Lazuli Buntings feeding on the seeds. Tons of activity so we spent about 20 minutes trying to find something of note. It reminded me very much of the habitat in San Joaquin Marsh a few years ago when there was multiple Painted Buntings/Dickcissel/Bobolink. Definitely worth checking in the coming weeks, in my opinion. Just wanted to make a post so others know about it. 

Ryan Andrews
Valley Center
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Possible Black Swift over Tecolote Canyon

This morning I birded the Genesee to Balboa section of Tecolote Canyon, since nobody has done so at this time of year since it became an eBird hotspot.  Notable birds that I'm sure of include Lincoln's Sparrow, a first for that hotspot, and Black-Chinned Hummingbird, which I'm pretty sure is a first.  A Green Heron lurked by the cement pipe that goes under Genesee.  That's only the second time this species has been recorded in this hotspot. There was still one each of Pacific Slope Flycatcher and Hutton's Vireo.

At noon, waiting for the light to change so I could cross Genesee to my parked car, I espied a large, dark swift, flying west about 80 feet over the south rim of the canyon, and about 250 feet away.  I reflexively raised my camera, but alas, I had already put the lens cap back on.  I couldn't even fumble my bins in place for an attempt at a magnified look.  So, to my naked eye, the flight appeared slow for a swift, and featured a slight side to side rocking motion.  It flew pretty directly west until it was lost from view in a few seconds.  There was no white underneath, and it wasn't a swallow (wrong flight style, and this bird had long, pointy, and slightly swept back wings).  I suspect this was a Black Swift, but it since I could have misjudged the size of the bird and was unable to get pics, it could also be a big, slow Vaux's.  I called it a Swift sp. with comment.  This is within the time frame for Black Swifts to show up in the fall, per the atlas, though they are rarer than in spring.  For Vaux's, the atlas is sketchy, talking only of the 8th & Broadway flock starting September 4th.

Checklist (which will have a few photos of the hummingbird later) here:

Tuck Russell
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports