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Monthly Archives: April 2020

Vaux’s Swifts April 11, 2020

On April 11, 202, there appeared to be a good movement of Vaux’s Swifts moving through the coastal slope of San Diego in the afternoon. While walking my dog in the College area I had at least 21 come over the neighborhood just after 4:00, most not more than 100 feet up. While sitting in my backyard after the walk I had at least 20 more come through. Several other observers reported Vaux’s Swifts yesterday afternoon as well both west and north of my location. There are also eBird reports from this morning of Vaux’s Swifts. Perhaps not exactly a rare species but a good chance to see them so keep your eyes to the skies. A new yard bird for me.

Dan Jehl
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: Bird and Butterfly Garden

We all love the B&B Garden.
Just want to add this from the County of San Diego:
Beginning today, all parking lots and staging areas at County parks and preserves will be closed, along with all ballfields and sports courts. This is in accordance with the most recent Public Health Orderwhich states public parks and recreation areas shall only be accessible to members to the public who live within walking distance; that facilities shall be used solely for walking, hiking, equestrian and bike riding; and that the public shall not congregate or participate in active sport activities. 

Edward Fox  


Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Northern Waterthrush – Carmel Valley

For those who deem birding to be "exercise," there was a Northern Waterthrush singing in willows/riparian around 8:45 a.m. today (Saturday, April 11th) about 20 yards southwest of the point where the SR-56 bike path crosses under El Camino Real.  Seen/heard from the sidewalk on west side of El Camino Real:  32.932228, -117.236562.  The bike path is closed.  Ebird checklist with recording:   

Dan King
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Bird and Butterfly Garden

Good Morning all,

04/11/2020- there is a sign up at the Bird and Butterfly Gardends (TJRV) that says “County Parks are open for Passive activities” and it shows bicycling and hiking for examples. Noting more passive than Bird Watching!

Bring mask and practice social distancing…but this morning it was so beautiful and birdie! I saw Magpie Jays, Warblers (Nashville, hermit, Wilson’s, yellow-rump), Vireos (Cassins, Bells) an unknown Oriole (small sharp bill, bright yellow head and undertail, white breast and belly) and so much more!

Be Safe, And bird smartly.
Anthony “TooFly” Fife
La Mesa, Ca

ps. Offer still stands if anyone else needs help getting supplies.
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Pacific Beach – apparent hybrid Grace's X Yellow-rumped Warbler, 09 April 2020

Over the past few weeks I have had several encounters with an unusual looking warbler from my patio here at my home lock-down situation in Pacific Beach.  I first cottoned on to this warbler because of its unusual sounding call – a slightly squishy "chip" or "chit" call.  It does not sound like any of the expected winter resident warbler species so had me really curious.  I eventually managed to run for my camera one day, 15 March 2020, and get started with some detailed documentation worthy photos.  So far I have had three photography encounters with it and yesterday, 09 April 2020, obtained close photos in nice flat gray late afternoon lighting.

After the first encounter on March 15 I realized that it was likely a hybrid warbler and started picking over the background literature on a few candidate species.  I believe this could be a Grace's X Yellow-rumped Warbler hybrid.  Several birders contacted me about the photos on eBird and also suggested the same potential hybrid parentage.  The call, behavior, and snap gut feeling for me pointed to a close similarity with Grace's Warbler but obviously not perfectly!  The call is very similar, perhaps indistinguishable from Grace's Warbler.  I will also note the behavior as it only seems to feed probing in pine tree branch tips, flies right past pepper trees and mature lemonade berry, never fly catching or coming down to the ground as you often see Yellow-rumped Warblers doing.  But the plumage characteristics do seem to have some clear Yellow-rumped Warbler features in the mix of things.  If you look carefully yellow on the chest sides, white eye arc, greenish-yellow rump belt, and a faint "coronation" of paler feathers on the crown.  Definitely a mixed up creature.  As I discovered from several sources (e.g. Dunn & Garrett, 1997, Warblers, and Curson et al. 1994. Warblers of the Americas) there is mention of a single record of this hybrid warbler combination found in Colorado.  I could not find much else on this Colorado record trolling through the internet but amazingly did discover a painting of the hybrid by bird artist Jon Janosik at this link It does look similar although tail markings potentially different (white extends to tail tip in my bird, like Grace's Warbler, while white is only windows in tail in the painting, like Yellow-rumped Warbler).  Textbooks and Janosik's painting describes Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler parentage, I would assume the same for my bird but perhaps difficult to be certain.

I have posted photos of this neat looking warbler on a few eBird checklists.  I have not found any other photos of this apparent hybrid in eBird or searching through the internet.  Is definitely something to puzzle over.
Best photos on 09 April 2020
OK photos 05 April 2020
Nice photos on 15 March 2020 with notes on the plumage, call, behavior

Gary Nunn
Pacific Beach

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

GHOW vs CA Ground Squirrel

This morning while driving by the Borrego Springs High School, I watched a Great Horned Owl drop from a Washingtonia Filifera Palm Tree at the pup fish pond. When I did not see the owl move back into the tree with its prey, I parked and approached the pond. The owl flushed into another tree 30 meters away, mobbed by a mockingbird and kingbird. When I arrived at the pond, I found and photographed a freshly killed California Ground Squirrel. I was unable to find any blood while examining the squirrel, but it was still very warm so I am confident that it was killed by the owl just moments before. When I walked back towards my car the owl moved back to the original palm from which it had dropped and I was able to obtain a photo of the owl.  Photos of the owl and squirrel at

William Terry Hunefeld
Borrego Springs CA 
Staying safe while birding, botanizing and tracking alone in the vast reaches of Anza Borrego Desert
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Harry Griffen Park, La Mesa, Open for walk ins

Soggy but birdy, Harry Griffen Park is open (officially) and big enough for distancing.  Seen this morning were hooded and bullock's orioles, western tanagers, great horned owl, wilson's and black-throated gray warbers, black-headed grosbeaks, chipping sparrows and many of the usuals.  The best spot was the grove just west of the play ground.  Only a couple other people in the park before 10am.
Richard Cuthbertson

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: Social distancing and birding

This conversation is closed. If you wish to discuss it further, take it off line. 

Use your best judgement, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.
Justyn Stahl, moderator

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: Social Distancing Being Enforced

What I don't understand is so many birders are being selfish and driving to multiple locations and closed areas to bird. 

Then they continue to report their sightings to this list and E-Bird as if everything is normal.
Bird your neighborhood if you to exercise. Stay at Home as the law tells you to obey.
D. Aguillard
San Diego, CA.

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports