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Monthly Archives: December 2020

Chestnut-collared, Tropical, Lucy's, Yellow-headeds

Various CBC compilers have or will post results from the local CBCs as to what was seen and approximately where. Here's some additional info on a few of the "better" birds I've seen the past several days:

Chestnut-collared Longspur [not on a CBC]: One of the two birds seen by Gary Nunn at Fiesta Island on 7 Dec was a full adult male in winter plumage–complete with much blackish to the underparts, a buffy tinge to the face, and a mostly chestnut collar. It was seen again both yesterday (Turley) and today (Lehman), 27th and 28th, in the northern section of the dog run. Either with Horned Larks or at least loosely associated with some larks. And the McCown's Longspur continued somewhere in the dog run yesterday as well.

Lucy's Warbler: continuing bird at upper San Dieguito Park in Rancho Santa Fe continues as of yesterday. See my post on 22 Dec, discovery day, for further info. Almost all sightings of the bird have been between 8:30-9:30 AM along the east (sunny) edge (main parking lot edge) of the large tipu tree patch. One problem finding the bird is that it is often fairly sneaky, no doubt the result of it being harassed by Yellow-rumpeds. There is also a Black-thr. Gray Warbler there.

Tropical Kingbird: the bird found by Tito Gonzalez in s. Carlsbad on 23 Dec was still present on 27 Dec for the Oceanside CBC. It frequents along Seascape Drive near and at the corner with Camino de las Ondas, often frequenting the sweet gum, or sycamore, trees along the road–with 7:00-8:30AM being the preferred time. Present off and on. Also two imm. male Bullock's Orioles here.

Yellow-headed Blackbird: I had 2 birds, an obvious adult male and a non-descript imm/female, in with a mid-sized flock of Starlings, Red-wingeds, and Cowbirds feeding in the ag fields along Calzada del Bosque in Rancho Santa Fe, the site of the wintering Sandhill Crane way back in 2008-2009. Very rare in winter.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Preliminary Report- Oceanside CBC, 26 December 2020

Not all areas have reported their findings for Saturday’s Oceanside CBC, but a final report will be available once all the data have been entered. For a brief update, currently we have about 181 species. Unfortunately, we had to cancel Camp Pendleton coverage this year due to COVID-19. 
Notable species at this time include: Snow Goose at Batiquitos (Aviara Golf Course), Greater White-fronted Goose (Lake San Marcos), Hooded Mergansers (Aviara Golf Course, Camino Del Lago off Palomar Airport Rd), White-winged Scoter (Batiquitos west basin), Common Goldeneye (Whelan Lake), Costa’s Hummingbird (La Costa, Buena Creek, Batiquitos north of Poinsettia), Wilson’s Snipe (Whelan Lake), Glaucous-winged Gull (Offshore and Batiquitos coast), Pacific and Red-throated Loons (Offshore), Least Bittern (Lake San Marcos), Western Screech-Owl (Buena Vista Park), Hairy Woodpecker (Bonsall), Gray Flycatcher (Bonsall), Hammond’s Flycatcher (Agua Hedionda- south), Ash-throated Flycatcher (Agua Hedionda-south), Tropical Kingbird (Batiquitos- North of Poinsettia), Verdin (Calavera Lake, private horse ranch), Mountain Bluebird (Batiquitos-east horse ranch area), Purple Finch (Buena Vista Park), Fox and Lark Sparrows (East San Marcos), Green-tailed Towhee (Gopher Canyon- north), Bullock’s Oriole (Batiquitos North of Poinsettia), Nashville Warbler (Karl Strauss in Carlsbad), Yellow Warbler (Sewage Treatment Plant north of Buccaneer Park- Oceanside), Wilson’s Warbler (Batiquitos, Leo Carrillo, Palomar College), Summer Tanager (Gopher Canyon- North), Western Tanager (Buena Creek), and Swinhoe’s White-eye (Agua Hedionda- North, Batiquitos North- Seascape Apt).
Thanks to everyone who participated in our CBC. Very special thanks to Peter Ginsburg, Tito Gonzalez, Paul Lehman, and Robert Patton for the extra effort in chasing species and keeping us posted.


From the Oceanside CBC coordinators/compilers,
Tim Burr
JR Kinander
Jane Mygatt
Kirsten Winter

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

very preliminary highlights from Rancho Sta Fe CBC 12-27-20

Haven’t received all results yet from today's Rancho Sta Fe area CBC, but already a respectable 183 species (range of previous counts 145-202 species).  Thanks to all who helped make this CBC happen & successful!

Notable species included greater white-fronted goose and snow goose in San Dieguito River Valley, wood duck in Poway, male Eurasian wigeon at San Elijo, hooded merganser in Poway & San Dieguito RV, common goldeneye at Miramar Lake, horned grebe in San Dieguito wetlands, reddish egret at San Elijo, least bittern at San Dieguito reservoir, yellow-crowned night-heron at Del Mar Public Works, zone-tailed hawk north of Lake Hodges, black oystercatcher and glaucous-winged gull at Cardiff State Beach,  burrowing owl at San Elijo, Costa’s hummingbird at Torrey Pines and Rancho Bernardo, red-breasted sapsucker at Stagecoach Park, vermilion flycatcher at San Dieguito RV and Escondido Cr, loggerhead shrike at San Dieguito wetlands and Torrey Pines, mountain chickadee in Harmony Grove, red-breasted nuthatch multiple locations, canyon wren at Del Dios Highlands, yellow warbler in San Dieguito RV, black-throated gray warbler in Solana Beach, black-and-white warbler in Encinitas, Lucy’s warbler at San Dieguito Park, Grace’s warbler in Del Mar and Encinitas, Wilson’s warbler at San Dieguito wetlands, 4S Ranch, and Escondido Cr, grasshopper sparrow in Poway, clay-colored sparrow and lark bunting in Mira Mesa, slate-colored junco in Carmel Valley, green-tailed towhee at Miramar Lake, western tanager in Rancho Sta Fe, San Dieguito Reservoir, and Encinitas, hepatic tanager in Del Mar, tricolored blackbird and yellow-headed blackbird in San Dieguito RV, Bullock’s and Baltimore orioles in Solana Beach, purple finch at San Elijo and Carmel Valley, pine siskin at multiple locations, Swinhoe’s white-eye in Encinitas.
Thanks again to all who participated today!
Robert Patton
San Diego, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Rancho Santa Fe CBC in San Dieguito Valley

Dear friends,


As every year for the last ~25 years, for today’s Rancho Santa Fe CBC I covered the San Dieguito Valley from El Camino Real upstream to Calzada del Bosque. The adult Greater White-fronted Goose and one of the immature Snow Geese were with a small flock of Canada Geese at the northeast corner of the pastures along San Dieguito Road, just south of the Helen Woodward animal shelter. The other immature Snow Goose was with Canada Geese that took flight from the former polo field (now dedicated to soccer) and flew upstream. The field was not overrun with lacrosse players this year, but two women running their dogs off leash sufficed to drive the geese off. A male and a female Hooded Merganser were in the same golf course pond as last year, visible through the fence from the corner of San Dieguito Road and Camino Santa Fe. My total of 3 Vermilion Flycatchers included two males along the fence at the southeast corner of the pastures, opposite the southwest corner of the Morgan Run golf course, while the female was just inside the north fence of the Fairbanks Ranch golf course.


The sad lack of water meant few ducks and no shorebirds in the seasonal wetlands.


Good birding,


Philip Unitt

San Diego

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Lark Bunting & Clay-colored Sparrow

On the Rancho Santa Fe CBC, we stopped at Winterwood Lane Park in Mira Mesa. I had a quick view of a Lark Bunting we have so far been unable to relocate and a Clay-colored Sparrow. The bunting was perched on the chain link fence at the entrance to the park from Winterwood Ln. Photos on ebird.

Jeff Spaulding
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Swan at Bataquitos Lagoon

A Swan continues this am, 12-27, in the lagoon.  First observed in the north west area, seen from Camino Real and from Bataquitos trailhead.
It was moving west along the north shore.
Becky & Steve Turley
Long Beach

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

FYI: ‘Twas a trumpeter swan

Paul’s review of my photos leads to the conclusion that the La Costa swan is a trumpeter, not a tundra. Given its tameness, likely one of the feral birds from Lake San Marcos.

Stan Walens, San Diego
Dec. 26, 2020; 6:00 pm
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports