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Monthly Archives: February 2020

SE Balboa Park, 29 Feb 2020

Dear friends,


We enjoyed a good two hours of birding in Balboa Park this morning as part of the bird festival, before coming into the museum for a tour of the bird collection and demonstration of specimen preparation.


The biggest surprise was an adult male Orchard Oriole, in the trees at the bottom of the dip where Russ Blvd. dead ends between 26th and 28th streets (32.7195° N, 117.1352° W). As far as I know, this individual has not been reported previously. In the same tree was a female Yellow Warbler, which I’d seen previously there on 18 January. Also a Western Tanager stopped there briefly. On our second pass of the trees just north of the restroom along 28th Street, we saw the male Black-and-white Warbler and two Lark Sparrows. A couple of juncos were singing, more clue to that species’ spread as a breeding species through the park and the city of San Diego as a whole. At least two Chipping Sparrows. A pair of Cooper’s Hawks circled overhead, the male in display flight. Finally, a male Merlin perched very obligingly at length n a leafless eucalyptus tree.


On our way into the museum, in a cedar tree at the south end of the parking lot on the east side, we noticed a pair of Bushtits working on a nest. It was a classic situation for a Bushtit nest, woven around several slender parallel hanging twigs, supporting the nest from the side. I’ve seen Bushtit nests in the last week of February several times previously.


Good birding, and happy leap day,


Philip Unitt

San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Townsend's Solitaire – Cuyamaca Rancho SP

There was a Townsend's Solitaire foraging in the Paso Picacho Campground at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park this morning. From the north end of the parking lot, continue about 50m farther on the road to the first camp site on the left. The bird was foraging in trees along the road.
The only other notable sighting was one of the Lewis's Woodpeckers continuing at the Stonewall Mine area, in the pines to the south of the bathrooms.
eBird reports:

Nick Barber

Tierrasanta, San Diego, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Marina Village Gray Catbird Continues

GRCA found yesterday by Aaron Gyllenhaal and seen by many others was continuing in same general area in the parking lot off Quivira Way briefly around noon. I had it in the SE corner approx here: (32.7591397, -117.2372904) Silent, very skulky, and difficult to locate/keep track of.

Nathan French
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Fri Bird Festival Pelagic trip: Masked Booby

Friday's (28 Feb) San Diego Bird Festival pelagic trip aboard the "New Seaforth" was highlighted by very light seas, excellent visibility, and a very cooperative sub-adult MASKED BOOBY right along the border, in both California and Baja waters. The bird was probably about three years old–well advanced–and clearly had a greenish-yellow bill. It circled the boat multiple times and sat on the water very close. Lots of photos. Other highlights included healthy counts of 12 Brown Boobies and 70 Northern Fulmars. Species seen OFFSHORE (and on jetties) were:

Brant: 6

Surf Scoter: 270

Surfbird: 8

Black Turnstone: 1

Spotted Sandpiper: 2

Parasitic Jaeger: 1

Pomarine Jaeger: 1

Scripps's Murrelet: 9

Bonaparte's Gull: 10

Mew Gull: 1 (adult off La Jolla)

California Gull: 1500

Western Gull: 500

Heermann's Gull: 10

Royal Tern: 8

Pacific Loon: 15

Northern Fulmar: 70 (a very good count)

Black-vented Shearwater: 5000

MASKED BOOBY: 1 (32.562, -117.313; ca. 7.15 nm SW of tip of Point Loma)

Brown Booby: 12 (good count)

Brown Pelican: 150

Brandt's Cormorant: 40

hummingbird sp.: 1

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

GRAY CATBIRD Marina Village

Hi all,

Just found a GRAY CATBIRD next to the Marina Village Center on the bird festival’s estuary walk. Coordinates: (32.7593678, -117.2377018). Currently flying between trees in the parking lot, not visible at the moment.

Aaron Gyllenhaal
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at North Clairemont Regional Area

Hello San Diego Birders,
I'm here on a birding vacation from Oakland, trying to pad my San Diego county list. I visited North Clairemont Regional Area yesterday on a tanager quest, which was eventually successful. While I
was waiting for the tanager, a woodpecker flew into the easternmost tall
eucalyptus adjacent to the east lawn. Brief bino views showed adult
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, showing limited red throat patch, edged in black, red forehead,
but no red nape. About that time, the tanager showed up, so I took my eye off the sapsucker. I tried briefly
to refund the sapsucker after viewing tanager but no luck.

Regarding the continuing HEPATIC TANAGER, I first
spotted it briefly when it popped up on the low dark trees behind the green
and blue trashcans on the east lawn. I was deep in conversation with a
curious passerby and couldn't find a polite way to disengage so I lost
the bird. This was around 9 am. Maybe 20 minutes later, I was looking at
a sapsucker in the tallest easternmost eucalyptus when the tanager
again showed up. I watched it feed on eucalyptus berries high in the
canopy for maybe 15 minutes. I'll eventually add poor quality pictures to my eBird list at

Bird on,

Bruce Mast


Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Plumbeous Vireo at Marina Village (bird festival)

For those attending the San Diego bird festival, there is a Plumbeous Vireo in the parking lot at Marina Village where the festival is taking place. This morning, Thursday, it was in a blooming Coral tree in the northeast part of the parking lot.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Tricolored Blackbirds

The post the other day was a good reminder. 2020 is a range-wide survey year for Tricolored Blackbirds. Surveyor will be canvasing the county (and elsewhere) the first weekend in April. 
So, keep your birdin' eye sharp for Trikes on the horizon. And report them — eBird is great for that. It helps the surveyors to know where to concentrate efforts. 
Contact me separately if you have any questions or if you think you'd like to participate in the protocol surveys. 
And if you're one of the folks who've contacted me about surveying already, I hope to get more info out next week. 

– – –
Gjon Hazard 
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Cedar Waxwings at West Canyon (Serra Mesa area of San Diego)

This morning a flock of somewhere between 40 and 60 Cedar Waxwings flew into a bare tree at the head of the West Canyon walking path, where West Canyon Drive enters the Stoneridge housing complex. A bit later I found a small group of 8-10 of the birds feeding on Toyon berries just past the bend where path turns south and parallels the canyon.
I first saw a small number of the birds there 10 days ago, then a few more a week ago. The flock seems to be growing.
This spot is in the Serra Mesa area, just south of Aero Drive, and west of I-15.

eBird checklist:

Larry Edwards
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Poggi Creek Flycatchers

I went down to the Poggi Creek Greenbelt this morning looking for the Thick-billed Kingbird, and it put on a show for me, doing aerobatics with a Cassin's Kingbird for about 15 minutes before settling down together in a Sycamore across the street from the pool area.  There was also a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in a Eucalyptus south east of the pool, also with an accompanying Cassin's Kingbird. As an added bonus there was a flock of about 25 Cedar Waxwings feeding in the sycamores to the north of the pool.
Pat Johnston

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports