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Monthly Archives: August 2020

August 31 Sweetwater Reservoir

At the moment there is a continuing Yellow-headed Blackbird at Sweetwater Reservoir. It is ALWAYS with the Red-winged Blackbirds who every 10 minutes fly up and land in a new location of the south shore. It is a female who only had the yellow coloration in the front making it hard to spot in flight and when feeding. There was also a courting pair of Vaux's Swifts. They were both out with the other swallows in the morning. One of the two Swifts kept dive bombing me making for better, but still horrible shots. They are unmistakable, seeing how they are the only swifts feeding with the swallows, followed with the fact they lack any white on their body. With the exception of the growing numbers of Red-necked Phalaropes, there really isn't anything else worth mentioning.
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

UCSD Black-and-white Warbler

A photo-birder on Facebook posted shots of a Black-and-white Warbler today, taken at the UCSD Ecological Park, which looks to be northeast of the Geisel Library and East of Hopkins Drive.
Just the messenger,
Justyn Stahl

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

White-eyed Vireo, landbird migration (lack thereof), minor miscellanea

As of 28 Aug, the White-eyed Vireo continues, and continues singing, at El Camino Cemetery. No surprise. The usual area.

Overall, the migration of western landbirds along the coast has been quite lackluster (an understatement!) the past couple weeks. Hopefully things will improve soon. I am seeing fewer than 5 individual migrants each morning, at a wide variety of sites; and I finally, for example, got my first-of-season Wilson's Warbler on the 26th and first migrant-type Savannah Sparrows on the 27th–which is late for both. Of just minor interest was a migrant Yellow-breasted Chat on Point Loma on 24 Aug (there are few if any August records of migrants, but that has probably more to do with it being difficult to find clearly migrant Chats in fall), and an adult male Western Tanager in Tierrasanta on 25 Aug was in full song for over 5 minutes, which is odd for a migrant in fall. Long-staying Reddish Egrets continue at both the San Diego R. mouth and at the J Street mudflats.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Summer tanager

This morning (8/27/20) at 8:30AM a young male SUMMER TANAGER was present in the habitat just west of the western terminus of Governor Drive in University City.
                                Jim Roberts
                            University CIty

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Lucy's Warbler at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa (8/25/2020)

Hi all – this morning Kathryn Wendel and I had a dull (presumably first fall) LUCY'S WARBLER at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa.  

We actually both saw this bird separately earlier in the morning, I saw it two separate times and was about 75% confident of the ID but never saw it well enough to call it for sure. After Kathryn described her bird, with her impressions matching mine, I felt more confident that my hunch was correct and we met back up at the park later in the morning and she ended up spotting it again in the SW corner by the scrub zone.  At this point, although we never got a clean look at the diagnostic rump color, we both had extended views of the bird foraging in the open in good light, and I felt confident enough to report it to eBird and this group.
This bird is moving a LOT, as I saw it first in the far SW corner of the park, then again later along the N perimeter (N of the dog park), and then later we had it on the complete opposite end (SW corner).  It never vocalized and did not respond to a few playback attempts, and with so many big trees and shrubs around the park it might be difficult to refind.  It did seem to be loosely associating with a small foraging flock of Lesser Goldfinches, however.
The bird is very pale, appearing basically all whitish below and grayish above, with a pale gray undertail and a blank pale face with whitish lores and a faint white eye-stripe.
Eitan Altman
San Carlos

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Diego Botanic Garden–Hooded Orioles still feeding young, FOS Western Tanager, 25 August

Dear San Diego Birders, 
     This morning I completed our August bird count at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas.  Though I found no rarities,  I was surprised to see an adult female Hooded Oriole feeding 3 newly fledged young, which-according to the Atlas and the Lehman update, is about a month late for  fledging the last of this year's young.  Also, there was our first fall Western Tanager (imm. or female), which was right on time, and the fall arrival of wintering Common Yellowthroats.  This species has bred in the Garden, but not every year (and not this year), but quite a few occur here in winter. It appears that our breeding Pacific-slope Flycatchers have departed for the season  (there is usually a short hiatus after our 'local' Pac Slopes leave and the migrant Pac-slopes pass through).  
  The Garden was closed to the public today, so only a few staff around–thus it was quiet,  and good for listening for bird sound.  
   For those of you have have not heard, the San Diego Botanic Garden is now open to the public, but only from 10 am to 5 pm (not great for birders I know), and only from Wednesdays through Sundays (no walk-up entry), and through a time-slot reservation and online ticketing system.   However, the Garden will be open to the public  on Labor Day,  Monday Sept 7.  There are some closed areas, per the County's orders, mainly the Hamilton's Children's Garden and the Seeds of Wonder Garden, and now many areas have one-way routes for social distancing.  The old main gate is closed and now all public entry is off Ecke Ranch Rd, near the intersection of Ecke Ranch Rd and Quail Gardens Drive.  For more info on the Garden's current Covid-19 era guidelines, go to . 
 My Ebird checklist for today is at
Take care and best birding,  Sue
Susan Smith 

Seiurus Biological  Consulting 
Del Mar, CA 

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

No Bendire's again

At the settling ponds this morning there were four of us.  No Bendire's, one Crissal seen and one maybe two LeConte's calling.  The Crissal was east of the ponds past the berm and popped up at sunrise, didn't vocalize and then disappeared.  The LeConte's was heard distinctly by Tuck and a nice fella from Ohio doing a lower 48 big year (he's at 669!) in the south west area beyond the ponds.  We thought we heard it again later – about 8:15 vocalizing on the west side along with some quail but about that time a Harrier swooped over and spoiled the party.

Alison Hiers
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

No Bendire's Thrasher today

The Bendire's Thrasher was NOT seen this morning (that I know of). There were around 7 birders at the WTP setting ponds in Borrego Springs this morning and as far as I know the BETH was not seen or heard. A CRISSLE'S THRASHER was heard several times by a few birders and several LeCont's Thrashers were also present. There were several BLACK-TAILED GNATCATHERS and one BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER. There was also a BELL'S SPARROW seen around the area.
Keers (as the MAMU says)
Kerry Ross
Bay Park

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Baird's, White-winged, Vermilion

Today, the 23rd, there was a juv Baird's Sandpiper at the salt works on S San Diego Bay, perhaps a continuing bird. (The 3 Baird's also continue today at San Dieguito Lagoon–fide B. L. Carlson.) A worn female Vermilion Flycatcher at the Sunset ball fields in the TRV is probably a returning bird from last winter.

On the 21st, there was a White-winged Dove along Monument Road in the TRV. A Marsh Wren in a weedy ditch in the TRV was at a non-breeding site and thus somewhat early for a migrant, or at least a bit early as a post-breeding wanderer from a nesting area not overly far away. Also my first-of-season B-t Gray Warbler, plus several Lazuli Buntings.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Location recommendations for photographing shorebirds during fall migration

I primarily photograph at San Elijo Lagoon, Torrey Pines Beach, La Jolla Cove, and Penasquitos Lagoon. I'm interested in photographing more shorebirds during fall migration, but I'm not yet familiar with good bird photography locations in the Greater San Diego area. Ideally, I'm looking for locations with a large number of shorebirds where I can get within 50' or so of the birds.

Thank you for your recommendations.

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports