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Monthly Archives: March 2020

misc. miscellanea

Over the past several days, some highlights include: the count of White-winged Scoters off Camp Surf is now up to 4 (all together), there are still at least 2 Black Scoters on SD Bay, 3 or 4 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons continue near the Del Mar Public Works building (presumably same nesting pair there from last year, along with last year's young), an adult male Summer Tanager continues in Nestor (Leon Ave.), a Nashville Warbler in National City presumably wintered locally, and the Painted Redstart continues in Tierrasanta (where also a new, wintering W. Tanager). Unfortunately, the "best" bird was a Lark Bunting in sensitive Navy property along the Silver Strand; it could well be a March migrant on the move, as this species begins moving now (although some winter birds stay until April, however, so the Jacumba bird may or may not still be present).

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Greater Pewee still in Balboa Park

West side, same places as before, near Redwood Circle and a little north. Keith and I found it at7:45 in terrible light. Again at 9 and now at 11. Others now have lots of photos.

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

SDFO meeting reminder for 17 March with a NEW location

Greetings all!

We welcome all of you to come to our Tuesday, March 17th, 6:00 PM, meeting. We are featuring Richard Halsey, who will speak on “Rediscovering ourselves through Nature, especially through birds.” 
Our meeting will have a new location: the Mission Valley Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego. 

Important note: One can access Friars Road from I-15, Hwy 163, or I-8, but NOT FROM I-805 as stated in The Skimmer. Once on Friars, turn south onto Fenton Parkway. The library is near Ikea and IHOP, and in the same shopping center as Costco.
Barbara Carlson
SDFO Membership
P.S. For those wishing to join, please contact me offline or check the SDFO website for details. 2020 dues are still $25.00 for a single and $35.00 for a household.

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

light morph red tailed hawk

This isn't a rare bird but I took shots of some unusual raptor behavior yesterday or at least something I personally had never seen. I have lived on the banks of the Santa Margarita River in Fallbrook for over thirty years. I photographed a nearby nest for ten years that unfortunately blew down two years ago. I have taken many thousands of shots of raptors and their progeny. An even closer nest was built in a sycamore this year. The mother is the lightest mother we have had in the valley and also the smallest by far. Yesterday the male bird brought a large piece of fabric to the nest. Have never seen anything quite like it.

Robert Sommers
Fallbrook, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

results of san elijo monthly bird count 9 mar 2020

Thanks to 13 participants for conducting the 9 March 2020 San Elijo Lagoon monthly bird count: Steve Brad (beach/offshore, west basin, Nature Center site); Steve Perry, Izzy Santarsieri (W central basin pole rd/NW of Rios); Maryanne Bache, Dave Carey, Don Johnson, Jenni Paynter, Kevin Shaw (S central basin Rios to I-5); Kathy Aldern, Patti Koger (S east basin El Camino to Sta Inez); Susie Hedrick, Elizabeth Venrick (Stonebridge mesa); Robert Patton (N east basin, Escondido Cr, Cardiff Cove).

107 species were reported.  Notable species included the continuing 3 greater scaup SSW of Mira Costa College, 2 ring-necked duck in private pond off La Orilla & El Camino Real, Clark's grebe NE of Rios, barn swallow over the eastern mesa, and hooded oriole off La Orilla. 

Species included:  Pacific loon, red-throated loon, pied-billed grebe, western grebe, Clark’s grebe, brown pelican, double-crested cormorant, Brandt’s cormorant, great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, black-crowned night-heron, white-faced ibis, green-winged teal, mallard, northern pintail, cinnamon teal, northern shoveler, gadwall, American wigeon, ring-necked duck, lesser scaup, greater scaup, bufflehead, red-breasted merganser, ruddy duck, osprey, white-tailed kite, northern harrier, Cooper’s hawk, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, peregrine falcon, California quail, Ridgway’s rail, sora, American coot, snowy plover, semipalmated plover, killdeer, black-necked stilt, American avocet, greater yellowlegs, willet, whimbrel, long-billed curlew, marbled godwit, sanderling, western sandpiper, least sandpiper, dowitcher sp., ring-billed gull, California gull, western gull, rock pigeon, Eurasian collared-dove, mourning dove, Anna’s hummingbird, Allen’s hummingbird, rufous/Allen’s hummingbird sp., belted kingfisher, Nuttall’s woodpecker, downy woodpecker, black phoebe, Say’s phoebe, Cassin’s kingbird, tree swallow, northern rough-winged swallow, barn swallow, California scrub jay, American crow, common raven, bushtit, Bewick’s wren, house wren, marsh wren, ruby-crowned kinglet, blue-gray gnatcatcher, California gnatcatcher, western bluebird, hermit thrush, wrentit, northern mockingbird, California thrasher, cedar waxwing, European starling, Hutton’s vireo, orange-crowned warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, Townsend’s warbler, common yellowthroat, spotted towhee, California towhee, Belding’s savannah sparrow, migrant savannah sparrow, song sparrow, Lincoln’s sparrow, golden-crowned sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, red-winged blackbird, western meadowlark, great-tailed grackle, hooded oriole, house finch, lesser goldfinch, house sparrow, scaly-breasted munia.

The next San Elijo monthly bird count will be Monday 13 April 2020.  Counts are conducted by volunteers on the second Monday of each month, rain or shine.  Please spread the word or join us if you can (no RSVP required).  Meet at 7:30 am at the north end of Rios Ave in Solana Beach (north from Lomas Santa Fe Dr, west of I-5) to divide into groups to cover different subareas.  A compilation generally follows around noon at the nature center on Manchester Ave (bring your own lunch).

R. Patton
San Diego, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Continuing Grace's Warbler ; Villa La Jolla Park 9 MAR2020

I observed the continuing GRACE’S WARBLER  at Villa La Jolla Park this afternoon (9 MAR20) around 3:30 pm. I actually saw it in the pines along the south side of Via Marin (road on along south side of park) about half a block east of the park. I’ve had good luck in these pines for montane species. RBNU frequently use these mature pines. While it stayed in view for only a short time, I could hear it chipping deep within the pine. I also found the Gray-headed dark-eyed junco reported by Jay D. in the center of park south of playground. Documentation photos are in following ebird report.


Tito Gonzalez

Carlsbad, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Hepatic Tanager, Red-breasted Sapsucker (ruber), "continuing"

I spent much of today with Curtis Marantz seeing and missing several species around the county. The North Clairemont Rec Center HEPATIC TANAGER was quite obliging along the east edge of the tennis court in the eucs, but the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was not seen (could have departed by now?). The northern RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER (S. r. ruber) was still present at Harry Griffen Park (thanks to Eve Martin for pointing out the misspelled eBird hotspot name) in La Mesa. We then spent some time at Lake Murray with Eitan Altman – no sign of any goldeneye or the Cackling Goose from yesterday, but a WHITE-FACED IBIS was locally of interest. We then dipped on the Rusty Blackbird at the swap meet (it, too, could be gone by now?), and saw/heard a mix of the SE Balboa Park birds widely reported already (NORTHERN PARULA and SUMMER TANAGER, but not the Orchard Oriole) – which contrary to a previous email aren't "mine" in the least.

And as many of these are continuing birds, I thought I'd again prod folks to avoid "continuing" as their only eBird description. As spring approaches these birds will ultimately leave (or die) and establishing end dates is important. You may not want to write a whole paragraph on your phone and it can wait til you get home (and probably should, to avoid typos), but something as simple as "chestnut belly, black head" while in the field takes only a few more seconds and is much more helpful than "continuing" for an Orchard Oriole, especially if you then go on to write two sentences on where it was, but not what it looked like. 
Justyn Stahl
North Park

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Plumbeous Vireo ; Stagecoach Park SE Carlsbad 8 MAR2020

I observed a PLUMBEOUS VIREO this morning, 8 MAR2020, at Stagecoach Park in South East Carlsbad. It was foraging in the eucalyptus trees just north of the tennis courts. Given the same location, this is likely the same bird that Alex Abela reported on 9 NOV 2019, despite the 4 month gap between observations. Documentation photos are in the following ebird report.


Also of note, I was greeted to singing Hermit Thrush when I arrived. I was just west of tennis courts next to parking lot. It was not singing later in the morning.


Tito Gonzalez

Carlsbad, CA



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Justyn's three birds still present

The three uncommon birds (Orchard Oriole, male;  N. Parula, and Summer Tanager, female) that Justyn Stahl reported on two days ago were all seen by several birders (and pointed out to me; thank you, much appreciated) in the same trees immediately north and east of the cul-de-sac at the east end of Russ Blvd. (E. of 27th St.), between 10 and 11 a.m. on Sunday. 
Phil Pryde 
San Carlos

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Mew gull

This morning (Sat., about 10:30 a.m.) my birding class and I enjoyed the presence of a Mew Gull in the SD River mudflats north of Robb Field.  Maybe the same one seen earlier this week?  It was in a mixed assemblage of other gulls, godwits, and Royal Terns, but something stirred them all up, and when then settled down again I was unable to relocate the Mew Gull. 

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports