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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Lake Murray CAPE MAY currently present

The CAPE MAY warbler is currently in the smooth barked cream flowering Euc directly across from the upper parking exit and large Do Not Enter signs. Behaviorally does NOT vocalize or sally out as the numerous YRWA present. Actually unbelievably elusive in a rather wide open seeming canopy. Cheers, CK
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Rusty Blackbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, no Cape May Warbler at Lake Murray

Several birders got good looks at the Rusty Blackbird, on the beach near the boat dock and in the adjacent trees, about 11:30 a.m., Jan. 5. White-faced Ibis also present at that time.

None of us saw the Cape May Warbler. Nor did we find the Red-naped Sapsucker.

Janis Cadwallader and I also saw a Least Bittern in the reeds near the entrance.

Davy Povey found the female Vermillion Flycatcher perched on a yucca stalk near the entrance, on the NE side of the road in a area of dry brush.

Larry Edwards
San Diego, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Saturday offshore Jan 2, 2020, upcoming pelagics, and misc note on Harris's Hawk

Matt Sadowski and I did a run offshore Saturday out of San Diego Bay. 

I was unsure what we would find as both the ocean portions of San Diego ( 12-19-20 ) and Oceanside ( 12-26-20 ) CBC's were disappointing in numbers and variety. 

Our portion of San Diego's CBC had three Black-vented Shearwaters, one Brown Booby, 22 Bonaparte's Gulls, no phalaropes, no jaegers ( fortunately Paul Lehman picked up both POJA, and PAJA for the count on the sea watch at I.B), no alcids, and the sea surface temps were cold as 54-58 degrees F.
Then on the Oceanside's count, at sea, we turned up a very good number of BVSH ( 2200  most moving north ) , one Bonaparte's Gull, no phalaropes, jaegers, alcids, no booby. and again the water quite cold, 57-59  Saturday's trip turned up some birds out there. Nothing wildly unusual, and they are just well offshore.  Most beyond 5 n.miles, and many more at 10 n.miles plus. We covered a wide area from below Point Loma,including the Nine Mile Bank covered south to north and all the way into La Jolla Canyon. Most birds are south of a line from west of Mission Bay and outside the first drop off.

The following is a partial list and numbers. To  be adjusted for eBird hourly protocol.
Northern Fulmar  1
Pink-footed Shearwater    1
dark shearwater sp.    1  ( although I had a rather poor look, I felt it fit the Short-tailed/Sooty type ) 
Black-vented Shearwater      4000 +    included three leucistic birds, and an unusual melanistic, or oiled bird
Brown Booby     1
Red Phalarope      4
Parasitic Jaeger      1
Pomarine Jaeger    3-5
jaeger sp.      2
Scripps's  Murrelet    2     (15-16 n. miles )
Cassin's Auklet    1
Rhinoceros Auklet      2-3     ( two on the 178 fathom spot, 14 n.m. This spot is as regular a stake out location for the species as one gets on the ocean).
Bonaparte's Gull       1000+  most over the deep water inside the Nine Mile Bank, and over the sewer outlet
California Gull    700   most over the sewer outlet
Royal Tern    5-6      ( common inshore, some of these over the Nine Mile Bank were unusual )
Many birders use the whale watch boats this time of year, as an option for pelagic birding. Whale watching is near peak right now but most whales are right along the kelp line. The interesting birds are far to the west.
I think much of what one would see from the whale watch boats right now could be seen from a sea watch at La Jolla. This is just for general information. I don't intend to discourage anyone from enjoying a day whale watching.
Upcoming trips offshore; San Diego Audubon has scheduled three days of trips offshore for the Bird Festival. Those trips Feb. 19, 20, 21, 2021 
Buena Vista Audubon will sponsor five trips offshore starting in May dates have not yet been announced. Watch for those at
Searcher Natural History Tours has a three day May 28-31 (new) and a five day trip Sept. 6-10. These trips are deluxe and a must for someone wishing to get a large slice of the possible So.Cal. pelagics species.
These trips often fill fast. see and scroll down to Birding Tours fo details.
Side notes;
The Red-footed Booby continues at the San Diego Bay bait barge. 1-2-21
We looked for and missed the Red-necked Grebe off Shelter Is. 1-2-21, it was present on 12-19-20
An unrelated note from last week was the sighting of a Harris's Hawk at Hwy 94 and Honey Springs rd.  That on 12-30-20. The bird was wearing bands and jesses (sp?), so is an escaped falconer's bird.
Dave Povey

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Continuing Cape May and Rusty Blackbird Lake Murray

Both the Cape May Warbler and Rusty Blackbird were present and relatively easy to find this morning (1/4/21) at Lake Murray. The Cape May continues to stick to the euc with cream colored flowers across from the upper lot exit at 32.7843273, -117.0387798. The Rusty Blackbird was moving around the parking lot and trees around the concession stand, the only difficult part of finding it being the hundred or so blackbirds to sort through. Both were still being seen when I left. 

Ryan Andrews
Valley Center 

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Univ City rarities, 2-3 Jan 2021

This afternoon between 245-315 pm I observed the Olive-sided Flycatcher in Rose Canyon a bit downstream from where it was reported on 1 Jan. While I watched this bird, it was foraging from the top of a mostly leafless ash tree (approximately here: 32.850916, -117.231461).


At around 4 pm this afternoon, I also observed the previously reported Clay-colored Sparrow feeding with the Chipping Sparrow flock in the grass in the northeastern corner of Standley Middle School (32.853960, -117.206165). I did not see or hear the Painted Redstart while I was here this afternoon, but I did see it yesterday (2 Jan) afternoon foraging in the yard of All Saints Preschool along Radcliffe Drive. Also yesterday afternoon, I briefly saw an uncooperative oriole in the trees bordering the apartment complex just east of the preschool.

David Holway
University City

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Rusty Blackbird at Lake Murray Kiowa Drive entrance 01/03/2021

Hi everyone,

My apologies for the email I sent this morning. I wanted to send the earlier notification as quickly as possible so others who were in the area could come and see it. Here is more information. The Rusty Blackbird that was originally found by Jim Pawlicki on Jan 01 was foraging on the ground by the bait and tackle shop. It was loosely hanging out with a group of Brewer’s Blackbirds and Great-tailed Grackles. When the group was flushed up into a nearby tree they would all return to forage on the ground after a few minutes.. The group showed up in that area around 7:50. I hung around for around 15-20 minutes. It was still there when I left. I don’t know how long it stays in that area.

Terry Hurst
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports