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Monthly Archives: March 2020

Park/Beach Closure

Just a heads-up regarding closures.  The IB Pier is closed.  Robb Field/SD River walk on the South side is closed. All access to the parking lot of Robb Field is blocked by barricades.  Cops on M/C are patrolling the park. Just a heads up on what I found-besides the scoters
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Black, White-wing and Surf Scoters at the Imperial Beach Y Surf Camp.

I went relatively early to the beach directly in front of the Y Surf School in Imperial Beach.  Thanks to Nancy C for responding to my question about the birds the previous night.  All 3 species were present this morning.  The birds were coming within 25-30 feet of the water's edge.  However, they would quickly swim out and beyond the breakwater if you approached or walkers went by.  There are two jetties at this beach  The birds would swim slightly south of the South jetty and then swim north to the north jetty.  They'd turn around and swim South to the South jetty.  This patter was consistent throughout the time I was watching them.  eBird completed with photos of scoters.
Mike Wittmer
Escondido, Ca

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Vaux’s Swift?

While photographing swallows in Ramona today, I took two frames of what looks like a Vaux’s Swift. This is about 6 weeks early for this species, so it makes me wonder….
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Bird and Butterfly Garden 22 March 2020

Yesterday afternoon about 2:20 there was a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on the power lines along Hollister just south of the Bird and Butterfly Garden. It hawked insects frequently and moved south slowly, mainly returning to the power lines. A Western Kingbird was on the topmost branches of the trees in the abandoned property south of the B&B Garden as well, white outermost tail feathers flashing in the sunlight.

The garden itself was quite birdy and no one around.

Remember to social distance at least six feet apart (1 Turkey Vulture wingspan), a California Condor would be better. Stay well.

Dan Jehl
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Early ? song sparrow fledgling

Early for my yard, at least, I saw a fledgling song sparrow accompanied by an adult here in Tierrasanta today. Haven’t found its nest though. Last year it was in a hedge by the driveway. Truly an urban (suburban?) bird.

Dennis Parker
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports


Yesterday, Mel, and my husband Russ, visited the Camp Surf area of Imperial Beach in response to Paul’s post about the scoter flock. Happily, the very first bird we saw, and closest to the beach, was a male White-winged Scoter. This bird had brownish body plumage, so I would assume it was a young male. Further out from shore there was a darker male and a female staying pretty close together. As I scanned the flock I thought I had 3 males and 1 female, but later was never able to find more than 3. Mel spotted a male Black Scoter in the flock right away when we arrived, but I was not able to get on that bird for at least a half hour. We were unable to spot the female Black Scoter reported by Paul, but as the flock was actively diving we could have missed it.


The tide was high and the birds ere close. Dan Jehl reported to me that in the afternoon, with the tide out and winds blowing from the ocean, it was not a good time to see these birds!


We drove separately, did not share scopes, and stayed at least 6 feet apart. Stay safe everyone!


Checklist with some photos:


Nancy Christensen



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

gull-billed terns south san diego bay & bald eagle san elijo 3-22-20

Like clockwork, gull-billed terns returned to South San Diego Bay yesterday (3-22-20), with the first spotted shortly after dawn over Chula Vista Wildlife Reserve heading toward J St Marina/Telegraph Canyon Cr, then up to 4 at a time seen over South San Diego Bay NWR saltworks (with concurrent sightings indicating at least 8 likely in the area) by Lea Squires, Matt Sadowski, and me, then heading along the Bayshore Bikeway east of 13th St, around 8th & 7th St, and toward the Marine Biological Study Area, where Mel Senac & Nancy Christensen also saw them.  Later in the day, at least 2 were near the mouth of the Sweetwater River.
Along the coast from now to August the species can be common but extremely localized from the Sweetwater River south to Tijuana Estuary and Las Playas Tijuana, and north along the Silver Strand to the mouth of San Diego Bay, and at times along the San Diego River near Robb Field and Seaworld.  On the coastal slope inland from the bay or north of the San Diego River please report any sightings (and critically discern them from other species).

Also of note, elegant tern numbers increased dramatically over the past week, with at least 3000 now staging and courting at South San Diego Bay, and with numbers expected to continue increasing in coming weeks.  Caspian tern numbers remain very low.

And in North County, around 2 pm on the 22nd, Doug Gibson and others photographed a juvenile bald eagle east of I-5 at San Elijo Lagoon, then heading to the west side of I-5.
R. Patton
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Wrentits in Bonita

Haven't been doing much birding lately, but I've been giving some attention to our yard birds. Something new for this spring is a pair of Wrentits that have been singing for about three weeks, and are apparently trying to nest. Our yard is purest suburbia, and except for three large, well-manicured Brazilian pepper bushes between us and our next-door neighbor, there isn't much around here that I would have thought would interest a reclusive species like Wrentit. The largest of the pepper bushes normally has a Mockingbird pair,  so it will be interesting to see how they sort themselves out.

John Walters
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Possible Plumbeous Vireo at MTRP Santee 03/22/2020

Hi all,

I say possible because I am not sure. It did not sound off. But it was a overall gray vireo with spectacles. Multiple photos on eBird report but not confirmed yet. But I believe it is a good possibility.
Found in a small tree surrounded by bushes just north of a sign that says 8212 Mesa Road just where Mesa Road turns into a dirt road. I also heard a Cactus Wren in that same area.
Terry Hurst 

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports