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Monthly Archives: May 2020

La Jolla Cove [south} May 30, 2020

Was at the Cove 5:45-7:45. Peter Ginsburg joined me from 6:15-7:45.

The day started off propitiously with a black-footed albatross heading south about 1.5 miles offshore.
A few minutes later, a pair of adult Heermann’s Gulls heading north were the first of the summer, and on the slightly early side for returnees. [There are a handful of immatures hanging around the Cove still.]

Then it went downhill fast, before Pete arrived. Light was terrible all the time; cloudy and dark.
Plenty of storm-petrels widely scattered everywhere.
But the feeding frenzy had moved to the south and _much_ further offshore.
We could see a huge mass of shearwaters circling far away, but they were infinitesimal specks, and we could not identify them to species.
If I hadn’t witnessed the tsunami of sooty shearwaters yesterday heading out towards that area, I would not have any idea what species we might be seeing.

At one point, a half dozen scoters flew north past us, and Pete was able to see that one was a male black scoter; I got a quick glimpse of the bill to see that the yellow knob was limited in size, so first-summer.
Quite late for a spring migrant here.

Finally, we had 2 black oystercatchers flying back and forth below us.
One landed on the sandy beach and Pete went over to watch it probing in the sand for food.
I’ve never before seen a black oystercatcher standing on a sandy beach, let alone feeding on one.

Stan Walens, San Diego
May 30 2020; 5:45 pm
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

La Jolla Cove: 10K sooty shearwaters

Two days ago at the cove I had two black vented shearwaters. Yesterday I watched another 70 or so fly in from the south. This morning I got an email from Paul about an influx of shearwaters. I’ll let him post about his numbers. After I was a finished my appointments this morning I came to the cove at about 1130 to see a huge torrent of sooty shearwaters flying south. In 30 minutes I’ve counted approximately 10,000 streaming past plus an uncounted number of black vented shearwaters. Hundreds of storm-petrels as well. One with a white-rump: No idea on identification.

Some scoters and Pac loons heading north.

A good scope is necessary.

Stan Walens, San Diego
May 29, 2020; 12:12 pm
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

storm-petrels, boobies, oystercatchers

Early this morning, Thursday, a 45-minute seawatch at La Jolla recorded continuing large numbers of Black Storm-Petrels just offshore, with ca. 1000 present. Also seen after much staring were 2
ASHY Storm-Petrels mixed in (at one point they were together)–rare to very rare from shore. But clearly the past few years something "different" has been going on with from-shore Black Storm-Petrels, given their increasing numbers and first appearing earlier in the spring than previously. And this year, they are also visible from shore off Imperial Beach and southernmost Coronado, where I saw about 20 yesterday morning–perhaps the first time I've ever seen them there. Also at La Jolla today were 3 long-continuing Black Oystercatchers, which frequent the shore anywhere from the Cove itself south to a little south of Children's Pool. And also off Imperial Beach yesterday was a concentration of 9 Brown Boobies, fishing over a school of Common Dolphins and lots of pelicans right off the Tijuana R. mouth.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Indigo Bunting singing on territory Paso Picacho for 3rd year

An Indigo Bunting male is singing on territory in the vicinity of the group camp at Paso Picaco CRSP for the 3rd consecutive year. I photographed and made a cell phone recording of it today 27 May 2020 between 0800 and 0930ish. This bird appears to be all blue, without any white plumage around it's vent area, but is on the same territory. Also observed chasing a Lazuli bunting female. Cheers.

CK Staurovsky
El Cajon
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Beautiful male just showed up in my yard in Carlsbad. Has come and gone to my feeder multiple times. Yay!  How fun!

I have good pics I can send

Sent from my iphone  

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Laguna scouting

I visited several spots in the Lagunas this morning – Pioneer Mail, Burnt Rancheria, Morris Ranch Rd and Kitchen Creek rd, upper.
Red Crossbills found at two locations, Mtn Quail at all location, Black-chinned Sparrows at three of the four spots. I found singing male Yellow-rumpled Warblers at Burnt Rancheria and Morris Ranch Rd. I also saw a female YRWA with the male at Morris Ranch. A possible Wilson’s Warbler was singing at Burnt Rancheria, but I was unable to get eyes on it and hesitate to state that for sure. Warbler songs can be a challenge.
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Summer Tanager, Surf Scoters, Brown Booby

Yesterday morning, 25 May, there was a blotchy red and yellow SUMMER TANAGER calling on the Naval Air Station North Island golf course. Jimmy McMorran messaged me to let me know it was still present this morning. 

On the 24th, ~750 Western Gulls were piled up on the beach south of Zuniga Jetty amongst a feeding flock of terns and pelicans, and ~50 Surf Scoters were apparently summering there and away from their usual haunts off IB or in south San Diego Bay. A check of the NASNI golf course on that day yielded a Western Wood-pewee and two Ash-throated Flycatchers (a species that may even be breeding in Coronado?).
On the 23rd, Nicole and I walked about 2 miles north on the beach from Camp Surf but a BROWN BOOBY offshore and a Black Turnstone onshore were the only birds of note. The adult Reddish Egret at J St. was present as is often the case.
Justyn Stahl
North Park (but back to SCI tomorrow!)

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Black and white warbler

Early Tuesday morning there was a male Black-and- white Warbler at Point Loma Nazarene University in the first patch of trees along the path just north of the main entrance. The only migrant I had on campus. I did not hear the hooded warbler.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Diego Offshore May 24, 2020

I did a solo trip offshore Sunday May 24th., in a reverse circle (counter clockwise) from the May 7th. trip. This one out of Mission Bay. Talk about social distancing, not a boat insight for about three of the nine hours I spent offshore.

The major change was lack of the Red Tide. The water now a dirty green color out to about 7 n. miles. Then clearing slowly to a clean green on the Thirty Mile Bank.
Sea surface temps, have dropped. Today mostly 66 degrees F.  That maybe slightly above normal for May. Last trip sst's  mostly 69-71 degrees (summer temps). Gale force winds north of us last week likely the cause.
Life offshore has increased slightly with a couple of small feeding congregations southwest of La Jolla ( 9..5- 10 n. miles) These made up of mostly Sooty and Black-vented Shearwaters, Brown Pelicans and Elegant Terns, and over a pods of Common Dolphin. 
The Nine and Thirty Mile Banks, and San Diego Trough were exceedingly quiet. In fact I saw more Black Storm-Petrels inside the Nine Mile Bank all the way in to the edge of Point Loma kelp and up to within a mile on the Mission Bay Jetties.
The big numbers of Ashy Storm-Petrels we'd seen in 2017 and 2018 (one hundred plus), and 2019 (close to 50) seem to have faded to a very few scattered individuals so far this year.  Three today, down from the 7 on seen May 7th.. All near the Thirty Mile Bank.
Not a single phalarope today. I had over three hundred on the May 7th. trip
No sign of Scripps's Murrelets, Perhaps they've abandoned nesting locally this year due to red tide, lack of food or ? They normally move out to the northwest post breeding. Perhaps they do the same if breeding fails.
No alcids or jaegers to report
One Least Tern was seen over the outside of the Nine Mile Bank, not that unusual a location except that there are very few other birds out there. Another Least Tern was along the middle part Point Loma kelp, and a dozen plus were in the s.w. portion on Mission Bay.
I did see Elegant Terns at all distance. Those well offshore traveling west at speed. Perhaps a food source out there somewhere? Those along the beach moving generally north. Many in Mission Bay (75).
An Adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was on the rip rap at Mission Point west of Quivara Basin, Mission Bay.
So total species and numbers for offshore (still rather small overall);
Pacific Loon   1
Pink-footed Shearwater   13
Sooty Shearwater   315
Black-vented Shearwater   140 ( a few showing start of wing flight feather molt )
Ashy Storm-Petrel   3
Black Storm-Petrel   60
Brown Booby    1
Brandt's Cormorant   5
Doubled-cr. Cormorant   1
Brown Pelican    57
Heermann's Gull    2
California Gull     3
Western Gull     30
Least Tern   2
Elegant Tern   290
Royal Tern   2
Dave Povey
Today I remember Mac, Smitty, Jack and all the others others.

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Tricolored Blackbirds Breeding again at Rangeland Road, Water District Pond, 24 May 2020

    Went out to Ramona to check on the Tricolored Blackbird colony  I had noted there  on 22 March 2020 (checklist   They have apparently bred and nested  in the Water District South Pond,  where bulrushes have now grown back.   Around this pond, and carrying food from the pasture east of the road,  there were predominantly adult females and recently fledged young (many with yellow-orange gapes), so I wondered where all the males were.  As I drove north along the road a bit, closer to the large, northern pond where cattle were grazing, I saw a few flocks of males streaming further west shuttling to and from the south pond area, that had been out of view from my previous vantage point.  Final estimate, tho an undercount, is 180 females, 50 fledglings, 100 males=330. Today's checklist . Most activity occured earlier in the morning.  

Susan Smith 

Seiurus Biological  Consulting 
Del Mar, CA 

Susan Smith
Seiurus Biological Consulting
Del Mar, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports