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Monthly Archives: March 2022

San Diego County, Saturday

San Diego County, Saturday
By – 9:03 am
Hi All,After a quick trip down to the Salton Sea, I decided to quickly visit San Diego to see some of the continuing rarities around the area. Started the morning in the town of Jacumba, where there was a Ruddy Duck and four Surf Scoters on the small pond on the west side of town. The Surf Scoters were particularity exiting as I don’t think I’ve ever had any at that high of an elevation before. I then quickly dropped down to San Diego proper to escape the high winds up in the mountains. The continuing Pine Warbler made a brief appearance at Friendship Park, though never showed itself for long as the park was pretty busy yesterday. We then moved over to the lower San Diego bay to try to find the continuing Little Stint. It made an appearance around 11:00 on the small island, where it stayed for awhile. I then moved south to Tijuana River Valley, which was pretty quiet, but the three Common Ground Dove were a nice surprise. The winds started to increase, so I went to point La Jolla for a quick seawatch. During my quick seawatch many Fulmars (around 20) flew by, more then I would expect for a location this far south. Additionally, there was a single dark shearwater that flew by pretty close to the horizon line. While flight pattern seemed to suggest Short-tailed, I do not feel confident calling it one with the brief and distant views I had where I couldn’t see the underwing. After that, the winds picked up and the birding slowed down. I had no luck at the Grace’s Warbler or the Bay-breasted, though I assume that was due to the very high winds. The last stop I made for the day was at San Dieguito County Park, in the hopes of turning up the continuing Hepatic Tanager. Unsurprisingly, I had no luck as the winds were still blowing very hard making it almost impossible to hear anything, but I managed to locate the continuing Magnolia Warbler feeding with a small mixed warbler flock around the restroom area in the Southwest corner of the park. As I was driving back up north along highway 5, the last interesting bird of the day was a Swainson’s Hawk on the side of the highway. I had a good number in the imperial valley earlier this morning, and a few were reported from Los Angeles on eBird, so I assume the birds starting to move north in some numbers.Connor Cochrane

La Jolla Cove, March 5 afternoon: Fulmarpalooza!

La Jolla Cove, March 5 afternoon: Fulmarpalooza!
By – 7:43 pm
A small group of birders was at the Cove this afternoon. Not the battalion from this morning.I was there from 1:00-5:00, at which point I realized I had gotten so cold that I couldn’t stop shivering.A constant stream of wildetourists passed in front of us, stopping to stare at the sea lions, making looking at the ocean very difficult.Sometimes the only view of the ocean was in the few inches between one person’s derriere and the next’s.We were bombarded with constant questions as to what we were looking at: the only true answer would have been human posteriors.On the horizon, a large number of black-vented shearwaters continued their southward movement; I’d say maybe 800-1000.Highlight of the afternoon was Northern fulmars: I had 137 in 4 hours, and there were probably more out amongst the distant shearwaters.[I expect to find some of those dead on the beach at La Jolla Shores/Torrey Pines tomorrow morning. The beaches of south county are also really good for finding wrecked seabird carcasses.]A single 1st winter black-legged kittiwake and a close-in short-tailed shearwater [spotted by Gary N] were the other standout birds.Photographers:When I left at 5:00, the cliffs between the Brandt’s cormorant nests and Goldfish Point were heavily carpeted with pelicans, cormorants and gulls.Very photogenic. Would make a good first picture if you just happened to have a new camera…Stan Walens, San DiegoMarch 5, 2022; 6:20 pm

FYI: La Jolla Cove at 1:00 pm

FYI: La Jolla Cove at 1:00 pm
By – 1:36 pm
Wind has picked up. Still increasing Beautiful light Cold. Number of fulmars per hour has doubled or more from this morning. Lots of distant black-vents. 2 trillion people; 0 parking spaces. Stan Walens,San Diego March 5, 2022; 1:20 pm

Coronado Long-tailed Duck, Short-billed Gull

Coronado Long-tailed Duck, Short-billed Gull
By – 11:36 am
I spent about 90 minutes checking various vantage points on the east edge of Coronado, scanning the bay for the Long-tailed Duck reported by Hannah Zhao on eBird this morning. Several hundred scattered Surf Scoters, with groups of 10-20 leaving and flying south. Finally the target bird was acquired at 1130 from the north end of the Marriot Resort, albeit flying south and under the bridge and out of sight. Also a Short-billed Gull at the little pocket beach south of the ferry landing here: (32.6981, -117.1675). Two new 5MR birds on this windy day. (I did not see the Common Merganser or Brant today.)Justyn StahlNorth Park

Continuing North County Grace’s and Magnolia Warblers

Continuing North County Grace’s and Magnolia Warblers

By – 10:58 am
I am 0-2 on the continuing Crest Drive Grace’s warbler (2/28 and 3/5) but now 1-2 on the continuing San Dieguito County Park Magnolia warbler (did not observe it 2/28) which was visible in a eucalyptus along Lomas Santa Fe Drive/Linea de Cielo, just southwest of what appears to be a park ranger residence, at 10 AM on 3/5/22. Posting species list, etc. to eBird later today. Getting to know the Crest Drive dog walkers pretty well at this point!Betsy Miller VixieOlivenhain 

Hooded Merganser in ornamental fountain!, B-t Green Warbler, miscellanea

Hooded Merganser in ornamental fountain!, B-t Green Warbler, miscellanea
By – 10:16 am
On Thurs morning, March 3rd, a visit to the San Diego Mission produced both the continuing Black-throated Green Warbler and a Hooded Merganser that flew in to and swam around in a small ornamental fountain in the central courtyard and parking lot! It arrived with a female Mallard girlfriend, and they swam around in the fountain for a while, then perched up on the rim for quite a while, and after about 15 minutes in all he then flew back toward the nearby San Diego River, from whence he had flown. I have previously seen on repeated occasions Hooded Mergansers on extremely small ponds in parks and even in just large puddles in creek channels up in the Santa Barbara area, but this is the first time I’ve seen such a crazy event here in San Diego. Photos of this fountain-loving merganser are at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S104093637The Black-throated Green Warbler, present since early December, was along the back driveway behind the Mission in the curve area, on both sides of the driveway in eucalyptus and pepper trees. A wintering Black-and-white Warbler continued in Serra Mesa. And an adult male Vermilion Flycatcher off the main parking lot at Admiral Baker Golf Course is about as late as strictly wintering males typically linger, so it bears watching if this turns out to be a new summering locale.Yesterday, the 2nd, a good number (60+) of Elegant Terns had returned to the salt works, and where one of the Red Knots had already started to attain a bit of alternate plumage, which seems early to do that in that species. A white-morph Northern Fulmar which flew by the end of the Imperial Beach pier was closer inshore than usual, and may portend future fulmars coming in to piers etc. this spring if they end up in bad shape–although this bird appeared perfectly healthy.–Paul Lehman, San Diego

A word about Burrowing Parrots, and a boat trip around San Diego Bay

A word about Burrowing Parrots, and a boat trip around San Diego Bay
By – 12:07 pm
Today, March 1st, several of us did a circumnavigation of San Diego Bay via boat, from the Coronado bridge area southward to the south end. Highlights were a total of three Black Scoters in their usual area off Coronado Cays and Chula Vista, a total of 1100 Greater Scaup, 80% of which were in one single flock, and a very good count of 88 Ruddy Turnstones in the Coronado/Silver Strand section.With the recent surge in reports of the Burrowing Parrots in the Chula Vista area, I thought I would just mention that the birds have been in that area for at least a year and have been observed going in and out of palm trunk cavities, but they have yet to be confirmed to actually be nesting anywhere locally, although they may well be. Just so it’s clear, these birds are escaped exotics, with rumor that they are from the zoo originally. No matter, they certainly are cool looking birds, but they are certainly far far from being established in the area. In the last few months there have been several sightings of a flock of as many as 20 birds or so, which is more than people thought were around the area as of just a few months ago. And sightings of this species has extended beyond Chula Vista to places like the TRV.Paul Lehman, San DiegoSent from the all new AOL app for Android