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Monthly Archives: June 2020

Monday miscellanea

On Monday morning the 30th, the first Common Tern (one-year-old) of the season appeared–at the J Street mudflats, one of their favored summer locales. Also long-staying continuing Reddish Egret and Glaucous-winged Gull. I hear that Nancy C. had a Surfbird there later in the morning, which might be one of the two birds I had seen way back on June 1st at the saltworks but hadn't been able to re-find since, so I assumed those were very late spring migrants…but maybe not. Plumages are reasonably similar (mostly but not quite fully alternate). Over-summering Surfbirds are very rare, but most records indeed come from the mudflats on south San Diego Bay.

In the Tijuana River Valley there was a high total of 55 American Goldfinches at the community gardens–made up of a mix of adults and plenty of youngsters.

The other summering Reddish Egret in town, at the San Diego River mouth, continues today as well. And in the upper section near Friars Road, John Bruin's over-summering pet Redhead continues as well.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Willet @ Lake Murray (6/29/20)

Of local interest, a post-rain check of Lake Murray turned up a worn adult (presumably early southbound migrant) Willet.

I first spotted it ~11:15am flying around the buoys by the dam while scanning across the lake from the opposite side, thank goodness it’s the easiest shorebird to identify in flight from over a half mile away with handheld 10x binos! It flew into Alvarado Bay at which point I lost it, but I was able to refind it loafing on the shore 20-25 minutes later after walking back to my car and circling around to the Kiowa entrance.

Eitan Altman
San Carlos
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Possible Cook's Petrel chase

Hello all,

At this point I have enough folks signed on to fill a boat.
I do not have a date certain or boat chartered on at this time.
Once that occurs I will notify the list names in the order I received them to confirm who wants to go
Some express that certain dates would not work for them.
Price was also stated as an issue, so that may play into the final decision to go or no go for some.
Remember this is fishing/tourist season. We compete with them.
Last I did have one or two that were concerned with the group size and that may also affect some final decision.
So we are on hold for the time being. I hope to have more information soon.
Dave Povey

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Cook's Petrel chase

Hello all,

So far, I have a thirteen folks on the list for a possible Cook's Petrel chase, with three more requesting a weekends only.
I am currently talking to three boat owners, and would like to get this underway as soon as possible, but need a little additional interest. 
I understand that chasing birds at sea is an iffy proposition, but feel this is a once in a (several) Blue Moon opportunity.No guarantees, but a chance.
I also understand the concern about the Covid virus. I see that as well founded. No one can blame you for that. Staying home is about the only sure way to avoid the bug. No one ill, or testing positive, or in one of the health imparied catogories should go. Mask will be required.
That said and understood. Let me know as soon as possible if you're interested?
Dave Povey

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

32 COOK'S PETRELS and 2 Craveri's in San Diego & L. A. County waters; possible future chase trip?

Today, Saturday the 27th, Dave Povey, Nancy Christensen, and I went offshore, the main purpose being to visit the waters in the extreme southwest corner of the county, about 25-29 nautical miles from the tip of Point Loma and immediately bordering both Los Angeles County and Mexican waters. The waters offshore between the mainland and the inside edge of the 30-Mile Bank are currently amazingly dead, with very, very small numbers and an incredibly low diversity of birds. Once up on the 30-Mile Bank, just north of the international border, we starting finding a number of small- to medium-sized rafts of Black Storm-Petrels, Then, in the deeper water (2200-2400 feet; 67.7 F) beyond the shallowest section of the bank–right near where the international boundary makes an obvious 90-degree jog to the south, we starting seeing COOK'S PETRELS, many feeding with storm-petrels or just sitting in small groups on the water. We totaled at least 24 Cook's in San Diego County waters and at least 16 in L. A. County and 5 in Baja waters, with a bit of duplication as birds moved across the boundaries (as calculated by us!). Despite our working cameras only including a single super-zoom and a couple cell-phones, reasonable photos were obtained. We also had a pair of CRAVERI'S MURRELETS, an unseasonal Sabine's Gull, a one-year-old Common Tern, and 4 well-offshore Least Terns, all just inside L. A. County waters. There are only several previous sightings of Cook's Petrels inside San Diego County waters, and these involved just single birds.

Before I list the day's totals, if there is enough interest in chartering a fishing/whalewatching boat for a "chase-trip" at some point sooner rather than later (the next regularly scheduled San Diego pelagic trip is not until mid-August), then Dave Povey is willing to inquire of the local boat landings to see if any boat is available. The cost would depend on what the charter costs divided by the number of people going. Let Dave know if you are potentially interested and whether any day of the week will work for you or if only weekends are do-able. Conditions can change rapidly offshore, so there is certainly no guarantee of success! This is now the beginning of the very busy fishing season, and whale sightings have just recently increased, so this all may be a moot point–but it's worth a try if there is enough interest out there. Dave's e-mail address is <poveydw747@…>

Today's list:

Cook's Petrel: 32+

Pink-footed Shearwater: 6

Sooty Shearwater: 20

Black-vented Shearwater: 4

Ashy Storm-Petrel: 18

Black Storm-Petrel: ca. 700

Craveri's Murrelet: 2

Cassin's Auklet: 4

Sabine's Gull: 1

Heermann's Gull: 1

Western Gull: 8

Least Tern: 6

Common Tern: 1

Elegant Tern: 80

Brown Pelican: 25

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Shared eBird checklist from Konyn Dairy Saturday morning

Here is a shared EBird Checklist from this morning’s Konyn Dairy Glossy Ibis run. You can view the list here with the included photos:

Only click the link below if you want to add the checklist to your eBird account:

You will then be able to view, edit, or delete it. Learn more about eBird's checklist sharing process at


Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Glossy Ibis EBird reports

Hi for those who were there this morning Saturday, since no one appears to have organized a common list if you email me your EBird email I will share my list and then you can edit and add photos. Hopefully this will reduce the number of submitted reports. I will try to get the link out later today

John Bruin
Bay Park
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Laguna – Baby vireo and Yellow-rump warblers!

Dan Jehl, Russ and I made a trip to Desert View Road today. It was a very different day than last week when there were singing birds everywhere. Today was quieter, and while it was birdy, there was less action. In particular, the vireos were far quieter than usual. There were two vireo spots noted today, both of which were spots I had photographed Plumbeous Vireos in the past weeks.


At Spot 1 (32°51'17" N 116°25'14" W) we found 2 vireos, one singing, one occasionally joining in. Separation of the two birds was 3 or 4 yards at most, so presumably a pair. Both of these birds appear to be Plumbeous. In this location I believed there was an active nest last week, but we saw no sign of young here.


At Spot2 (which is some distance away) (32°51'6" N 116°25'13" W) we found an adult Plumbeous which fed a fledgling. Soooo… this confirms nesting of this species in San Diego County. My photos of the adult are pretty bad, but enough to show no yellow on the bird. We did NOT see a second adult, so it is possible it is a mixed pair. No singing at this location. The birds were first located by a short scold call made by the adult. I recognized it (having recorded it last week), found the bird, and then Dan spotted the baby just in time for us to see the feeding. Baby and adult moved off into deeper brush and we could not follow for more looks.


We did not find any Dusky Flycatchers today. We did not find ANY Cassin’s vireos today, but had at least 3 spots where we heard vireos briefly, but did not see them. I speculate that as the babies leave the nest, the adults become quieter to avoid attracting attention to the area.


Then we went to Morris Ranch Road. In the parking area we found a singing male Yellow-rumped Warbler. There was also a female feeding fledglings. This is the first nesting of this species in the county that I have seen. A small group of Red Crossbills was present.


Checklists with some photos:

Desert View Road

Morris Ranch Road


Nancy Christensen



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports