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Monthly Archives: April 2020

Possible Dusky Flycatcher? 4/11/2020

Looking for some help on this one.

I'm thinking this might be a Dusky Flycatcher?  If so this would be a first for me.
I was birding near my house, location is the La Orilla Trailhead off of El Camino Real in Rancho Santa Fe.
Bruce Rosendahl
Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Neighborhood breeding

Marcy Park has a couple new breeding records for this spring.  I noticed there were no Say’s phoebe records for this quadrant in the Breeding Atlas.

Yesterday (4/13/20) three fledglings (just learning to fly) were seen with the resident pair at the park.  A Great horned owl pair fledged two owlets this spring.

They flew off last week.  I believe there was a runt of that litter that didn’t make it.


                                       Jim Roberts

                                         University City

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: Vaux’s Swifts April 11, 2020

Agreed! I have seen them flying over San Elijo lagoon the past three days. One on Sunday, two on Monday and in just 30 minutes this morning about 20 flew over, heading north. I’m straining my neck between zoom meetings to try to add them to my yard list 

Happy solitary birding!
Steve Perry
Solana Beach

Sent from AT&T Yahoo Mail for iPhone

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Quarantine Birds

Being stuck at home during quarantine I've had a chance to watch the feeders @ my house near Iron Mountain in Poway.  There have been lots of common birds, California Scrub Jays, California Thrasher, California Towhees, Spotted Towhees, White-Crowned Sparrows, House Finches, Bewick's Wrens etc.  Also a ton of Bullock's and Hooded Orioles, but 90% Hooded this year.  Anna's/Allen's hummingbirds mostly.  There is one Rufous around but I can't get a decent photo of it.  There are also Black-Chinned that come in and out, and there are Costa's that come in and out but never for more than a day or so.

No rarities so far, but the hummingbird feeders have been very lightly used by Hummingbirds, I think because there are still so many wild flowers around, so the hummingbirds are mostly in the Sumac Bushes.  Hoping to see a Calliope or something soon, but again, the feeders are always full of Orioles and there is plenty of natural vegetation around.
I made a short video showing the birds around my house for the past month or so.  It can be seen here. 
Quaratine Bird Video can be seen here on Vimeo –
-Roger Uzun
Poway CA 

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Nazca Booby and Spotted Towhee

Dear friends,

Evidently the Nazca Booby from Coronado was brought to Project Wildlife
yesterday, and then today was transferred to Sea World, which takes care of
rehabilitation of seabirds these days. Today Kimberly Peterson of Sea World
sent me two pictures that show a bird in subadult plumage but with a
remarkably bright nearly uniformly orange bill. She says it's very thin but
she has high hopes it will be fine. No need to rush it to a ventilator!

While many of us are at home doing our civic duty to flatten the curve, I'm
sure we are noticing birds in our yards and neighborhoods more intently than
in the past. It's an opportunity to learn something about urban adaptation,
a frontier in biology. One species of interest to me is the Spotted Towhee.
This morning one was singing from the top of a pine tree across the street
from me in Hillcrest, first time I have seen one from my house where I have
lived since 1995. For the past few years one or two have been in the canyon
one block to the north of me, but that itself was a recent recolonization.
Jim Determan and I were talking about the Spotted Towhee recently, and he
told me that it now occurs well away from natural habitat around his
mother's house in San Marino, Los Angeles County. I have other observations
suggesting the Spotted Towhee is recolonizing small canyons in San Diego,
after being one of the 8 "chaparral-requiring" species addressed by Michael
Soulé et al. in their landmark study of the effect of fragmentation of
native scrub habitats in San Diego. Another one of those 8
"chaparral-requiring" birds was Bewick's Wren, which has increased
astonishingly as an urban adapter over the last 15 years or so. Two days ago
I found a Bewick's Wren nest with young among the sawed-off leaf bases of a
palm tree down the street from my house. The California Gnatcatcher
recolonized Point Loma around 2006. So while we are stuck at home, please
think about and share stories of any new urban adaptation you may be noting
in your neighborhood.

Thanks much, and stay well!

Philip Unitt
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Solitary Sandpiper in Ramona

I birded at the Ramona Community Park this morning before going to the grocery store. The pond on private property north of the park continues to flood onto the adult softball fields (reached from Elm Street – intersection with Cedar). I found a Solitary Sandpiper with a small group of peeps at the extreme north edge of the Community Park property. The area is flooded – I wore rubber boots as much of the grass is 2 to 8 inches deep in water. The grass is getting tall, and it is easy to lose sight of the birds as they move around. Stilts, Avocets, Dowitchers, one White-faced Ibis and the peeps are making good use of the ball fields. Pollywogs are beginning to hatch out, and if this continues like last year, the number of water birds will be increasing. A couple hundred swallows overhead, but nothing unusual that I spotted. I was disappointed to find nothing of interest in the riparian area along the creek (which is why I went there).


Checklist with some pics


Nancy Christensen



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Nazca Booby origins/location, and other bird news

The report earlier today of a sub-adult Nazca Booby appears to come from the bay side of Coronado. In fact, if plotted correctly, it seems to be directly across from the banana boat facility just south of downtown San Diego, near the Coronado bridge. Oh no, another saga unfolding of Nazca Boobies, San Diego Bay, and the likely dreaded banana boat connection!! (I would also add here that Coronado was indeed commonly known as "Coronado Island" many, many decades ago when it actually was an island, which of course it no longer is–and best probably not to use that term to avoid confusion with the Coronado Islands across the border inside Mexico.)

In other recent bird news, today (12 April) there was an immature Reddish Egret at the San Diego River mouth and an OK number of migrants on Point Loma, including multiple Hammond's Flycatchers, B-t Grays, and Rufous Hummers, Cassin's Vireo, a fair number of Nashvillles, and lots of presumably migrant Orange-crowneds that far exceeded the number of local breeding birds. A singing Plumbeous Vireo in the Tijuana R. valley on 5 April was almost certainly a wintering bird; locally wintering individuals regularly linger into the third week of April, or even later. Two White-winged Scoters were still near the Imperial Beach pier on 3 April, and judging by the condition of their flight feathers, may remain a while. Two singing Y-b Chats that day in the Tijuana R. valley were slightly early. A count of 410 Red Knots on s. San Diego Bay was pretty high.

Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

New Black-and White Warbler at Greenwood Memorial Park

Hi, Fellow Birders,

This morning I birded Greenwood Memorial Park as discretely as I could with a big lens.  There actually weren't many people there until late morning.  My good deed for the day was rescuing a medium sized dog stranded in the lily pond.  

Anyhow, the Sefton Obelisk area, in particular, was very warblery: I saw seven species there.  I don't often find rare birds before others, but when I do, they're Black-and-White Warblers.  I padded my resume with my fourth in four years.

I and a female Allen's Hummingbird found a crude wood and metal cross nailed to the bottom of a tree.  She proceeded to do most of the stations of the cross as I watched, or so it appeared.  It is more likely that she was gleaning nesting material (spider webs?) as a couple of really bad photos (not included among the merely mediocre ones in the checklist) showed her bill wide open right up against the bark.

Checklist with photos here Greenwood Memorial Park 4/12/20

Tuck Russell
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports