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Monthly Archives: April 2020

Escondido Solitary Sandpiper

Jesmond Dene park. Pond north of baseball field. 50 foot view on mudflats. Great photo op. Lots of birds. Not many migrant warblers today though. 

I got dropped off. Parking on street not to far away? 

Greg Gillson
Escondido, California
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Yellow-th. Vireo No

The Yellow-throated Vireo is a no show so far this morning.

Birders still looking. I will update if refound.
Dave Povey

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Yellow-throated Vireo Dulzura 4-24-2020

I first heard this bird sing it's two part spaced buzzy song about 10:30 this morning.

I was just putting away the weed wacking machine so it may have been singing earlier and unheard with my ear muffs on. 
I expected a "Solitary" type vireo
Went and got bins, and was surprised to find a bright yellow vireo, with yellow spectacles, yellow throat and breast, white belly, bold white wing bars, on gray wings. Head and back an off yellow green. Grayish rump. Yellow-throated Vireo
This bird was moving around very slowly and singing it's repeated spaced phrases and then took short flights between eucalyptus trees.
About 10:45 it stopped sing and was silent , but seemed to settle on the tall eucalyptus over the driveway, and the smaller ecuc just across the drive.
Last seen by three of us about 1:15 p.m.
If you'd like to take a crack at this bird, you're welcome to. Please contact me off line for directions.
Dave Povey

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Yellow-throated Vireo, Mount Soledad & Point Loma miscellanea

On Friday morning, Dave Povey has a sporadically singing YELLOW-THROATED VIREO in his yard out east in Dulzura. It was still singing a bit up until just after 10:30 AM, but has gotten quieter since–no surprise. He says he still had it at 11AM. If anyone wants to give it a hail mary and try for it later today, or tomorrow morning, feel free to contact him. But there is no "one spot" in his large yard to check. This is close to a typical "first date" for spring Yellow-throated Vireos in s. California.

Following the huge flight on Weds, the past two early mornings at Mount Soledad in La Jolla have had far fewer migrants (150 on Thurs, around 100 on Friday) but they have included several species of interest. On Thursday our coastal rarities were a Townsend's Solitaire (c/o Nicole Desnoyers) and a Purple Martin (c/o David Holway). And today they were a cooperative Gray Flycatcher, 2 Pine Siskins, and a few more Hammond's Flycatchers, Cassin's Vireos, and Lawrence's Goldfinch. Yesterday, there was a good number of migrants in residential Point Loma, including 6 Hammond's Flycatchers at Pt. Loma Nazarene University, but today the numbers of migrants there is notably fewer, although a new female Calliope Hummingbird turned up (but looked unsettled).

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Bird & Butterfly Garden

This morning (4/22/20) Cheryl and I ventured out with our Covid-19 paraphernalia to the Bird & Butterfly Garden.  The parking lot is closed but the garden is open to the public so we parked on Hollister and walked in.  Covid contact was not a worry.  We saw only two human beings the whole time we were there and they were two Spanish speaking ranch hands on horseback about 50 feet away.  Lots of birds and butterflies were there.  Some of the birds seen were 12+ Western Tanagers (all males); Wilson's Warblers – 8+;  Townsend's Warblers – 5+; Hermit Warbler – 1; Yellow-breasted Chat -2 (very vocal); Olive-sided Flycatcher (hawking insects from the top of a tall dead tree); Pacific Slope Flycatcher -3; Hooded Oriole; multiple Rufous/Allen's type hummers; and a Lesser Goldfinch on a nest with female Cowbirds lurking in the same tree yearning to drop an egg.  I too thought it was a little early for Olive-sided flycatcher, but according to Paul I hold the county early arrival record of April 10th, 2012 at Mission Trails Park.  Who knew?

Gary Grantham
Scripps Ranch
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Sabre Springs migrants – need ID confirmation

I sent this once, but from the wrong e-mail address. My apologies if the post ends up duplicated.

As part of opening city parks and trails for local use, they opened the trail along the creek near my house. So I birded down there this morning.

Saw more migrants than I've ever seen in one outing along that trail. Among the 49 to 50 species I found there were 10 WESTERN TANAGERS, 1 WESTERN WOOD-PEEWEE, 1 possible HAMMOND's FLYCATCHER, 7 WARBLING VIREOS, 3 TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, 7 WILSON'S WARBLERS, and 5 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, and the icing on the cake was an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER. Only the second time I've ever seen one down there. The last one was in May of 2016.

Usually when I find Tanagers or migrating Warblers along that trail I'm lucky to see one or two of each species.  Most likely there was more than what I spotted. It's a large area with a lot of dense foliage and a lot of the habitat is inaccessible.

If anyone who lives over this way is considering checking out the trail, I highly recommend avoiding weekends. Trail is narrow in a lot of spots, and there are too many people on it on the weekends to be able to maintain appropriate distancing.

I have a few not so great photos of the empid that I thought looked like a Hammond's Flycatcher. They are currently under empid sp. Could use some help with confirming the ID.

List with photos:

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs South

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Little-visited park very productive

         Like others, I thought I’d try going to a new venue to look for migratory birds, and decided I’d try Hillside Park in El Cajon.  I can’t recall many (any?) reports coming from there.  The park is open to hikers and dog-walkers. 
         Turns out, it’s a very birdy location.  Between 7:40 and 9:30 this (Wed.) morning I had no trouble ID-ing 27 species of land birds (0 water birds). Those of you better at bird calls than I am (meaning almost all of you) could easily log  > 30 species there.  
         Included were at least a half dozen W. Tanagers, both genders of Black-headed Grosbeak, both Pac. Slope and Hammond’s Flycatchers, and a variety of warblers of which Wilson’s were by far the most common.  Other warblers were Townsends, Yellow,  O-crowned, Y.-rumped, and maybe a Nashville.  (The latter was seen only from underneath and had the whitish area on the belly around the legs, but I never got a look at the head.)  Other interesting observations included two sizable flocks of Cedar Waxwings, a pair of Allen’s Hummers, and a female Anna’s on a nest 5 feet from the path – an easy great photograph.  
         If you haven’t been to Hillside Park, as you go down the hill (eastbound) towards El Cajon, just turn right off Fletcher Parkway onto Buena Terrace (road), and you’re there.  Park on Buena Terr.  Hike in on the main path at least as far as the picnic tables;  the picnic table area was by far the most productive birding area (at least this morning).  Go early; at 7:30 there was almost no one in the park.  
        FYI, Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa is also open, and this (Wed.) morning there were perhaps a dozen W. Kingbirds scattered all around it.  
Phil Pryde, San Carlos

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Weds Mount Soledad flight: 1500 migrants

Given the building high pressure and wind shift to the northeast overnight and early this morning, light at first (5-10 mph), then slightly stronger (still under 15 mph) and N as the morning went on, we figured there was the potential for an excellent morning flight. Mount Soledad in La Jolla seemed to be the right place to be, as we totaled ca. 1500 migrants passing by between 6:10-9:10 AM (and smaller numbers were still passing by at 9:15 when I departed). My previous morning high there of passerine migrants was in the 300s! I was ably assisted this morning by Jay Desgrosellier, and the two of us stood about 150+ feet apart so we could view two largely different sections of the broad front of passing birds. Unfortunately, two other sites in the county that were checked this morning–Eitan A. at Mount Helix and Alex A. on the west side of Escondido–produced pleasing, but not exceptional, numbers of birds. Perhaps the easterly breeze/wind stacked birds up right along the coast, where we were, rather than farther inland where Eitan and Alex were? Here are Jay's and my totals at Soledad:

75 Vaux's Swift

1 Sharp-shinned Hawk (a typical departure date in spring)

14 Ash-throated Flycatcher

15 Western Kingbird

14 Hammond's Flycatcher


28 Pacific-slope Flycatchers

11 Cassin's Vireos (presumably a county migrant record)

260 Warbling Vireo (must be by far a county record high)

8 Barn Swallow (clearly through-migrants)

20 Cliff Swallows (clearly behaving like through migrants rather than some nearby breeders)

2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

2 Swainson's Thrush

20 Cedar Waxwing


7 Lawrence's Goldfinch

17 Chipping Sparrow

12 White-crowned Sparrow (some in actual active migration!)

3 Golden-crowned Sparrow

20 Hooded Oriole (still moderate numbers of actual migrants streaming north–all females and imm males)

25 Bullock's Oriole

40 Orange-crowned Warbler

55 Nashville Warbler

4 MacGillivray's Warbler (including in active, in-the-air, through-flight)


6 Yellow Warbler (this species almost NEVER makes up large numbers in morning flights)

25 Yellow-rumped Warbler

150 Black-throated Gray Warbler (by far a record county total; a large majority were females)

225 Townsend's Warbler (new county high)

90 Hermit Warbler (new county high)

220 Wilson's Warbler (maybe a new record, but close)

50 Western Tanager

14 Black-headed Grosbeak

2 Blue Grosbeak

190 Lazuli Bunting (new county record)

Approximately similar weather forecast for another three days. Will be interesting to see if additional excellent flights materialize on at least some of these next mornings, although there is presumably only so many times one can "go to the well" over a short time period.

In other news, there were 2 Calliope Hummingbirds and another Sharp-shinned Hawk later this morning in residential Point Loma. And back on Monday there was a Bank Swallow in the Tijuana River Valley.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports