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Monthly Archives: April 2022

ID help – Bird sound recorded on Mt. Helix today

ID help – Bird sound recorded on Mt. Helix today
By – 6:52 pm
Hi,I have a sound recording I took while up on Mt. Helix today. I had noidea what I was hearing. It’s a single note, clear, loud, descendingpitch call. I assume it was a bird. Maybe it wasn’t. Merlin came up withnothing. I was unable to find the bird. Sound seemed to be coming from aresidential property, but not far from the road. I uploaded the editedrecording to BirdNet and it came up with Veery. It seems possible to meafter I listened to Veery recordings, but I see no pins on eBird forthis species in San Diego, so also seems highly unlikely. There are afew Veery pins further north in California, but not recent ones.I’ve added a passerine sp to my list and have uploaded the audio:https://ebird.org/checklist/S108048361<https://ebird.org/checklist/S108048361>Anyone know what this was?Lisa RubySabre Springs– Lisa RubySabre Springs

Re: juncos nesting on man-made structures

Re: juncos nesting on man-made structures
By – 9:52 am
On March 18th, for the first time I observed a Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon race) in my yard in Olivenhain off Manchester. It was a singing male and I soon discovered there were a pair. I was curious where they would nest. Since I am adjacent to a strip mall (Harvest Ranch), I thought they might nest on top of the mall.Today (4/25) I discovered the nest. Both members of the pair are regularly disappearing into the rain gutter of my neighbor’s garage. The rain gutter is covered with pine needles which have slid down from the roof, and the juncos duck into the rain gutter in a gap between the pine needles, so the nest is covered from above. It is also under the shade of trees, in which the male frequently sings. Phil mentioned last year that the juncos were not seen so much in suburban neighborhoods with single story buildings yet, but perhaps this is an indication that that trend is beginning.For years I have regularly seen juncos in the summer at the Qualcomm Morehouse campus where I work. I also regularly see them at my Mom’s house in the Pasadena area, but haven’t determined where they nest (the houses in the area are two story).I thought this was an interesting observation, and was curious if there are other observations of juncos using rain gutters for nesting.Best regards,Jim

morning flights in San Diego

morning flights in San Diego
By – 9:38 am
As has been mentioned recently, morning-flights in spring have been documented now for 6+ years at Mount Soledad in La Jolla, but there are certainly other hilltops, ridge-tops,upper canyons, and saddles that probably work as well. And one other potentially good spot locally is Mount Helix on the border between La Mesa and El Cajon. Can drive to the park at the top. And over the past few days, Eitan et al. has documented the presence of two or three heavily lerped eucalyptus there that have been a riot of feeding warblers throughout a bunch of the day. Two excellent such trees are right near the summit, where there is a narrow parking area on the right next to a wall that holds about 8+ cars. Just a little before that parking starts is one such tree, and the other is at the far end of the parking where right over several seed and hummingbird feeders and the park stone building–close to the amphitheater. See the eBird reports from Altman and Wise and others for recent numbers there.This morning, Monday, was another good day on Mount Soledad from 6:15-8AM. APPROXIMATE pooled observer totals were:20 Vaux’s Swift1 Common Loon4 Hammond’s Flycatcher2 empid sp.3 Western Kingbird1 Cassin’s Vireo25 Warbling Vireo10 Cliff Swallow2 Phainopepla45 Cedar Waxwing1 American Pipit4 Golden-crowned Sparrow1 Lincoln’s Sparrow3 Hooded Oriole4 Bullock’s Oriole20 Orange-crowned Warbler7 Nashville Warbler1 MacGillivray’s Warbler20 Yellow Warbler10 Yellow-rumped Warbler (2 Myrtle)35 Black-throated Gray Warbler70 Townsend’s Warbler25 Hermit Warbler60 Wilson’s Warbler7 Western Tanager6 Black-headed Grosbeak1 Blue Grosbeak100 Lazuli Bunting–Paul Lehman, San Diego

3 Geese South Bay

3 Geese South Bay
By – 6:26 am
Good morning, I was just (4/25/22 @6:23am)traveling Westbound on the 54 transitioning to the 5 south when I saw three geese flying south bound over the wetlands. They were all white in color. Obviously at 65 miles an hour while merging I was unable to confirm the type. But if anyone’s near the salt works today, they were headed that direction. Anthony “TooFly” Fife El Cajon, Ca

Re: Mt Soledad – Big morning flight

Re: Mt Soledad – Big morning flight
By – 5:46 pm
On the subject of Mt. Soledad flights, given the favorable NNE to ENE wind tomorrow morning and a high migration forecast for tonight/tomorrow morning (https://alert.birdcast.info/birdcast?latLng=32.715738,-117.1610838&locName=San%20Diego,%20CA,%20USA), Jay and I expect a large flight tomorrow morning as well!Aneesh BaburajSan Diego, CA

Mt Soledad – Big morning flight

Mt Soledad – Big morning flight
By – 3:23 pm
This morning, Sunday, April 24th, Aneesh Baburaj and I observed an impressive morning flight on Mt. Soledad that included a little over 1,000 northbound migrants. Most numerous was Wilson’s Warbler, of which we totaled 253, presumably a new county record. We also totaled large counts for Townsend’s, Nashville, Orange-crowned, Hermit, Yellow-rumped and Black-throated Gray Warbers, as well as Warbling Vireos, Lazuli Buntings and Vaux’s Swift. Other notables included, 3 Cassin’s Vireo, 5 Hammond’s Flycatcher, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, American Pipit, Western Sandpiper and a male Townsend’s X Hermit Warbler.Complete checklist can be found here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S107926729Good Birding!Jay DesgrosellierSan Diego, CA

Sunday, 24 April, San Diego half-day pelagic

Sunday, 24 April, San Diego half-day pelagic
By – 2:00 pm
On Sunday, 24 April, a half-day San Diego pelagic trip aboard “Legacy” and sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society ventured out to the 9-Mile Bank area. Seas were moderate at first, but improved later in the morning. Northbound shearwaters are clearly moving through the area, and Northern Fulmars continue in good numbers. A surprising lack of alcids. The lone rarity of the trip was an adult Masked/Nazca Booby (probably Nazca) unfortunately seen and photographed by only a single observer as it crossed way behind the boat. Offshore totals for the 6 hours:30 Surf Scoter2 Mourning Dove5 Whimbrel[3 Surfbirds–jetty]20 Western Sandpiper40 Red-necked Phalarope1 Pomarine Jaeger1 Parasitic Jaeger1 Bonaparte’s Gull10 Heermann’s Gull80 Western Gull7 California Gull1 Glaucous-winged Gull9 Royal Tern250 Elegant Tern50 Pacific Loon22 Northern Fulmar30 Pink-footed Shearwater50 Sooty Shearwater150 Black-vented Shearwater10 Black Storm-Petrel1 MASKED/NAZCA BOOBY (probably Nazca–will view photos in near future)2 Brown Booby250 Brown Pelican30 Brandt’s Cormorant4 Double-crested Cormorant–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Justyn Stahl, Dan Jehl, Tom Blackman, et al., San Diego

Superb Birding Binoculars For Sale

Superb Birding Binoculars For Sale
By – 12:33 pm
Calling all Birders: I have a near new pair of Swarovsky EL 8×32 Binoculars with the field pro package intact in its original box with all the paper work etc., for sale. Light weight, and rated #1 among high-end 8x32s, this pair was manufactured and purchased in 2021, barely used, and is in like new condition, or as close to new as you will ever get when purchasing something that is pre-owned. 
 
If interested please contact me directly to discuss.
 
Happy Birding,
 
Britta
 
Britta Lee Shain
Vallecito, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

4/23/22 Bird and Butterfly Garden Trail Cleanup

4/23/22 Bird and Butterfly Garden Trail Cleanup
By – 9:15 am
Good morning,The rangers and a horde of volunteers are cleaning up the trail south of the horse parking lot leading into Smuggler’s Gulch this morning, so that should be reopened shortly for all your birding desires!Andrew NewmarkChula Vista CA

Big morning migrant fallout on Mt Helix (Apr 22, 2022)

Big morning migrant fallout on Mt Helix (Apr 22, 2022)
By – 5:04 pm
With the overnight rain, morning overcast and W winds, I decided to check Mt Helix this morning and was rewarded with a major push of migrants. I check Mt Helix somewhat regularly in spring and fall, and this was by far the best day so far, and the best since a similar fallout I reported almost exactly two years ago (Apr 18, 2020). Most of the action in my experience is concentrated in the saddle E of the summit (basically between the summit and the San Miguel Fire Station to the NE).This morning there were two major concentrations around a couple of well-placed, extremely lerp-infested eucs surrounded by dense (mostly) native shrubs. One is within Mt Helix park itself, just E of the summit and amphitheater, in front of the park office. The other is about 100yds downslope to the E, approximately across from 4820 Mt Helix Dr (note that there is no parking between the fire station and the park at the summit, so this location is walking-only access). Both locations were a sight to behold, with 50-100+ passerines and a cloud of hummers.The lower euc, which I reached first (walking up from the fire station), and surrounding trees/shrubs were carpeted in Western Tanagers, which have arrived in numbers the past couple days (there were probably 40-50+ in Harry Griffen Park yesterday). Easily 30-40 WETA in that spot, along with 30-40+ warblers (mostly Wilson’s, with plenty of Townsend’s and Orange-crowned and a few others), 5+ Black-headed Grosbeaks, and numerous Hooded Orioles. Counts were difficult not only due to the dense foliage, but also I suspect that new birds were arriving from the S coming up the slope behind me as others left.There was less activity between that spot and the summit, with the highlights being a blooming silk oak covered in Cedar Waxwings plus a few more WETA, warblers and finches, as well as a couple of MacGillivray’s Warblers and Lazuli Buntings in the native sage scrub below the park on the S side of the summit. However, things kicked up another notch when I reached the summit and noticed the activity in the euc in front of the park office. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many warblers in a single tree in San Diego, with the vast majority being Wilson’s and Townsend’s, with Orange-crowned slightly behind and plenty of Hermit and Nashville joining the party. Again, difficult to estimate numbers but there were probably 100+ warblers in the area, with at least 50 in the single lerpy euc at a time. Barbara Wise said she checked that euc later in the morning and it was still dripping with warblers.My (minimum) estimated warbler totals this morning were 50+ Townsend’s Warblers, 50+ Wilson’s Warblers, 30+ Orange-crowned Warblers, 15+ Hermit Warblers, 5+ Nashville Warblers, plus at least 2 MacGillivray’s in the scrub (which I didn’t work very hard). Checking my list from two years ago, Nashville Warblers were the dominant bird that day (50+) as they were just streaming through non-stop; I also estimated 30+ Orange-crowned that day, and had good counts (15-20) of Townsend’s and Wilson’s. I only saw a handful of Nashville this morning, and curiously I noticed that I didn’t see a single Black-throated Gray Warbler on either major fallout day!Eitan AltmanSan Carlos