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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Miscellaneous rarities continuing

Mel and I did a mini-big day, looking for a few of the many rare birds currently in the county. Here is our report:

Fiesta Island – we had two Chestnut-sided Longspurs maybe 50 yards south of the north entrance to the dog park. We thought we had the McCown’s, but after reviewing pics, we need to try again.

Mission Bay area – we did NOT find the Ross’s geese, or the Lapland Longspur. The tricolored heron, reddish egret, and Little Blue heron were all jammed up close together at Robb field.

North Clairemont Recreation Center – The Dusky-capped Flycatcher was still working the same trees it was several weeks ago, but was totally silent. We were lucky enough to find the Hepatitc Tanager with two Western Tanagers feeding in the eastern-most large eucalyptus in the park (the trunk looks like shredded bark). No sign of the sapsucker at that location.

Hoover High School – the Eastern Phoebe was an easy bird to find working along the sidewalk right next to the school.


Happy New Year!


Nancy Christensen



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: more 2020 birding accomplishments, and important "thank you's"

Hi Birders,

I'd like to echo Paul's email congratulating Nancy on her record setting year, and the other acknowledgements and thank you's he mentioned. A very impressive birding community we have here in San Diego County, and I am thankful for that.
I'd also like to take the time to thank Paul Lehman. To keep it simple and to the point, he is literally out daily, grinding away birding what seems every nook and cranny, and sharing his findings with us all in a timely manner. Not only does he find a ridiculous amount of birds for us to enjoy (every year, all of the time!), He also takes the time to help with problematic bird identifications and assist with much more. So a big thanks to Paul. All of your time and dedication is truly appreciated.
Happy New Year!
Jimmy McMorran
Leucadia, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Diego River / Robb Field – Tricolored Heron

I observed the juvenile Tricolored Heron back at the "pond" adjacent to BB field #7  between 4:40 and 4:48 p.m., doing its dance and prance as it foraged. It was still active when I left, at sundown.

ID photos to come.

Larry Edwards
San Diego, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Olive-sided Flycatcher in Rose Canyon

Just now at 3:30pm January 1 there was an Olive-sided Flycatcher at the top of a very large solitary sycamore tree here: 32.852201, -117.229750.  This is on a trail that is just north of and below Angell Avenue.  Best accessed from the Regents Road trailhead.
The bird had a white throat and belly with its flanks forming a dark vest. White tufts on the side of its rump were occasionally visible.
Over 10 minutes, the bird only flew around hawking once, and returned to its original perch.
The bird was also observed by Paul Rogers and, as we were leaving, one other local birder whose name I don't know but who will come back tomorrow to try and get a photograph.  When he walked up, he greeted us with the usual "See anything interesting?" and was I excited to say yes.
Also of interest in the immediate vicinity was a male Downy Woodpecker and a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
I've seen Olive-sided Flycatchers regularly over the years on spring bird walks (April/May) farther east in Rose Canyon closer to the Regents Road trailhead.
Charley Herzfeld
University City

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Pacific Wren continues

The Pacific Wren continued this morning in Palomar Mountain State Park. As previously described, the bird popped up right at the no. 8 trail post marker at roughly 8am. The bird was very active in the area between signposts 8 and 9, vocalizing frequently and we watched it for about 45 minutes.
For anyone interested in getting this bird for their new year lists: This morning, all of the roads in the park were closed due to large amounts of black ice, as such it was required to park at the top parking lot just past the pay station and walk in about 1.5 miles down the road to reach the nature trail trailhead over ice a snow.
Happy Birding!
  –Aedyn Loefke  
Valley Center

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Diego River Estuary – Snow Goose & Reddish Egret

Janis Cadwallader and I saw a Snow Goose at 2 pm today, New Year's Day. It was by the new bridge, north side of the channel, with a large flock of Wigeons. At times it was virtually invisible due to the weeds and deep shade in the shadow of the bridge. Also Reddish Egret.

ID photos to come.

Larry Edwards
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

more 2020 birding accomplishments, and important "thank you's"

I'd like to add my congratulations to Nancy C. for her record-breaking county year list in 2020. Takes time, dedication, determination, and not only enjoying the highs but also weathering the lows, ….as well as a bit of luck.

I'd like to get away just a bit from the perennial eBird Top 100 lists for a moment and give another round of 2020 acknowledgments, as well as a big "thank you."

For the thank you, many of us who chase rare birds do so with the information provided on the county listserve and text messaging service. And many of us also get much of our information about what birds are where–and typically fairly promptly–via eBird rare bird alerts and other related eBird sites. These sources would either not be available or be (even) less trustworthy if it were not for the time and dedication put in by the moderators and volunteer reviewers. This is no small task! Reviewing the volumes of eBird data generated in the county takes a LOT of time, especially by our reviewers who are determined to do a good, thorough job. So, thank you to all of them, with a special thanks to Justyn Stahl, who is a major force in ALL these county-wide endeavors.

And for additional listing acknowledgments in 2020, please give a round of applause to our dedicated "5MR" birders. All 5MR birding areas, even those in well-birded sections along and near the coast, require the local birder to truly pound the pavement and make their own discoveries. Stakeouts found by other birders get you only so far if you are trying for a good 5MR list total! And that local exploration regularly discovers new birding hot-spots, many in areas where you might least expect them to be (e.g., inland), which then all the rest of us profit from! In 2020, high coastal 5MR totals ("countable" species only) included those by Jay Desgrosellier (267), Dan King (254), and John Bruin (224); whereas a couple landlocked, inland totals were as or even more impressive, including those by Eitan Altman (213) and Kathryn Wendel (210).

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

P.S. Some minor miscellanea: On 31 Dec, a new Nashville Warbler in the Stonecrest area near Aero Drive brings the month's total of Nashvilles in the county to a very lofty 16 birds (ties the all-time record of 16 that was set over an ENTIRE winter in 2017-2018); and a "Slate-colored" Junco continues near Montgomery Field.
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Rusty Blackbird Lake Murray 1 Jan 2021

Jim Pawlicki reports:

Currently (10:25 am 1/1/21) a Rusty Blackbird with the mixed blackbird flock at the main Kiowa Drive parking lot at Lake Murray, La Mesa. Note that vehicle traffic into the park is closed. Parking is either along Baltimore Dr or Kiowa Dr (limited).
Just the messenger.
Justyn Stahl
North Park

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports