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Monthly Archives: November 2020

Common Grackle, Del Mar Public Works

1 male seen ~8am this morning at Del Mar public works just west of the parking spaces reserved for the public works during week days.
It was among a flock of brown-headed cowbirds and red-winged blackbirds. It struck me as most similar in size and shape to common grackle. Greenish gloss to head, bright yellow eye, grackle-like tail but tail shorter than great-tailed grackle and overall size seemed much too small for that species. Breast brown-bronze color.

Paul L. kindly previewed the record to make sure I wasn't overlooking something obvious but more common.
Pictures in ebird: 


Sean G. Buchanan

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Cape May Warbler at Lake Murray

This hasn't been posted yet onto the listserv, but Jim Pawlicki get al. found a very dull female Cape May Warbler at Lake Murray this morning, Sunday, and it is still present as of 10:00 a.m. Feeding pretty high up in the big eucalyptus tree that the Virginia's warbler was in back in October, right over the mule fat along the edge of the lake where the Virginia's would often forage. The bird has matted facial feathers from eucalyptus syrup, from nearby eucalyptus trees, which means it has been here already for quite some time. But the bird often is quite high in the tree and is extremely dull. There are already photos of it posted on the WhatsApp rare bird site. It does come lower down on occasion. Compared to the yellow rumps it has evenly dull streaking across the breast and obviously without the yellow patches on the side of the breast and it has a greener rump and a slightly shorter tail.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

The returning Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at poggi canyon, Chula Vista

The returning Scissor-tailed Flycatcher for its third or fourth winter to the Poggi Canyon area in Chula Vista, and previously reported as just a flyby several days ago, was seen early this morning, Sunday, coming out of its roost. In past years, this has been the most reliable way to see the bird, either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon as the kingbirds leave and come into their nighttime roost bordering the greenbelt. Unfortunately, as anyone knows who has been here in the last month, they cut down a couple of the largest eucalyptus trees right to the ground which were a favored perch for the kingbirds and the scissor-tail. This morning a few kingbirds started calling at 6:20 and I spotted the scissor tail flying over the green belt and the apartments immediately to the east at 6:40. The scissor-tail landed in a leafless, rather tall deciduous tree along Rancho Road about 150 yards east of the greenbelt. The Thick-billed Kingbird was sitting in a tree also at 6:40 right where the greenbelt crosses Rancho Road, as reported by others on previous days. The Scissor-tail was still sitting in the same tree at 6:50 when it flew back west and joined the thick-billed and several Cassins in the tree in the greenbelt next to Rancho Road. The birds were all together still in that tree at 7:00 a.m. By the way there were far fewer Cassins around this morning than in past years.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Returning Red-breasted Sapsucker ssp. ruber

Hi all,

I visited Harry Griffen Park yesterday and took some photos of a 
Red-breasted Sapsucker. Nancy Christensen pointed out that it looked
like the northern subspecies individual that was seen at the same location
this past spring. 

Three photos are in the ebird list, showing extensive bright red breast fading
sharply to yellow, limited white stripe on the face, and limited white spots on the wings. 
Location was in the eucs in the northwest corner of the park. Thanks to Nancy
for pointing this out! I amended the ebird list, so let me know if this ssp is not correct. 
Gray Flycatcher was at the previously reported locations, in the central grassy
area as well as the scrubby area to the west. Pin-tailed Whydahs were in the 
north central grassy area with many Lesser Goldfinches.
Christopher Adler
Allied Gardens

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Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Many Scott's Orioles at Hellhole Canyon's Palm Trees

Maybe not as exciting as a Tundra Swan but I hiked out to Maidenhair Falls in Hellhole Canyon out in Anza Borrego and there was a large gathering of Scott's Orioles foraging and chasing each other around the fruiting palm trees.  I had 12 in view at one point but there honestly may have been more. Climbing up on nearby boulders allowed for an eye-level view of the tops of several palms and great photo opportunities.

If you've never done Hellhole Canyon before it's a pretty easy-going hike, mostly flat the entire way with only a couple spots that require going over small rocks.  The first portion of the hike is your typical un-shaded desert but once you reach the canyon it's cool and shaded the rest of the way, until the sun gets high of course. I got to the palms around 9am and the birds were highly active and there were no other people around yet.  On the hike out, however, I passed a lot of people heading into the canyon, many of which were mask-less. There is also a parking lot at the trailhead but it requires a $10 fee or state park pass.

Andrew Newmark
Hillcrest, San Diego CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: Tundra Swan update 11 am 11/28

Swan is hidden from the overloook at Kendall Frost, now best viewed from the fenceline bordering the north end of Crown Point park and the south end of the marsh.

Here: (32.7892684, -117.2317490)

Aaron Gyllenhaal
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Tundra Swan update 11 am 11/28

Still visible from the crown point platform, though it has now moved to the water and only its head is occasionally visible due to the sand berm

John Bruin
Bay Park
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Prairie Warbler in Coronado

Just a few minutes ago, Saturday morning, I had a Prairie Warbler in Coronado. The bird was in small Harbor View Park at the very end of E Avenue, which as you might imagine gives one a view of San Diego Bay right across the bay from downtown and Seaport Village. The bird was in all the thick bushes on the left side of the park where it ends overlooking the water right by a fence and a sign that says Caution: Do not enter, hazardous area. Obviously the bird could easily go into people's yards on either side of the park and not be visible. Unlike the bird in Chula Vista back in September, this one has a full tail!

Paul Lehman, San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Tundra Swan Mission Bay, miscellanea

Visiting out of town birder Elias Elias reports an (the?) immature Tundra Swan is currently hauled out at Crown Point at the Kendall Frost reserve, out from the observation platform, at the north end of Mission Bay as of 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

I am walking around residential Coronado with low numbers of birds and have had a Costas hummingbird and two bullocks orioles and a Wilson's warbler. Yesterday, Friday, I had a rare at this season Pacific-slope Flycatcher at the top end of Nestor Park, and the "Yellow" Palm Warbler continues in the TRV community gardens and has now grown back 2/3 of its tail.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports